Congratulations on your admission to UCSB!
Now that you’ve been admitted, be sure to follow UCEAP’s requirements to attend UCSB. OISS uses a platform called the International Student Portal in order to collect mandatory information and documents. Check your UCSB email for your invitation to activate your International Student Portal account.
What do I need to do before I arrive at UCSB?
I need to...
- Activate my UCSB email (put 0000 for last four digits of SSN)
- Check my UCSB email inbox for my International Student Portal invite
- Enroll in a health insurance plan that meets the requirements
- Request my DS-2019
- Pay my I-901 SEVIS Fee
- Apply for my J-1 Student Visa
- Complete Online CALI Training
- Participate in a pre-arrival video chat
J-1 Exchange Visitor Insurance Requirements
The U.S. Department of State requires all J Exchange Visitors to have insurance coverage that covers sickness and accidents, repatriation of remains and medical evacuation, for the entire duration in the U.S. This is a mandatory requirement for all J-1 Exchange Visitors AND their J-2 Dependent family members.
Medical care in the United States is extremely expensive. A minor surgery with a brief hospital stay can end up costing more than $100,000, and you may be responsible for paying any amount beyond your insurance coverage. It is important that you carefully review your and your family’s medical needs before purchasing an insurance plan. We highly recommend that you consider enrolling in an insurance plan that provides comprehensive coverage offering more than the minimum required amounts.
Students may enroll in UCSB's Student Health Insurance Plan (UC SHIP). If students do not wish to enroll in UC SHIP, then they may enroll in an alternative insurance that meets the following minimum amounts of coverage:
- Medical Benefits: Minimum $100,000 per accident or illness
- Deductible: cannot exceed $500 per accident or illness per occurrence
- Coinsurance (“Copayment"): cannot exceed 25%
- Medical evacuation: minimum $50,000
- Repatriation: minimum $25,000
- Pre-existing Conditions: Must not exclude pre-existing conditions, but may include a waiting period of up to 12 months
- Insurance provider must be at least A- rated or backed by the full faith and credit of the Exchange Visitor's government.
Choosing an insurance plan that will meet both the above minimum requirements as well as your and your family’s needs is your responsibility. It is also important that you purchase a plan before you arrive in the U.S., as your coverage will need to be effective upon your arrival.
Some companies that offer adequate coverage (although not specifically endorsed by OISS) are:
International Medical Group (IMG)
HCC Medical Insurance Services Group
BETINS Insurance (For J-1 Scholars Needing Supplemental Insurance for Medical Evacuation and Repatriation of Remains)
IMPORTANT: Failure to maintain the minimum required amount of health insurance coverage will result in the termination of your SEVIS record.If your record is terminated, you and your J-2 dependents must return to your home country immediately. Terminated SEVIS records are ineligible for reinstatement, extension of stay, change of category, or any other Exchange Visitor benefits.
Request my DS-2019 through the International Student Portal
The International Student Portal is where you will upload and enter required documents and information so that OISS can issue your DS-2019.
Follow the instructions below to request your DS-2019. There is a 4-week processing time once all required documents and information have been approved by OISS.If you do not upload all required documents and information at the same time, it will take longer than 4 weeks for you to receive your DS-2019!
- Activate your International Student Portal Account
- Upload the required documents:
- Passport photo page
- Confirmation of Financial Resources Form
- Proof of financial support for the entirety of your program
- J-1 Student Acknowledgement Form
- Passport biography page of spouse or children (if applicable)
- Marriage or Birth Certificate (if applicable)
- Enter all required information on the Personal Information page:
- Permanent address
- Emergency contact
- Additional required information:
- Initial session
- eShip Global order number (see Step 4 for instructions)
- Create a shipment on https://study.eshipglobal.com/ to receive your DS-2019 in the mail. Please select “Office of International Students & Scholars” as the “Sender.” Be sure to log back into your International Student Portal and enter your order number in the required field under “Additional Information.”
Pay for my I-901 SEVIS Fee
Upon receiving your DS-2019, review it for accuracy and immediately pay the SEVIS fee to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) at https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/index.html.
You will be required to enter your SEVIS ID number, which is found at the top of your DS-2019, and the UC Santa Barbara program number, which isP-1-03332.
Note that you will NOT be issued a visa by the Consulate or Embassy if you have not paid the SEVIS fee. Not paying your SEVIS fee is a violation of your student status.
Apply for my J-1 student visa
- Refer to http://www.usembassy.gov for a list of United States Consulates or Embassies near you.Each office has their own set of requirements for visa appointments so pay close attention to the instructions of the office you select.
- For more information on applying for an J-1 visa, please click here.
Get ready for CALI! CALI is short for California, and it also stands for Cultural Awareness, Laws, and Immigration--issues that have special importance for international students.
If you are an incoming international student, you are mandated (required) by Federal Immigration Policy to attend OISS CALI Training. You will get a lot of important information, and we want you to make some friends and enjoy your first official program at UCSB.CALI Training is a program with 2 parts, one online and one in-person. Click here for more information on CALI, and how to successfully meet your online and in person training requirements.
Participate in a Pre-Arrival Video Chat
Want to chat with current students? Members of the International Student Advisory Board (ISAB) are hosting webinars throughout the summer. ISAB is an organization on campus that strives to make UCSB a better place for international students while promoting cross cultural learning in the community. No immigration advice will be provided at these webinars. The topics that will be discussed include student organizations, academics, making friends, living on campus, and more! Click here for the current Pre-Arrival Video Chat schedule.