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J-1 Exchange Visitor

J-1 Forms: Revised April 5, 2019






Overview and Eligibility

J-1 Exchange Visitor categories are usually the most appropriate classification for international visitors who come to UC San Diego temporarily to teach or engage in research.

J-1 Category Duration
J-1 Short Term
  • Maximum duration 6 months
  • *No extensions beyond this period will be allowed
J-1 Research Scholar/Professor
  • Maximum up to 5 years
  • *Will only authorize for appointment duration
J-1 Student Intern
  • 12-month limit
  • For students who have not completed a bachelor's level degree program and are currently enrolled in one in their home country
  • *Includes a J-1 Student Intern Evaluation requirement

If your prospective scholar has not completed a bachelor's level degree program and is currently enrolled in one in their home country, you must request the "Student Intern" category.

For a list of UC San Diego appointment titles for which the J-1 can be requested, see PPM 200-16 "Supplement 1" pdf.  All Staff Research Associate appointments using the J category must be full-time. Persons with PhDs or MDs need to be appointed as Postdocotoral Scholars or Visiting Scholars; we will not issue a DS-2019 for Staff Volunteer appointments for someone who has a terminal degree (PhD or MD) or for a Visiting Graduate Student who has exhausted their two-year appointment through the Graduate Division.

A visitor is not eligible for J status under the following circumstances:

1. If the scholar has completed a previous J program (e.g. Student, Specialist, Dependent, etc.) which lasted more than 6 months and is now requesting J status as a Research Scholar or Professor to start a new program. There must be a 12-month gap between the end date of the previous J1/J2 program and the start date of the new J program.
2. If the scholar has completed a previous J program in the Professor or Research Scholar category, they are subject to a 24-Month Bar that prohibits repeat participation in a new J program as a Professor or Research Scholar.
3. If the scholar has applied for U.S. Permanent Resident status (green card).
4. If the scholar has applied for a Waiver of the Two-Year Home Residence Rule and received approval notification from the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
5. If the position at UC San Diego is tenure track.
6. If the position entails clinical training (e.g., section 2111 or 2113 compliance with the state medical board is required in order to fulfill requirements of the position).

IFSO immigration advisors work on cases according to the Scholar's last name; for additional information, please contact the immigration advisor assigned to the Scholar's last name.

Scholar Last Name Advisor Name Advisor Extension
A - H Dalia Alshamas x61447
I - P Marie Manlapaz x24015
Q - Z Lucas Olson x25541
Administrative Support:

Processing Time and Cost

Departments should allow at least 45 days between submission of the DS-2019 request to IFSO and the anticipated start date of the Exchange Visitor's program, to allow for mailing, SEVIS fee payment, visa application, visa processing--including any required background checks, and travel arrangements.  IFSO will automatically push the start date back 45 days from receipt of the request. RUSH processing request start dates will be honored as much as possible, subject to the discretion of the Scholar Advisor, but the department will need to be in close communication with IFSO in order to amend the anticipated start date of the Exchange Visitor based on the visa application process as it unfolds.

The IFSO standard processing time is up to 10 business days from receipt of a complete DS-2019 request and all required documentation, including the required recharge fee, and five business days (usually fewer) with RUSH processing. For those scholars who need to defer their start dates, IFSO will defer programs (amend start dates) for up to one year from the initial start date requested.  After a year of deferring and if an exchange visitor still has not arrived for their program, IFSO will cancel the exchange visitor's program without refunding the recharge fee. 

Information on IFSO online recharge.

J-1 exchange visitors will have additional fees to pay, including:

Please see this chart for a summary of fees required for the J-1 visa classification.

Minimum Financial Support

While federal regulations do not stipulate a minimum amount of financial resources required to support an Exchange Visitor during their program in the U.S., they do require that Exchange Visitor Programs determine that enough funding exists for the Exchange Visitor to carry out their program activity successfully without needing additional employment.  The International Faculty & Scholars Office has determined that, in the absence of other minimum amounts stipulated by the Graduate Division, the following minimum monthly financial support is required:

Single:  $2,400

Accompanying J-2 spouse: $800/month additional

Accompanying J-2 child: $400/month additional per child

*Exception: Postdoctoral appointment letter is sufficient proof to meet these requirements for title codes 3252, 3253, and 3254. No additional funding is required.

In addition, J-1 scholars and their dependents must have health insurance coverage that meets the standards established by federal regulation. Visitors with non-salaried academic titles (Visiting Graduate Student and Visiting Scholar) may enroll in the Visiting Academic Benefit Plan (VABP).

Proof of funding is required and a full month's funding must be accounted, even if the scholar's stay is less than one full month. Funds must be current, existing liquid funds, which means stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and etc. are not acceptable.

