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J-1 Scholars and Interns

Scholar image - laboratory

If you are interested in a temporary research or teaching appointment at Cal Poly, please contact the academic department at Cal Poly associated with your field. The department will initiate the invitation process through the appropriate Dean’s office. You may find academic departments listed under the A-Z search on the main Cal Poly website or you may contact the Cal Poly Department offices.

The International Center is here to assist you with the visa process once you have been offered a position on campus. Exchange program activities must be conducted in person on campus at least three out of five days per week. Exchange visitors must live in San Luis Obispo County or Santa Maria while participating in the program. Breaks of more than 30 days are not permitted. 

First Step

  • Ask your Cal Poly faculty contact or internship supervisor to contact us to request an International Visitor Sponsorship Request Form. 

  • This form will be routed to you and to your hosting department for recommendation

  • Once sponsorship is recommended the International Center will send you a link to a DS-2019 request form to collect the information and documents we will need to issue your DS-2019 visa eligibility document

  • Review eligibility requirements for DS-2019 issuance

If you have questions or need assistance, please email

Apply for your Visa

Follow the instructions on applying for a J-1 Visa

Prepare for Arrival

Travel to the USA

Upon Arrival

Once you have arrived in the U.S.:

  • Obtain a U.S. telephone number. This is required for SEVIS validation

  • Submit the J-1 Scholar and Intern Check-In Form

  • Edit your profile (look for the gear icon to access it) and enter your SLO area address as your SEVIS U.S. Address 

  • Email to schedule a check-in appointment

  • If you will be paid by Cal Poly, you will need a Social Security Card. You must wait until you complete your check-in and the International Center notifies you that your SEVIS record is validated, and you must also wait ten days after arriving in the U.S. before applying for the Social Security Card. 

Income Tax and Form 8843

J-1 visa holders are required to submit an IRS Form 8843 each year at tax time, regardless of whether any income was earned. If you were paid by Cal Poly you will also need to submit a tax return. See the Income Tax web page for information and forms.


Extending your stay?

Travel after arrival


Please notify International Students and Scholars staff if:

  • You will depart more than 30 days prior to your end date or if

  • Your J-2 dependents leave before the end date on the DS-2019