Pre-arrival Information

Coming to the United States requires some preparation, but it doesn’t need to be difficult. While your host department will help you coordinate health insurance, housing, and transportation needs, Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services helps to streamline your arrival and stay. Below are the steps you'll need to take to prepare to come to the United States and Rutgers in legal status.

Additional Information

Step 1: Provide Documents to Host Department +

For J-1 scholars, to begin the process, your host department will get in touch with you and provide you with access to the Sunapsis portal. There you will provide required information and upload documents—these can be a copy of your passport, CV/resume, transcripts, diploma, evidence of funding, and more.

For H-1B employees, you will be asked to supply documents to your host department. The department will coordinate the paperwork with Rutgers Global--International Student and Scholar Services, who will eventually file the petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

For all others, please get in touch with your host department.

Step 2: Obtain Visa Status Document +

Obtain your visa status document from Rutgers. In most cases, scholars receive this in the mail about three to four months after documents are received by the host department and approved by Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services (J-1) or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (H-1B).  

  • DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for J-1 visa holders
  • I-797A Notice of Action (H-1B approval notice) for H-1B visa holders

Step 3: Schedule, Prepare, and Pay Consular Fees for an Interview at a U.S. Consulate to Apply for Visa +

Schedule, prepare for, and pay consular fees for an interview with a U.S. consulate or embassy in your country to apply for your visa. Bring with you to the interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy:

  • DS-2019 for J-1 applicants
  • I-797 for H-1B and O-1 applicants
  • Passport (the consulate will keep this for processing)
  • Consular fee receipt
  • Rutgers appointment letter from your host department
  • Appropriate funding documents from sponsoring organizations or agencies
  • Diploma/transcripts
  • CV/resume
  • Proof of intent to return to home, such as evidence of home ownership or employment, for J-1 applicants only 

Embassy locations can be found here. 

Step 4: Receive Your Passport with Affixed Visa Document +

Receive your passport with affixed visa document from the U.S. consulate or embassy in the mail. Times can vary. You can view visa wait times at

Step 5: Prepare for Your Travel and Arrival +

Plan to arrive within 30 days (J-1 visa holders) or 10 days (H-1B visa holders) before your approved program or H-1B employment start date.

Please be aware you should arrive before your appointment start date to ensure you can start your appointment seamlessly.  

Step 6: Arrive and Check In +

Download your I-94 and complete a mandatory check-in with Rutgers Global–International Student and Scholar Services when you arrive.

  • As a J-1 Scholar: Activate your NetID to sign onto RGlobal and follow the steps to Check-in online. As an H-1B employee, please talk to your Department and follow the steps for new Employee Orientation.