Documentation required for proof of funding:

  • On official letterhead
  • Translated to English
  • Amount in or coverted to U.S. dollar (try the XE Currency Site for an online converter)
  • Examples:
    • Scholarship letter on organization's letter head
    • Recent bank statement showing currently existing liquid funds
      • If funds are from a family member or other individual, our office will require an additional signed statement from that individual that they will be supporting the Exchange Visitor.
    • Not acceptable: stocks, bonds, mutual funds

English Proficiency

The Department of State requires scholars to have “sufficient proficiency in the English language, as determined by an objective measurement of English language proficiency, successfully to participate in his or her program and to function on a day-to-day basis." [22 CFR 62.11(a)(2)].

The International Faculty & Scholars Office will accept any of the following as proof of English language proficiency:

  • Test score copy with Exchange Visitor's (EV) name (minimums) 
    • IELTS
      • 6 (overall band score)
    • TOEFL
      • 500 (paper based)
      • 173 (computer based)
      • 61 (internet based IBT)
    • PETS
      • 5
    • NOT accepted: TOEIC and TOEFL ITP
  • Institutional statement/certification with EV's name
    • Verifies that Exchange Visitor possesses English language proficiency high enough to function daily within the UCSD position and within the local U.S. community
    • Issued on letterhead in English within the past 6-months
    • Includes signature from school official
  • Diploma with EV's name
    • For graduates of schools that teach in the English language (e.g., schools in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc.)
  • Sponsor Interview Certification
    • Must include interview details (supervisor name, date of interview, duration of interview, format of interview, and supervisor signature).
    • If supervisor has had numerous discussions in English over a certain time period, please indicate in the box to the left of the interview details "numerous discussions in English over the past x months (years)" or similar, appropriate phrase demonstrating that an evaluation of English skills was able to be made.

Please Note: ALL scholars will need to submit this proof, even if their home country's primary language is English or if their native language is English.

J-1 Transfer

J-1 Date Amendments (Date Changes Only)

J-1 Amendments (Job Changes)

All changes in site of activity, funding amounts or sources, and/or significant changes in job duties, must be reported to the International Faculty & Scholars Office through an Amendment Application.  No recharge fee is required.  If you have any questions on the need for submitting Form A, please contact  See instructions on completing the amendment application. 

I-9 Procedures

I-9 procedures for J-1 employees are complex.  USCIS has published the Handbook for Employers (M-274) to provide guidance; see particularly the J-1 section.  Please contact if you have any questions.

Medical Scholars: Five-Point Statement

NOTE: UC San Diego's Exchange Visitor Program may not be used for J-1s in clinical training opportunities; all J-1 clinical training programs for foreign medical graduates must be overseen by the Educational Commission on Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), which issues the Form DS-2019 using the category of Alien Physician.  Any position requiring full compliance with the licensure regulations of the Medical Board of California (e.g., section 2111 or 2113) is not appropriate for J-1 sponsorship through the UC San Diego Exchange Visitor program. The H-1B classification may be used in certain circumstances; see policy for International Medical Scholars

Any foreign medical graduate pursuing a J-1 Research Scholar/Professor program in the United States that involves incidental patient contact must apply for their J-1 visa with the "Five-Point Statement" (see below) appended to their application materials. The International Faculty & Scholars Office will attach this Five-Point Statement to the Certificate of Eligibility for a J-1 Visa (Form DS-2019) it issues to the prospective J-1 Exchange Visitor.

The wording of the Five-Point Statement is prescribed by federal regulation at 22 CFR § 62.27(c) (iii), and is reviewed by consular officers at the time of visa application and by immigration inspectors at the port of entry to the United States.

How to prepare your statement

Please type the following statement on departmental letterhead with the signature of the department chair, leaving room for a signature from Roark Miller, Director, International Faculty & Scholars Office.

Attach the statement to the J-1 request form and send or deliver to the International Faculty & Scholars Office.

The government-prescribed wording must be followed exactly:

The program in which [name of physician] will participate is predominantly involved with observation, consultation, teaching or research.  Dr. ________ will be (indicate a brief paragraph describing the specific duties and why incidental patient contact is necessary for the program).

Any incidental patient contact involving the alien physician will be under the direct supervision of a physician who is a U.S. citizen or resident alien and who is licensed to practice medicine in the State of California.

The alien physician will not be given final responsibility for the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Any activities of the alien physician will conform fully with the state licensing requirements and regulations for medical and health care professions in California.

Any experience gained in this program will not be creditable towards any clinical requirements for the medical specialty board certification.


[Department Chair name] 


Roark Miller, PhD

RO, P-1-02849

J-1 Program Completion

Depatments are obligated to notify us when a J-1 Exchange Visitor completes their program.  Please complete the International Scholar Departure Form.