Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

Check-in and orientation


Upon arrival in Columbia, all J-1 scholars must check in at the International Center. You will be asked to complete a check-in form and present your passport, DS-2019 and proof of insurance. This must be done within 20 days of the start date on your DS-2019 or you will be considered illegally present in the United States.


As part of your J-1 status requirements, you must attend an orientation session at the International Center. These sessions are held at 1:30 p.m. every Thursday at the center, and you will sign up for one when you check in.

Orientation will provide you and any accompanying family members (spouse and/or children) information to assist them in settling into the local community. Orientation will cover topics like:

  • Important documents
  • Maintaining your immigration status
  • Health care and emergency assistance
  • Insurance plans that meet the requirements of the Exchange Visitor Program (J-Visa), including medical evacuation and repatriation
  • Life and customs in the United States
  • Local community resources (public transportation, medical centers, schools, libraries, recreation centers and banks)