Visiting Scholars and Researchers (J-1)
The J-1 Exchange Visitor Category is used by those coming to the United States to study, teach, conduct research or receive training. The purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program is "to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges"
For more information about the J-1 visa, please visit http://j1visa.state.gov/participants/
The J-1 Visa is obtained from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The prospective Exchange Visitor must present Form DS-2019 issued by the university, government agency or other organization (the Fulbright Commission, for example, issues Forms DS-2019 for its fellows).
For information regarding the application process, please visit the U.S. Department of State’s website.
In order for the Office of International Education to create a Form DS-2019 for a prospective Exchange Visitor, a Request for DS-2019 must be made in iStart by the hiring department.
Length of Stay
J-1 visa holders engaged in research and/or teaching may remain in the United States for up to five years.
Exchange Visitors who have been in the United States for more than six months are not eligible for the professor/research scholar category until they have been outside of the United States for the previous twelve months.
J-1 visa holders in the short term scholar category engaged in research and/or teaching may remain in the United States for six months. No extensions are permitted beyond the six months.
Paid employment for J-1 research scholars, professors or short term scholars is permitted only as described on Form DS-2019. There are occasional exceptions to this rule. Please consult the OIE for further information.
Domestic: It is recommended that all Exchange Visitors and their family members carry with them at all times their I-94 card, their visa form (DS-2019), and passport. Please be sure to have photocopies of these documents and carry originals in a safe place. Transportation Security Administration.
International: We strongly recommend that you travel outside of the United States only if you have all documents related to your immigration status in order prior to departure. Please be sure to check the visa stamp in your passport. Visas may not be renewed within the United States and it is important to remember that obtaining a new visa stamp is never guaranteed. It is possible that you may experience significant delays at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please be sure to contact the embassy or consulate at which you plan on obtaining your visa to confirm their hours of operation, your appointment and the processes/procedures. Consult the list of U.S. Consulates abroad.
Check the State Department's website for specific information regarding visa delays.
Upon reentry to the United States you must have:
- Valid foreign passport
- Valid (unexpired) visa stamp for the visa you plan on entering on (for example, if you intend to enter as a J-1 Exchange Visitor, be sure you have an unexpired J-1 visa stamp in your passport).
- Valid Form DS-2019
- Supporting documentation (including departmental offer letter and any other pertinent financial documentation).
The procedure for filing taxes as a J-1 (PDF) can be found on the website of the Controller's Office.
J-1 Exchange Visitor Dependents (spouses or children under the age of 21) may enter the United States as J-2 Dependents. J-2 Dependents will require their own Forms DS-2019 which may be issued by the University (or sponsoring program) upon request. While in the United States, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may grant employment authorization to J-2 Dependents. J-2 visa holders may not engage in employment until they have received employment authorization from USCIS and have been issued an employment authorization card (EAC). Typically the employment is valid for up to one year but may be renewed. Keep in mind that the process may take up to three months.
Preparing the initial or extension application: Applications for J-2 work authorization or extension of authorization should include:
- A completed Form (I-765), signed in blue ink.
- A photocopy of the J-2’s I-94 card, front and back
- A photocopy of the J-1’s I-94 card, front and back
- Photocopies of both the J-1’s and the J-2’s most recent SEVIS Forms DS-2019; both Forms DS-2019 must be signed by a responsible officer as well as by the J-1 visa holder
- Photocopies of the personal data pages from your passport, most recent U.S. visa stamps and the most recent U.S. admission stamps in the J-1’s and the J-2’s passports.
- A $380 check or money order made payable to the "Department of Homeland Security"
- A written statement requesting J-2 work authorization.
- Proof of marriage to the J-1 visa holder (e.g. marriage license, family book, etc)
- Two photographs
- A photocopy of your EAC (if this is an extension application)
Mail completed application materials to:United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
Vermont Service Center
75 Lower Welden Street
St. Albans, VT 05479-0001
Last modified September 09 2013 11:18 AM