Pre and Post Arrival Information

Scholars, Fellows, Interns and Trainees

Pre-Arrival Immigration Information

Please note that since each worldwide United States Embassy/Consulate may operate differently from another, the following information should serve only as a guideline and could be subject to change. For more detailed information, please contact the United States Embassy/Consulate to which you plan to apply.

As a Getty Residential Grant recipient, you will be participating in an educational and cultural exchange program sponsored by the J. Paul Getty Trust. To enter the U.S. you will need to apply for a J-1 visa using form DS-2019, which will be provided to you by the Getty's Office of Scholars, Interns, and Professionals (OSIP), and some or all of the documents listed below in accordance with the Embassy/Consulate's request.

How to Apply

Applicants for J visas usually apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Please be aware that based on past experience, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa if you apply outside of your country of permanent residence. Since visa applications are subject to a greater amount of scrutiny than in the past, we encourage you to apply as soon as you have obtained all of the necessary documents from OSIP. Please contact the U.S. Embassy/Consulate with jurisdiction over your place of residence for instructions on submitting the visa application.

US Consulates and Embassies locations are available online at:

You may be asked to submit some or all of the following:

  1. Online Non-immigrant Visa Application - DS-160. Embassies and Consulates require applicants to complete this online form before setting up an appointment for a visa interview. Important guidelines on this document are available at: DS-160 Online Application. Please note that, because the information requested in the form is about you and your family, Getty staff will not be able to help you in this regard. Consequently, we strongly suggest you read all the instructions provided in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of the link provided above, before starting to fill out the form. Also, as you proceed through it, you will find a Help feature offering little bits of advice provided by the US Department of State. It will take approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours to complete the online application DS-160 and it can be periodically saved by carefully following the instructions in the FAQ section.

  2. Form DS-2019 - Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status (visa application form). Provided by OSIP. Form DS-2019 lists the J-1 category in which you have been classified and the dates of your Getty research residency. The form allows you to enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the designated start date and remain for up to 30 days following completion of the program (to attend to personal matters and travel in the United States).

  3. Form I-901: Payment Confirmation confirms that the $180 SEVIS processing fee has been paid by the Getty on your behalf. Provided by OSIP.

  4. Passport: valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States and at least one blank page.

  5. One photograph: 2 inches square (50x50mm) showing your full face, without your head being covered, against a light background.

  6. Evidence that shows you: (a) have sufficient funds to cover all expenses while in the U.S., (b) have binding ties to a residence in a foreign country that you have no intention of abandoning and (c) are coming to the U.S. for a temporary period.

  7. Application fee: Some embassies may require a fee payment in the form of cash. The Getty does not reimburse for this fee.

  8. Visa Issuance fee: You may be subject to an additional fee, called a "reciprocity" fee, based on your country of citizenship. The Consulate will inform you if you are required to pay the fee at the time of visa issuance. The Getty does not reimburse for this fee.

Forms are available at all U.S. consular offices, and online:


To assist in demonstrating that you will have sufficient funds while in the U.S. and have binding ties to your country, consider bringing:

  • A copy of your agreement letter(s) from the Getty
    - One Letter: Graduate Interns and Library Grant Recipients
    - Two Letters: Scholars and Fellows

  • A letter from your employer confirming that your temporary absence has been approved, and that you will return to your post following your activities at The Getty.

  • Your return airline ticket (if it has been purchased).

Please note that consular officers may revoke nonimmigrant visas of individuals arrested for, or convicted of, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or similar arrest/convictions, that occurred within the previous five years in the U.S. or in your home country. Here is more information on Visa Revocation and Drunk Driving.

For Canadian Citizens Only

Often Canadian citizens may apply for J-1 admission directly at a U.S. port of entry by bringing the forms provided by the Getty: DS-2019, I-901 (and DS-7002 if applying for an internship or traineeship), and the Getty's invitation letter(s). However, as each Embassy/Consulate operates differently, you need to contact the U.S. Embassy/Consulate with jurisdiction over your place of residence for instructions on submitting your visa application and to see if an interview with a consular officer is needed.

