International Scholar Relations

Arrival at WesternU

Mandatory Check-In at Office of International Scholar Relations (ISR)

You are required to check in with the J-1 RO/ARO within 10 days of the begin date on your DS-2019 Form. Your SEVIS record must be updated by the J-1 RO/ARO or it will be automatically terminated and your program participation will be cancelled, if you do not check-in.

When you check-in, please bring:

  • Your stamped DS-2019
  • Passport
  • Proof that you have paid the SEVIS fee
You must provide proof that you have health insurance for the duration of your stay in the U.S. in J status even if it is provided by the WesternU.

As soon as these documents are received by the J-1 RO/ARO, your SEVIS Record will be validated. When you check in with the host department, you will be scheduled for the J-1 Orientation and specific appointments as required for your J-1 status.

Scholar Arrival Checklist

  • Review and understand your visa documents
  • Report to your department supervisor
  • Obtain a WesternU Identification Badge
  • Identify Public Transportation Options
  • Find Housing- temporary or permanent
  • Open a bank account
  • Apply for a Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Report address within 10 days after arrival to ISR

If you will be a University employee
  • Report to Human Resources – for new employee orientation
  • Report to Director of Benefits – for health insurance enrollment
  • Report to Office of Payroll – for Tax Withholding and Treaty Benefits (where applicable)
Your department supervisor will assist you with the scheduling for the above J-1 arrival requirements.

Accompanying Dependents (J-2’s)

If you have dependents coming to the U.S., please bring copies of their:
  • Passport
  • DS-2019
  • Poof of SEVIS payment
  • Poof of J-2 insurance coverage


Your host department supervisor will assist with your housing arrangements during your stay in the U.S. You may need to make temporary arrangements until you have an opportunity to see the City of Pomona and surrounding communities. The university’s Housing Information page will be helpful to you in this process.  Additionally, there may be opportunity to rent an apartment on-campus; check with ISR on availability and details.

The Office of International Scholar Relations J-1 RO & ARO are not  authorities on rental agreements; therefore, we cannot provide legal advice regarding roommate or rental issues that you may experience during your stay.  We do hope, however, that the following guidelines will be helpful.

Roommates and Joint Liability – please read carefully…

Before you consider having a roommate, you should talk to your landlord to confirm that roommates are allowed within the terms of your lease.  Once this has been established, you should become aware of the legal implications:
  • If only one person signs the lease, that person is solely responsible for the entire rent and other conditions of the lease and is technically subletting to any other roommate(s).
  • If more that one person signs a lease, each is responsible for all the conditions on the lease.  This means, each tenant is responsible for all rent and any damages.
  • So, if one person does not pay the rent, the other roommates are responsible for payment of the person’s share or they are all subject to eviction for non-payment of rent.  It is up to the other tenants, not the landlord to collect from the non-paying tenants.
  • In the same way, if one tenant damages the premises, the landlord may deduct the damages from the tenants’ collective security deposit without determining or considering who is responsible for the damage.  Again, it is up to the other tenants to collect for the damages from the tenant who caused the damage.
It may be wise to protect yourself and your roommates by creating a written contract signed by each renter that spells out roommates’ obligations to each other such as:
  • Duration of the rental period,
  • What portion of rent each tenant will pay,
  • Responsibility for damages,
  • Division of payment for utilities,
  • Responsibility of finding a replacement upon early termination and,payment of rent until a replacement is found.
Updated:  August 2015