J1 Exchange Visitor Visa

  • UCAR is an Exchange Visitor Program.
  • Responsible Officer (RO) – Shonna Montoya;
    • Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) – Betty Singleton.
  • We may sponsor two J1 Exchange Visitor categories:
    • Short-term Scholar;
    • Research Scholar.
 

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)

  • Purpose is for exchange, visitor expected to return home (therefore regulations can impact visitors’ future visas to the U.S. and some visitors prefer to avoid the J1).
  • Secure online database administered by DHS.
  • Developed in part to close vulnerabilities identified when one of the 9/11 terrorists was found to have entered the U.S. on a student visa.
  • Generates DS-2019 (demographical data and visit information entered by Immigration Specialist).
  • SEVIS II is under construction, proposed to be a paperless system, with major changes to the process.
 

J1 Short-term Scholar

Eligibility Requirements

  • Visit is six months or less.
  • May or may not be on payroll.
 

Process

  • Visitor must complete J Visa Information Form (found in forms library), host division reviews it and sends to Immigration Specialist.
  • Immigration Specialist prepares DS-2019, pays SEVIS fee if applicable, sends to foreign national.
  • Account key required for SEVIS fee and FedEx.
  • Foreign National takes DS-2019 and other required documents to visa appointment.
  • If approved, receives J visa stamp.
  • Period of stay reflected by DS-2019 form.
  • If visit is delayed, SEVIS must be updated and a new DS-2019 sent.
  • Record must be updated within 30 days of the initial begin date on DS-2019 otherwise the SEVIS record is automatically deleted.
 

Regulations

  • Specific to program sponsor, need permission to visit or receive funds form other institutions.
  • Very specific medical insurance requirements.
  • Two-year home residency requirement (212e) - If subject, cannot change status to H, L, K, or permanent resident until returning to home country for at least two years or receiving a waiver.
 

Conditions which would make one subject

  • If the program was financed by an agency of the U.S. government or by the government of your home country;
  • If you are a national or resident of a country which the Director of the DOS has designated as clearly requiring the services of persons with your specialized knowledge or skill (skills list); or
  • If the purpose of your J-1 status is to receive graduate medical education or training.
 

J1 Research Scholar

Eligibility Requirements

  • Visit is over 6 months, up to 5 years;
  • May or may not be on payroll;
  • Must not be subject to 12 or 24-month bar (previous J status would make one subject to these bars; there is a question on the information form asking about previous J status to help us determine this).
 

Process

  • Visitor must complete J Visa Information Form, host division reviews it and sends to Immigration Specialist;
  • Immigration Specialist prepares DS-2019, pays SEVIS fee if applicable, sends to foreign national;
  • Account key required for SEVIS fee and FedEx;
  • Foreign National takes DS-2019 and other required documents to visa appointment;
  • If approved, receives J visa stamp;
  • Can enter U.S. up to 30 days prior to start date (start date = UCAR start date);
  • Period of stay reflected by DS-2019 form.
 

Regulations

  • Specific to program sponsor (need permission to visit or receive funds form other institutions);
  • Specific medical insurance requirements;
  • Two-year home residency requirement (212e) - If subject, cannot change status to H, L, K, or permanent resident until returning to home country for at least two-years or receiving a waiver;
  • 24-month bar (short-term J okay as well as other visa types.
 

Conditions which would make one subject

  • If the program was financed by an agency of the U.S. government or by the government of your home country;
  • If you are a national or resident of a country which the Director of the DOS has designated as clearly requiring the services of persons with your specialized knowledge or skill (skills list); or
  • If the purpose of your J-1 status is to receive graduate medical education or training;
  • 12-Month Bar After J Participation: Cannot have been physically present in the U.S. in any J status for all or part of the 12-month period immediately before the program begin date on his or her Form DS-2019 unless…
    • The participant is transferring to the sponsor's program;
    • The participant's presence in the United States was of less than six months duration, or;
    • The participant's presence in the United States was pursuant to a Short-term scholar exchange activity.
  • 24-Month Bar After J Professor or Research Scholar Participation: An exchange visitor is not eligible for a Professor or Research Scholar J Visa for a period of two years if he or she meets these two criteria:
    • Entered the United States under the Exchange Visitor Program as a Professor or Research Scholar, or who has acquired such status while in the United States; and
    • Completed his or her program.
 

Once Your J1 Exchange Visitor Arrives

Validation of SEVIS

  • Confirm arrival of visitor (with Shonna);
  • Obtain physical U.S. residence address;
  • Important to have this information ASAP so visitor may obtain driver’s license, Social Security number, etc.
 

Travel

  • No restrictions on travel within the U.S. (always carry J documents/passport);
  • In order to travel internationally, a visitor needs the following to re-enter the U.S.:
    • Valid Passport;
    • Valid J Visa Stamp;
    • Travel Validation Signature on DS-2019 form by RO or ARO.
  • Visitor may need a visa to enter a 3rd country.
  • Check with consulate of the country to determine requirements.
  • UCAR immigration services does not handle non-U.S. visas.
  • Travel longer than 30 days is not advised unless continued collaboration occurs while away.
 

Extensions

  • Lab/Program must notify Immigration Specialist.
  • Information needed for SEVIS:
    • Date to extend to;
    • Financial support for the extension period.
  • Visitor will receive an updated DS-2019 which reflects their current legal status.
  • Status may not be extended beyond maximum duration based on regulations.
 

Ending Visit

  • Immigration Specialist must be notified if visitor leaves before the End Date on their DS-2019.
  • J1 Exchange Visitors have a 30-day grace period in which they may remain in the U.S. to arrange for travel. They cannot receive any compensation or work at our facility during this grace period.
 

Thing to remember for all J visitors

Work/Participation

  • The visitor is only allowed to work during the program dates on the DS-2019 – they cannot work or receive compensation before the start date or after the end date (if plans change, let me know and I will see if an amendment or extension can be processed).
 

Arrival

  • Notify me if arrival is delayed.
  • Notify me of arrival and provide address so I can update SEVIS as required.
  • Notify me of any changes in work location or funding.
  • Notify me if end date needs to be extended.
  • Notify me if the visitor leaves prior to the end date on DS-2019 (we are required to end the program in SEVIS once they are no longer participating in our Exchange Visitor Program).