Mandatory Immigration Check-in for Scholars

All incoming non-student exchange visitors with DS-2019s issued by the University of Michigan must complete the following mandatory check-in process before their J-1 status can be officially activated in the SEVIS government database. If the exchange visitor’s DS-2019 is not issued by the University of Michigan, the EV should contact his or her sponsor. Exchange Visitors who have been issued student DS-2019s should review the mandatory check-in information listed under mandatory check-in for students instead.

Mandatory Check-In for non-student exchange visitors is a three part process. Failure to complete all three parts of the mandatory check-in process will result in a loss of immigration status. The parts include:

  • (1) Pre-arrival online training
  • (2) Post-arrival online training
  • (3) Physical presence check-in (currently being conducted virtually due to COVID-19)

In addition, part two and part three must be completed within five business days of the exchange visitor’s arrival in the United States.

Part One: Pre-Arrival Training for J-1 Exchange Visitors

Exchange Visitors will need to complete the pre-arrival online training before they apply for their J-1 visa and come to the United States. This training covers:

  • Paying the SEVIS fee
  • Obtaining a J-1 Visa
  • Health Care Insurance
  • Housing Arrangements
  • Arrival at US Port of Entry
  • Transportation to Ann Arbor from the Airport

Part Two: Post-Arrival Training for J-1 Exchange Visitors

As soon as a J-1 exchange visitor arrives in the United States, she or he should complete this training. In this training the exchange visitor will find important legal information and advice for his or her daily life in the U.S., including:

  • Housing
  • Banking
  • Driver’s license
  • Transportation
  • US Laws and Ordinances
  • Maintaining J-1 Status
  • Employment
  • Social Security
  • Health Care Insurance

Part Three (currently being conducted virtually)

After you complete both the Part I and Part II online trainings, email the International Center at to alert us of your arrival and to finalize the check-in process. Please provide your full name and UMID. You will receive a response within a few days with instructions.

Required Immigration Documents for the Post-Arrival Check-In

Each J-1 must provide copies (make copies after arriving in the U.S.) of the following documents:

  • DS-2019 (front page only)
  • Passport page(s) containing the picture and expiration date
  • U.S. Visa (except Canadian citizens)
  • Paper or print-out of electronic Form I-94 (please click on the link for instructions) - only available after you arrive in the U.S.
  • Exchange Visitors accompanied by J-2 dependents must also bring the dependents’ documents (DS-2019, paper or print-out of electronic Form I-94, and passport) along with copies of each document.