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J-1 Visa Process Roundtable

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Christinejoy Sampankanpanich

on 21 April 2017

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Transcript of J-1 Visa Process Roundtable

J-1 Exchange Visitor Program
Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961
Increase the mutual understanding between the US and other countries through education and cultural exchanges
Sponsors invite international scholars to participate in research, teaching or training
After the program, J-1 scholars are expected to return to their home countries and share their experiences with others

SDSU's J-1 Scholar Statistics (2015-2016)
Total # of J-1 scholars = 211
# of countries represented = 27
Top 3 most represented countries = China, Italy, Switzerland
Top fields of study = Engineering, Biological Sciences, Health Professions
J-1 Initial Request Process Overview
J-1 Initial Request Forms
On the Horizon
Maintenance of Status

November 10, 2016
Minimum Requirements
Bachelor's Degree
All J-1 scholars in the Research Scholar, Professor, and Short-Term Scholar categories must have at least a Bachelor's degree

English Language Proficiency
4 possible ways to meet this requirement
Evidence is required

Financial Support
Must cover the entire duration of the J-1's program
Funding Amounts
J-1 Scholar = $1,600/month
J-2 Spouse = $500/month
J-2 Child = $250/month (each)
Acceptable evidence includes copies of bank statements, official letters, appointment letter, etc.
J-1 Categories
12 & 24 Month Bars
(Research Scholars & Professors Only)
Limitations to STS Category
J-1 Exchange Visitor Agreement
Form A: J-1 Exchange Visitor Request (College)
Form B: Verification of English Language Proficiency (College)
Form C: J-1 Exchange Visitor Request (Scholar)
Form D: Health Insurance Memorandum of Understanding
Form DS-2019 is issued for the J-1 and J-2 dependents (if applicable)
College or departments sends DS-2019 along the:
J-1 Pre-Arrival Information Packet
DOS Welcome Brochure
J-1 Scholar's Arrival
Earliest date a J-1 may enter the US is 30 days prior to the start date
Cannot begin work until the start date on the DS-2019
If J-1 arrives early and wishes to work, the program dates must be amended and a new DS-2019 must be issued

The J-1's SEVIS record must be validated no more than 30 days after the program start date.
If SEVIS record is not validated, the J-1 scholar will fall out of status and can no longer participate in the J-1 program
If the J-1 scholar cannot arrive and register within the 30 day mark, the program dates should be amended

Missing in Action Emails
Will be sent to college immigration reps when the J-1 program start date has passed and the SEVIS has not yet been validated
Emails will be sent on the 7th day, 14th day and 21st day mark

J-1 Registration
Amendments & Extensions Form
Change of Address
Travel Requests
Ending the Program
College immigration reps will receive upcoming expiry emails approx. 2-4 weeks prior to a J-1's DS-2019 end date.

On 11/23, a list of J-1's expiring from 12/07-12/20 will be sent out to college immigration reps

Email notifications function as a way to confirm that the J-1 is ending their program on the correct date.

If someone is leaving more than 2 weeks before their end date:
Notify FA and provide the date the scholar ended their program
FA will update the scholar's SEVIS record with shortened date
Very important, especially if the J-1 is subject to the 12 or 24 month bar or the Two-Year Home Residency Requirement.
J-1 Orientation
We are required to provide an orientation which covers specific information related to a J-1 program
There will be a Prezi presentation with a voice over
Will be posted on the FA website in the coming weeks
All new J-1 scholars will be notified of the orientation when they arrive

J-1 Student Intern
For visiting scholars who are pursuing their undergraduate degree in their home country but wish to conduct research at SDSU for 1 year or less.
Process will be created and information will be shared in the coming weeks

More workshops?
J-1 Student Intern Workshop
More detailed workshops covering anything J-1 related
Thank you!
International scholar requests J-1 sponsorship

Prospective J-1, faculty mentor/supervisor, dept chair/school director, and dean work together to complete the J-1 Initial Request forms and gather the appropriate supporting documentation.
College/Department completes all forms and submits it to Faculty Advancement (FA)

FA reviews documentation and submits Export Control Worksheet to Export Zena Hovda.

Zena Hovda completes export and notifies FA of results. Please allow 7-14 business days for this process.

