Prepare for your Stay at Mason (J-1 Scholar)

The information below will help you to prepare for your trip to the US and George Mason University:

Once you have received your Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (DS-2019 Form), please check the dates carefully.  You can enter the United States up to 30 days before the program begin date listed on your Form DS-2019.  If your plans change and you have to arrive 10 days past the start date on the form, please contact your hosting department and J-1 advisor, Irina V. Chizhova at to amend the dates.

Pre-Arrival Guide and Other Resources

Pre-Arrival Information

We have prepared the Pre-Arrival Guide for you to use as you make your preparations for arrival to George Mason University. It includes information about the SEVIS fee, prepare for visa interview, finding housing, banks, day care facilities, and schools. Please review it carefully: Pre-Arrival Guide for J-1 Scholars (2023)

We also encourage you to explore the following resources:

Welcome Brochure US State Department (2023)
OIPS Check-in Form (to be completed and signed after arrival)
Health Insurance Agreement (to be completed and signed after arrival)
Be Aware of Scams

Dear Scholars:

After your arrival to the U.S, please reach out to for your Online Visa/SEVIS Validation Appointment and Orientation. You do not have to come to the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) in- person.  If you did have a chance to attend Online Scholar Orientation on March 15 and March 29, 2023, please reach out to

Please send a copy of your DS-2019 Form (s), J-1 and J-2 visa (s), I-94 record, and proof of health insurance for the duration of your DS-2019.

Please read, complete and sign J-1 Scholar Check-In Form and Health Insurance Agreement. Send all the documents via secure link.


J-1 Team