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Ensuring that foreign nationals have the appropriate visa status is crucial

It is essential that all foreign visitors have an appropriate visa. Which visa is appropriate depends on (1) what the visitor will do at UCLA, and on (2) what payment, if any, you wish to make to the visitor.

If a visitor does not have an appropriate visa, the visitor may be denied entry to the country and/or may be denied payment.

For a full list of visa types, go to

What Type of Visa Is Appropriate?

Deciding on which visa type is appropriate can sometimes involve a difficult triangulation between the policies of the Department of Homeland Security (which has taken over from the Immigration & Naturalization Service the handling of immigration and visa matters), the IRS, and UC (and UCLA) policy.


  • Visa types that may permit payment or reimbursement of travel expenses may not be appropriate for payment for services.
  • Guests who are not United States citizens, including those from Canada and Mexico, must have visa status assigned prior to travel to the U.S. Upon arrival in the U.S., guests are responsible for obtaining proper immigration status from the authorities. Your center/program should provide further guidance on this subject.

Where To Go for Information

  • The Alien Manual, prepared by UCLA Payroll, contains a wealth of information. It is a good place to start.
  • Information Sheet for Visitors, prepared by the International Institute, informs guests of what is required of them. This sheet should be sent to visitors well before they depart for the U.S.
  • J-1 visa status: If you determine the appropriate visa for your visitor is a J-1, and if your center/program will "sponsor" visitor by providing a DS-2019 (a form that the visitor takes to the U.S. embassy or consulate to apply for a J-1 visa), then you will need to fill out a Request for a DS-2019 and submit it to the The Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars (DCISS) and supply DCISS appropriate documentation. The Request form and instructions are available on the DCISS website.

f you have questions or doubts, get them resolved before the traveler arrives. Once a traveler has landed in the U.S., it is usually too late to adjust the traveler’s visa status.

If you have questions, address them to the relevant office at UCLA: