University of Southern California

Congratulations! You have been admitted to the interACT exchange program at University of Southern California, USA.  There is a lot to do before your trip can start. 

For your study at USC LA you need a student visa. You should start the application process at least 2 months better 2 1/2 months before your study at USC. At first ist very important for the USC to know the intended period (from DD/MM/YY to DD/MM/YY) of your stay.You should have an idea of the start date at least. You can enter the US 30 days prior to it, but the start date has to be at least 60 days after USC receives your information for the DS-2019 application.

Getting hold of your Visa in time, for example, is of special importance! Besides, you need to organize your flight, a place to live, appointments with contact persons and the consulate, fill in forms etc. The following general information and guideline will help you.


About the J1- Visa

The broad purpose of the Exchange Visitor J1 program is to promote international educational and cultural exchange in order to develop mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. The J1 Visa is for exchange students (categorie research scholar). To get the Visa USC has to request the Form DS-2019.

Do not book your plane ticket before you hear from the Office of International Services (OIS)!


To Do

  1. Make an appointment with Margit Rödder, who will inform you about the first steps.
  2. Our contact at USC will contact you via email and assist you in the visa process.
  3. After USC has received the documents for the visa, they will be sent to OIE.
  4. OIE will prepare the DS-2019 and send it to your address.
  5. Request an appointment with your local consulate (it sometimes takes 3 weeks to get an appointment).
  6. You will have a series of proofs, forms, payments and other documents to prepare for your appointment.
  7. SEVIS number
  8.  Appointment with consulate.
  9. After we have informed our contact about your proposed stay at USC, you will receive a form for the request of the DS 2019, which you have to fill in.


Besides this you need:

  • A bank statement.
    OIE needs a letter from the bank stating that you have e.g. USD 1775 per month for visitors (USD 7100 per 4 months/ USD 10650 per 6 months) available.  This letter needs to be in English.

    Examples for bank statement:

    This is to certify that(your name), resident in (your address) is our customer. He is able to provide (required amount)USD. We hereby confirm that (your name & address), is able to provide the amount of (required amount) $ to support himself for the period of his study in the USA.

  • A colour copy of your passport 
  • The interACT confirmation letter

Please send all the above-mentioned documents to USC via e-mail (as pdf).