Health Insurance Requirements

It is mandatory for J-1 and J-2 visa holders to have health insurance during their entire residency in the United States. There are specific guidelines set by the U.S. Department of State that must be met. Failure to do so will result in termination from the program and departure from the U.S. It is important to understand that the J-1 visa holder must pay for the required health insurance, or he/she has to make sure that it is paid for, as the Getty does not cover this cost for all visitors. For mandatory health insurance requirements, as well as an important form which must be filled out and submitted to an OSIP staff member by J visa holders, please visit this page.

Spouses & Children

Each dependent (spouse and/or child under the age of 21) that will accompany you in the U.S. for less than 90 days may enter the U.S. using a business or visitor visa, or, if they qualify, travel visa, free under Visa Waiver Program.

Travelers from all Visa Waiver Program countries are required to obtain approval through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to traveling to the United States.

A machine-readable passport valid for six months past their expected stay in the U.S. is required to participate in the Visa Waiver Program.

Each dependent (spouse and/or child under the age of 21) that will accompany you in the U.S. for more than 90 days will require his or her own DS-2019 and J-2 visa.

When simultaneously applying for the J-1 and the J-2 visas, each family member will need to present his/her own DS- 2019, spouse marriage certificate (original and copy), children birth certificate (original and copy), and a copy of your DS-2019.

If family members apply for their J-2 visa separately, after you have already entered the US, they will also need to present a copy of your passport information page, J-1 visa, and a print out of the electronic form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. You may find the electronic I-94 form here.

Please note that J-2 dependents may not enter the U.S. in advance of your arrival.

If you are planning to arrive in the U.S. with a newborn child, please wait to apply for your J-1 visa until the birth of the child. We will complete the application (form DS-2019) and send it to you via express mail once we receive the following information about the child:

Copy of information page of baby's passport

Country of legal permanent residence

Please proceed with the application process once you receive the form.

Access to US Public Schools: children entering the US on a Business visa or ESTA will not be permitted to attend any US public schools. In order to attend US public schools children must enter the US on a J-2 visa.

Partners & Fiancé(e)s: because U.S. visa law does not recognize common-law relationships, partners & fiancé(e)s are not eligible to apply for J-2 visas and will need to qualify for visas in their own right.

Post-Arrival Information

Admission Into the United States

Everyone arriving at a port of entry (airport, land, or sea) to the US is inspected by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers.

Before landing in the US at a port of entry (the international airport where you land) a 6059B Customs Form will be given to the traveler. If travelling with a spouse and/or dependents only one form is needed for the whole family. If you need any help filling out the forms please ask the flight attendant for assistance.

Fill out the forms using only capital letters. Wherever they mention TYPE or PRINT it means you should not write in lower case letters.

Upon arrival, follow the signs for customs/immigration. Keep your DS-2019 form with your passport. Make sure all other applicable papers (i.e. your Getty agreement letter) are ready in your hand luggage, just in case. If you are travelling with a spouse and/or dependents you may all walk together to the immigration counter.

During the inspection you will hand your passport and DS-2019 form to the CBP officer. The CBP officer may ask you several questions about the purpose of your trip, how long you will be in the US, where you will stay, and your residence abroad. Talk absolutely to the point. Make sure that whatever you say is written on your DS-2019 form and your Getty agreement letter. Keep your answers simple and to the point such as "6 months" or "scholarship grantee" or "graduate internship grantee."

All non-US citizens will be fingerprinted, using an inkless digital finger scanner, and photographed under a program called OBIM.

After successfully completing this process, a CBP officer will stamp your passport and the customs declaration form. The stamp on your passport signifies that you are permitted to stay in the US for an appropriate duration of time. In the case of Exchange Visitors with a DS-2019 form, "D/S" will be hand written on the stamp on your passport. "D/S" indicates that you have been granted "Duration of Status" meaning you may stay in the US for the time stated on your DS-2019 form in order to complete your Exchange Visit Program (see field 3 "Form Covers Period" on your DS-2019 form for your program start and end dates). Please note; the 30 day grace period, before and after your program start and end dates, for early entry to and later departure from the US, is also covered by "Duration of Status."

Prior to departing the area, review the stamp to make sure it reads "J/1" "D/S." If there are any mistakes, it is best to have them corrected right away. The information written by the officer in the passport stamp at the port of entry is the basis for all further immigration-related activity in which you may engage while in the US.

