Entering the U.S.
Present the following documents to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer at the U.S. port of entry (please do not pack your immigration documents in any luggage that you plan to check-in):
- Passport(s) containing a valid J-1 visa (or J-2 visas for accompanying dependents)
- Signed DS-2019(s) for you and any accompanying dependents
- Recommended: Proof of financial support (same as the document presented at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate) and invitation letter from the sponsoring department at UT Austin
The officer should return the following:
- Passport(s) with entry stamp: Please check that the entry stamp has the notation “J-1 D/S” or “J-2 D/S” (D/S stands for “duration of status"). If you notice an error, please be sure to address it with the CBP officer immediately as it may be difficult to correct later
- DS-2019s for you and any accompanying dependents
- Any of the recommended documents that you provided
An I-94 Record is the record of your entry into the United States which governs your status inside the country. The I-94 record indicates how long a student or scholar is allowed to stay in the U.S. and proves that they arrived in the country legally. When entering the U.S. as a non-immigrant, the Customs Border Protection (CBP) officer examines your passport and visa in order to issue a passport admission stamp.
In addition, the I-94 record is available electronically. Under the current system, your I-94 entry record will be available to you online. You will use your passport information to look up the I-94 record. This should be checked and printed immediately after arrival. Occasionally, a paper I-94 is issued at the U.S. Port of Entry. The record should have the date of your recent arrival as well as indicate “J-1 D/S” or “J-2 D/S”.
Students and scholars on F or J status should have an I-94 record that states "D/S" or "duration of status." This means that they may remain in the U.S. as long as they are properly maintaining status and their I-20 (F-1) or DS-2019 (J-1) has not expired. We recommend all scholars maintain a printed copy of their most recent, accurate I-94 record, or the I-94 card if entered the U.S. through the land border.
Every I-94 record has an eleven-digit admission number. This number may be needed at the Department of Motor Vehicles and for employment purposes, but it is not a number that needs to be memorized. In fact, a new I-94 number will be given each time the student or scholar re-enters the U.S. Please remember to look up your new I-94 record each time you travel internationally and check the following notations on the I-94 for accuracy:
- Admit Until Date - All J-1 scholar I-94s should be marked "D/S" for "Duration of Status" This is the amount of time you are allowed to stay in the U.S. J-1 scholars will usually be allowed to stay for “duration of status” indicated by a written or stamped notation “D/S”.
- Class of Admission – This notation shows the visa status you will hold during your stay in the U.S., e.g. J-1, F-1 or another status. It should match the visa and status that you request.
- Date of Entry, Name, Birth Date, Passport Number, and Country - Check this information to be sure it is correct.
If you notice an error on your I-94 record or if you have trouble accessing the electronic record, please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
The local Austin airport is called Austin Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) and is located approximately 15 miles (24 kilometers) from the UT Austin campus. Transportation options from ABIA to campus include:
Capital Metro, the city bus line in Austin, operates Route #20 (Manor/Riverside), which departs from the airport every 15 minutes and provides transportation to downtown Austin and UT campus, with opportunities to transfer to other routes. More information, including links to a map and complete schedule, can be found here. The fare is currently $1.25 for one way. You can also call Capital Metro’s “Go Line” at 512-474-1200 when you arrive in Austin for information on the next scheduled bus departure from the airport.
Airport Pickup Services
- Supershuttle: To make a reservation, visit their website or call 1-800-258-3826.
- Ridesharing services: Sign up for Uber, Lyft, or Ride Austin online and download their mobile apps. Some ridesharing services offer discounted first rides. Make sure to check the current promotions.
- Wingz offers rides to/from the airport that can be scheduled in advance.
- Taxi: You do not need to schedule a pickup. Costs will vary between taxi companies.
Next Steps After Arrival
Inform your inviting department that you have arrived safely. Confirm your arrival in myIO by completing the J-1 Scholar Arrival Notification eform, then complete the J-1 Scholar Arrival eform and register for the mandatory J-1 Scholar Orientation session at ISSS.
For UT Employees
If you are going to be employed at UT, you may be eligible to receive UT Employee Insurance. If you are not sure that you are eligible to receive UT Employee Insurance, review your offer letter and check with your hosting department.
Your UT Employee Insurance coverage begins on the date of your appointment. If you will be entering the U.S. prior to your appointment, we strongly recommend purchasing insurance coverage through the UT scholar plan or elsewhere. You can contact our Insurance Advisor if you have questions about purchasing the scholar plan. During New Employee Orientation, you will be given additional information on UT Employee Insurance coverage, and add your J-2 dependents to your coverage at that time.
If your J-2 spouse is arriving later, you will need to contact HR within 31 days of their arrival to add them to your UT Employee Insurance coverage.
Note: While UT Employee Insurance meets the insurance requirements for major medical coverage, it does not meet the Department of State requirements for Medical Evacuation or Repatriation of Remains coverage. You will need to purchase supplemental coverage to fully meet the J program insurance requirements.
The supplemental coverage requirements for J-1 scholars and their J-2 dependents are:
- Medical evacuation $50,000
- Repatriation of Remains: $25,000
Stand-alone supplemental coverage can be purchased online through International SOS. Please see instructions for assistance with this purchase:
Before attending J-1 Orientation, please complete the Arrival eforms and the Insurance eform in myIO. To complete the Insurance eform, you will upload a copy of your offer letter confirming that you are receiving UT Employee Insurance and upload proof that you have purchased the supplemental coverage for Medical Evacuation and Repatriation of Remains for yourself and any accompanying dependents.
Recommended steps for UT Employees:
Prior to arrival:
- Verify with your department that you are receiving UT Employee Insurance
- Purchase supplemental coverage for Medical Evacuation and Repatriation of Remains for yourself and any accompanying dependents
- Recommended: purchase insurance coverage for dates prior to your program start date
- Complete Arrival eforms and the Insurance eform in myIO
- Register for the mandatory J-1 Orientation session
- Wait for the email from ISSS confirming validation of your SEVIS record
- Apply for the Social Security Number