J-1 Check in with the Center for Global Health

After arriving in Charleston, all new J-1 exchange visitors (including J-1 transfers) are required to check in with in the Center for Global Health in order to have their J-1 status validated in the SEVIS system. J-1 exchange visitors must have their J-1 status validated in the SEVIS system within 30 days of the start date on the DS-2019 form. J-1 exchange visitors who fail to complete the check in process in a timely manner will be terminated and will no longer be permitted to remain in the United States in J-1 status.

As soon as you know the date you will arrive in Charleston, you must schedule a check-in appointment with Denise Smith. The appointment must be scheduled for a date after your arrival in the United States. You cannot attend this appointment prior to your arrival. 

All check-in appointments are currently being conducted via virtual meeting. The appointment must be scheduled in advance with Denise Smith through this scheduling tool. In the message subject line, type “J-1 Check-In Appointment.” Once Denise has accepted your meeting, you will be sent details regarding logging in to the virtual meeting or calling Denise by telephone.

As soon as you arrive in the US, you must submit copies of your I-94 arrival record, J-1 passport visa, and passport biographic page through your Terra Dotta portal. First, retrieve your I-94 record from the US Customs and Border Protection website and save the record as a PDF file. Then, log in to your Terra Dotta portal, navigate to the Requests tab and click Submit Arrival Documentation. Upload copies of your I-94 record, visa and passport and fill in the required information. J-1 transfers who are in the US and already provided these documents during the application process do not need to complete this step.

At your scheduled appointment time, you will log in to the virtual meeting. During the appointment, Denise will review your visa documents and the requirements of J-1 status with you. Denise will also provide you with information on Social Security numbers, obtaining a South Carolina driver’s license, traveling outside of the US, and maintaining your J-1 status. You will be able to ask any questions related to maintaining your J-1 status.

After you complete the check in appointment with Denise and provide copies of relevant documents (such as your J-1 visa, I-94, passport, signed DS-2019, and insurance documentation), we will validate your J-1 record in the SEVIS system.

After you complete the phone call with Denise Smith, you must contact Rebeca Mueller by email to introduce yourself as a new J-1 exchange visitor at MUSC. Rebeca is the Director of International Programs within the Center for Global Health, and she assists new international students and scholars with adjusting to life in the United States and Charleston in particular. Rebeca can answer questions that you may have about finding a place to live, getting around in Charleston, child care, English classes, and much more. Rebeca will also provide you with information on the various programs and events that MUSC offers for international students and scholars.