Forgetting Your DS-2019

Do NOT forget to bring your DS-2019! Fold it up and put it with your passport in your hand luggage. If you do forget your form DS-2019, the CBP officer should give you a form I-515A. You must bring this form to OSIP immediately with your passport. You will have a limited time in which to request a correction to your immigration status. It is obviously best for you not to forget the DS-2019 form!

After Entry to the United States

Within 5 days of your arrival at the Getty, but within 30 days of your arrival in the U.S., you must check in with the Office of Scholars, Interns, and Professionals (OSIP) so that your participation in the program can be confirmed. Failure to report in a timely manner will jeopardize your ability to participate in the exchange program and may result in the cancellation of your visa and possible future inadmissibility to the U.S.

At all times while in the United States, you should carry with you your U.S. visa approvals and valid passport.

If you change your address at any time during your stay in the U.S., you are required to report the new address to both the Office of Scholars, Interns, and Professionals (OSIP) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) within 10 days. Failure to report a change of address within 10 days will jeopardize your ability to continue to participate in the exchange program and may result in the cancellation of your visa and possible future inadmissibility to the U.S.

DHS requires that you report your new address by filing form AR- 11. Form AR-11 may be downloaded from the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services Website.

Traveling Outside the U.S. During Your Stay

You may travel outside the U.S. during your stay, provided you:

return to the U.S. to continue your Getty residency before the expiration date shown on your J-1 visa. Failure to do so may result in refusal of re-entry into the U.S. Click here for more important information.

inform our Office of Scholars, Interns, and Professionals (OSIP) in advance with the dates and destination of your trip. We may need to sign/update or issue you a new DS-2019 and we will prepare a "travel letter" for you.

carry the "travel letter," your passport, and copies of your J visa and DS-2019 form with you.
Please note: the Department of State Exchange Visitor Programs is available for inquiries on J visas at:

Staying In Status

As an Exchange Visitor on a J-1 Getty sponsored visa, it is important that you make sure you are in the correct immigration status every time you re-enter the US from a trip abroad.

In order to do this you will need to access this site and click on the link "Get I-94 Number Now" to the right of the page.

Next, please click "Yes, I have read and understand the information and agree to these terms" in order to submit and proceed to the form requiring your personal information. Enter your information and retrieve your electronic I-94. Print your I-94 and keep it with your DS-2019 form.

To be in the correct status you need to see the following:

Class of Admission: J/1
Admit Until Date: D/S

This means that you have been admitted into the US in the correct class for the Duration of Status (meaning for the remainder of your exchange visit). Your exchange visit will conclude as of the End Program Date on your DS-2019 form, after which time you have a 30 day grace period for travel within the US before finally departing.

Accompanying J-2 Spouse and/or Dependents(s)

If your J-2 spouse and/or dependent(s) plan to depart from the United States prior to your departure date, please notify OSIP immediately and provide their departure date.

Do Not Overstay!

Depending upon the individual circumstances, an individual who violates immigration laws by overstaying his or her period of admission may be subject to removal from the United States and may be barred from future entry or from receiving a new visa.


Research Scholars and Short-Term Scholars may participate in occasional lectures and short-term consultations as long as such activities are approved in advance and in writing by the Scholars Program (for the Getty Research Institute) and Education (for the Conservation Institute). Authorization to engage in the activity and to receive monetary compensation will be granted by OSIP (Office of Scholars, Interns, and Professionals).

The term occasional embodies the concept of single events rather than an ongoing activity.

Eligibility Criteria

Such lectures and consultations must meet the following criteria:

  • Be directly related to the objectives of your J-1 program at The Getty
  • Be incidental to your primary program activities
  • Not delay the completion date of your J-1 program

  • Documentation Needed

    You will need to obtain:

  • A letter from the inviting institution describing the terms and conditions of the offer to lecture or consult, including the duration, number of hours, field or subject, amount of compensation (if any), and description of the activity.

  • A letter from your department supervisor at The Getty:

  • Confirming that the proposed activity is directly related to your principal activity, is indeed incidental, and will not delay completion of your program at The Getty
  • Explaining how the proposed activity would enhance your exchange visitor program at The Getty
  • Recommending approval of the activity

  • How to Apply for Authorization

    1. Bring the documents listed above to the OSIP office.

    2. The Responsible Officer for SEVIS will review your documentation and determine if you are eligible to participate in the activity. If you are eligible, OSIP will issue a letter authorizing the activity.

