Pre-Arrival

We look forward to welcoming you to Milwaukee! We hope that you will find the information on this page helpful as you plan for your travel and arrival.

Visa Acquisition

After your DS-2019 is issued, you may make an appointment for your J1 (and J2, if applicable) visa interview. The U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor webpage provides comprehensive information, including offering a visa wait times tool, links to U.S. Embassies and Consulates, the I-901/SEVIS fee payment portal, the online visa application, and information on what you will need for the visa application, interview, admission to the U.S, and more.

Arrival Date

If you will arrive in Milwaukee more than 2 weeks after the program start date on your DS-2019, you must inform your sponsoring academic department. Depending on your arrival date, it might be necessary to issue an updated DS-2019 to enable you enter the U.S. If you arrive in the U.S. with a DS-2019 that is more than 3 weeks past the program start date, you may be denied entry.

Check-In

When you arrive in Milwaukee, you must visit your sponsoring academic department and the Center for International Education to check in. Your department will assist you with getting a UWM Identification Card and email address. The Center for International Education will take copies of your immigration documents, validate your J1 program in SEVIS, and provide a J1 visa orientation.

J1 Visa Orientation

You will participate in a mandatory orientation for J1 visa holders. If you have J2 dependents, they are welcome to attend orientation with you. Orientation provides the opportunity to learn about the purpose, benefits, and restrictions of the J visa. Orientation also allows you to meet other newly arrived J1 visiting scholars and to learn a bit about life at UWM and in Milwaukee.

Social Security

If you will be working for UWM, you will need a U.S. Social Security number. The Social Security number cannot be issued until you have checked in at CIE and your SEVIS record has been validated which permits the Social Security system to recognize your record as Active. As a J1 Scholar, you are eligible for a Social Security card even if you are not working for UWM.

UWM Employees

Your sponsoring academic department will direct you to the UWM Payroll and Human Resources offices to discuss tax treaties and for benefit enrollment (when applicable).

Cultural Activities

UWM and the Milwaukee community offer frequent and rewarding cultural activities. In addition, the Center for International Education sponsors occasional events, gatherings and outings to which J1 scholars and their families are invited. We encourage you to inquire with your sponsoring academic department about events as well.

English Language Courses

UWM’s English as a Second Language program offers courses designed to improve English language skills at all levels. Both J1s and J2 adults are invited to investigate the opportunities for English study. Information on courses and required fees is available here.

Your Rights and Protections in the U.S.

In the United States, laws protect all workers against abuse and discrimination. Click here for more information about the rights you have while working in the United States.