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Step 1

Correspond with your sponsoring department, clarifying expectations regarding work space, staff support, faculty availability and cooperation, and benefits.

Note that Federal regulations require all J visa holders to have health insurance coverage for yourself and your families. For more information about Health Insurance click here.

Submits the following documents  to the Center for International Education:

  • Authorized letter of Financial Support

  • English proficiency report (IIE prefers a TOEFL score. Scores can be sent to code (2326) OR written confirmation of sufficient proficiency in English language to participate in proposed exchange program.

  • Document of highest degree earned

  • A copy of Passport data page (and page with expiration date **expiration date must be at least six months past the proposed end date of the Exchange Visitor program)

  • Applicant’s curriculum vitae, in English


Step 2
Submits the following documents  to the Institute of International Education

  • Arrival Report form (should be faxed to IIE (and organization where exchange is to take place) to notify all parties of the exchange visitor’s arrival date.
  • Insurance Information Sheet (It is IIE’s responsibility to determine whether the exchange visitor has insurance that meets J-1 requirements and that the exchange visitor is aware of this requirement. The signed form is necessary).

Schedule visa appointment with the U.S. Embassy/ Consulate (not applicable to Canadian citizens)
U.S. Embassy/ Consulate


Prior to arrival please speak with your sponsoring Department to arrange help with transportation, housing or banking.


Step 3

  • Arrives in U.S. (may arrive 30 days before or not later than 30 days after program start date)
  • At port of entry, receives I-94 card.


Airport Ground Transportation
When you arrive to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), you can take a shared ride van. These include but are not limited to, Super Shuttle, Prime Time Shuttle, etc. directly to Otis College or any location in Los Angeles. Reservations are not required to use a shared ride van. Shared ride vans are located at the designated ground transportation areas just outside baggage claim areas. Each van will have a sign on it indicating its destination. Make sure your van is going to Los Angeles. You can ask where and when to board a shuttle van by using the courtesy phones available in the baggage claim areas. The cost is approximately $15 - $35 for transportation from LAX to Los Angeles with an optional tip recommended for the driver. The shared ride van will take you to the destination you specify. You may also take a taxi, which will cost significantly.