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Division of Human Resources

For Scholars

As you prepare to enter the United States, there are many things to consider — from proper documentation to getting involved in the local community.

When to Arrive

  • H-1B or Treaty National (TN) Temporary Worker
    You are eligible to enter the U.S. up to 10 days prior to the start date of employment.
  • BridgeUSA (J-1 Exchange Visitor Program) Participant
    You may arrive up to 30 days prior to the program start date on Form DS-2019.

What to Bring

Please travel with the following documentation in your carry-on bag:

  • Visa-qualifying document (Form I-797 for H-1B, Form DS 2019 for J-1, support letter for TN)
  • Passport
  • Offer/appointment letter from the University of South Carolina, plus documentation of your funding if from outside the university. 

What to Do

  • Upon arrival, please retrieve your I-94 admission record online (and those of any dependents).
  • Check your passport (and those of your dependents) to ensure the current entry stamp notes the appropriate status and duration.
  • Schedule an appointment with the Office for International Scholars for your welcome orientation meeting, which will cover most FAQs about campus and community resources.
  • If you move to a new residence, please contact OIS immediately for guidance on requirements for reporting a change of address to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. 

Where to Go

Our City

Located in the heart of the state, Columbia boasts a population of over 700,000. It’s diverse residents and neighborhoods have earned it the designation of being one of “America’s 30 most Livable Communities.”

Within the city limits, you can visit EdVenture Children's Museum for a family-friendly outing, attend a concert at the Colonial Life Arena, paddle the Saluda River, shop and dine in the vibrant Vista district or watch your Carolina Gamecocks compete in a number of sporting events. In a city with so much to offer, there is something for everyone.

Traveling further afield, Columbia is just a few short hours from the Carolina coast, the Appalachian mountains, and the cosmopolitan centers of Charlotte and Atlanta.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.