    3. You will present the letter to the inviting institution as proof that you are allowed to participate in the activity and receive payment if there is a payment associated with it. Keep a copy of the OSIP authorization letter for your records.

    As it takes time to coordinate the authorization paperwork between the inviting institution and the Getty, make sure you start the process a few weeks prior to the activity's date.


    Please notify OSIP of any change in address, telephone number, or e-mail address for you and your spouse and/or dependent(s) within 10 days.


    As requested by the U.S Department of State (22 CFR 62.13.d), if during your residency you, or one of your dependents on a J-2 visa, is victim of one of the incidents or allegations described below, please contact OSIP staff as soon as possible via email or phone during office hours at:
    Daniela Ferrari: 310-440-6123
    Angie Donougher: 310-440-6909
    Debbie Menzies: 310-440-6249

    Upon arrival you will receive an OSIP personal cell phone number that you may call for emergencies happening during off-hours.

    The U.S. Department of State wants to emphasize that: "..the list provided here is not meant to be exhaustive (e.g., there may be other serious situations, not listed below, that could endanger the health, safety, or welfare of an Exchange Visitor or otherwise could be expected to bring the Department of State, the Exchange Visitor Program, or the sponsor's exchange visitor program in notoriety or disrepute)."

    Natures of Incident or Allegation from the "Intern and Trainee Program Incident Reporting Rubric" distributed by the U.S. Department of State:

    Dangerous and Unsuitable Living Conditions (exchange visitor removal from housing for health, safety, and/or welfare reasons [crime, overcrowding, pest infestations, mold, filth, etc.])
    Exchange Visitor Death - Missing/Absent without Leave Harassment, Violent Behavior, Threats, or Bullying
    (verbal, and/or physical aggressions against an Exchange Visitor)
    Inappropriate Training Activities, Including Those on the Program Exclusion List: (Program exclusions are listed at 22 CFR 62.22.j):
    • Place trainees or interns in unskilled or casual labor positions, in positions that require or involve child care or elder care; or in clinical or any other kind of work that involves patient care or patient contact, including any work that would require trainees or interns to provide therapy, medication, or other clinical or medical care (e.g., sport or physical therapy, psychological counseling, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, social work, speech therapy, early childhood education);
    • Place trainees or interns in positions, occupations, or business that could bring the Exchange Visitor Program or the Department into notoriety or disrepute: or
    • Engage or otherwise cooperate or contract with a Staffing/Employment Agency to recruit, screen, orient, place, evaluate, or train trainees or interns, or in any way involve such agencies in an Exchange Visitor Program training and internship program.
    • Issue a T/IPP for any trainee or intern for which the duties involve more than 20 percent clerical work.

    Incidents involving the Criminal Justice System
    (e.g. arrest, charges, imprisonment, incarceration, detention, etc.)
    Patterns of Behavior Problems
    (substance abuse, aggressive physical contact, severe bullying, etc.)
    Public Events or Natural Disasters Directly Impacting Exchange Visitor Safety (bombing/shooting/stabbing/violence, civil unrest, earthquake, fire, flood, hurricane, tornado, etc.)
    Serious Medical Issues
    (e.g., brain injury, severe burn, major surgery, communicable disease, mental health crisis, seizure disorder, any condition requiring hospitalization of 48 hours or more, etc.)
    Sexually Related Incidents or Abuse
    (incident or allegation involving actual or alleged sexual exploitation, harassment, or any other allegations of abuse)
    Sponsor Violations
    (self-recognition of errors in vetting, oversight, staffing, etc.)
    Threat of Negative Press
    (incident expecting to bring the U.S. Department of State or the Exchange Visitor Program into notoriety or disrepute, including litigation in which a sponsor or Exchange Visitor may be named a party, negative press, or foreign government or embassy involvement, etc.)
    Unsuitable Host Conditions
    (Exchange Visitor removal from host organization for health, safety, and/or welfare reasons)
    Work Hour and Wage Violations Involving Exchange Visitors
    (DOL findings of violation by, or pursuit of enforcement actions against, host organizations for work hour and wage violations, or repeat work hour and/or wage-related complaints reported to sponsor by exchange visitors).

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