FA prepares Form DS-2019 notifies college when ready for pick up.
J-1 Initial Request Memo
J-1 Initial Request Checklist
J-1 Initial Request Forms & Supporting Documentation
J-1 Exchange Visitor Agreement

Form A: J-1 Exchange Visitor Request (College)

Form B: Verification of English Language Proficiency (College)

Form C: J-1 Exchange Visitor Request (Scholar)

Form D: Health Insurance Memorandum of Understanding (Scholar)

Evidence of financial support and currency converter (if not in USD)

Copy of passport biographical page(s) for scholar and dependents (if applicable)

Copy of appointment letter
Effective 11/15
Outlines major changes to process
Updated process provides:
More transparency
Ensures we comply with DOS regulations
Helps limit the need for constant back and forth
Functions as a guide
Identifies who is responsible for completing each form
Lists key points to keep in mind for each required item
Helps you track where you are in the process of preparing a J-1 request
No need to submit to FA
Outlines key information which all parties should be aware of:
English language proficiency
Minimum financial support
Reporting change of address
Notifying FA of travel plans
Grace periods
All the forms mentioned are located on the FA website at:
To be complete by the college or department
Information requested includes:
Prospective J-1's personal information
Faculty mentor/supervisor's information
J-1 program information, including category
Financial support type and amounts
J-1 Category Restrictions
Minimum Degree Requirement
All three categories require at least a Bachelor's degree - no exceptions
If a prospective J-1 does not meet this requirement, contact FA for an alternative option

Short-Term Scholars
Updated Policy
Cannot extend beyond the six month maximum
If the J-1 scholar wishes to return in this category, they must wait 6 months before beginning a new Short-Term Scholar program
If there is a possibility of extending the appointment beyond 6 months, a different category should be selected
4 possible ways to meet this requirement
Qualifying English language test
Signed document from an academic institution attesting to the scholar's abilities
Interview conducted by the dept, faculty mentor/supervisor

Supporting documentation must be submitted with the form

Form must be signed by the faculty mentor or supervisor

To be completed by the J-1 scholar
If the J-1 would like to bring their spouse or child, they should provide their information in Section 2 of the form. No additional forms are required for dependents.
Children must be unmarried and under 21 years of age
Parents of J scholars are ineligible for J-2 status
Level of Study
Used to confirm that the J-1 scholar meets the minimum degree requirement

Previous time in J-1
Helps us identify any potential issues (ex: 12 or 24 month bars for Research Scholars/Professors)
To be signed by the J-1 scholar
Must have coverage throughout their program
Minimum Coverage
Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
Medical evacuation expenses in the amount of $50,000
Deductibles not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
J-2 dependents must also have health insurance coverage during their time in the US
Refer any health insurance related questions to Alison Peppers at the International Student Center (ISC)
Scholars should complete this form when any of the following changes:
US residential address
Email address
US phone #

Changes must be reported to FA within 10 days of the change

Completed form may be sent via intercampus mail, email or in person

Form is located on immigration page of the FA website.
Scholars must notify FA when they are planning to travel:
Outside of San Diego or California for more than a couple days

FA should be notified at least 2 weeks prior to travel

A travel signature is needed on the DS-2019 for any international travel
FA signs the DS-2019 for travel
Signature is good for 1 year, or for the duration of the program if less than 1 year.
Failure to obtain a travel signature could result in a denial of entry when they try to reenter the US on J status.

Completed form may be sent via intercampus mail, email or in person

Form is located on immigration page of the FA website.
For prospective J-1 scholars who wish to transfer their J-1 from another US institution to SDSU

College/Department does not do anything with this form

Form should be completed by the scholar and the current institution in which they are transferring out from.

FA will work with the J-1 advisor at the transfer-out institution to ensure the record is transferred to SDSU correctly.

Form is available on the immigration page of the FA website.
Used to request a change in program end date, funding, site of activity or to add dependents.
Research Scholars & Professors
Short-Term Scholars
12-Month Bar
Ineligible to begin a J-1 program in the Research Scholar or Professor category if the person has been physically present in the US in any J status for all or part of the 12 months before the new program is set to begin
J-1 transfers
J-1's who have been present in J status in the Short-Term Scholar category

24-Month Bar
Restrictions on repeat participation in the Research Scholar or Professor categories
Must wait 24 months before someone may return to the US in another J-1 program in the Research Scholar or Professor category
Two-Year Home Residency Requirement
Requires the J-1 and their dependents to return to their home country for at least 2 years after completing their program before they can change or adjust to a certain nonimmigrant (H, L, or K) or immigrant status
Waiver may be filed with the DHS (very long process)

Subject or not subject based on 3 possible factors
Government Funding
Exchange Visitor Skills List
Medical Education or Training

Varies by individual and is not category or field specific

3 ways to check if a J-1 is subject or not subject
Consular officer section of the DS-2019 (bottom left)
Annotation on the J-1 visa stamp
Check with Faculty Advancement to confirm, as the DS-2019 or visa may be marked incorrectly.

Minimum program duration = 1 day

Maximum program duration = 6 months
Ineligible for extensions beyond 6 months

Updated SDSU Policy
If a J-1 Short-Term Scholar wishes to return in the same category, they must wait 6 months before beginning a new Short-Term Scholar program. No exceptions.
If there is any possibility of extending a J-1 beyond 6 months, select a different J-1 category.
A US phone number must be included.
Okay to list a temporary US #
Should not be left blank
Required by Dept of State
Consular stamp/signature located at the bottom left of the DS-2019 form
I-94 admissions record from CBP
Electronic version
Paper version
J-1 visa stamp
J-1 entry stamp
Full transcript