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J-1 Exchange Visitor

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Overview and Eligibility

J-1 Category Overview

For a list of UC San Diego appointment titles for which the J-1 can be requested, see PPM 200-16 "Supplement 1" (PDF). 

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 Scholar
  • Maximum duration of 6 months
    • No extensions beyond this period will be allowed
J-1 Research Scholar/Professor
  • Maximum duration of up to 5 years
  • Will only authorize for current appointment duration but can be extended
  • Scholar will have 24-month bar against repeat participation in another Research Scholar/Professor J-1 program after completion of current program
J-1 Student Intern
  • For any period of time up to twelve months; extensions beyond twelve months are NOT possible.
  • This category is for students who are currently enrolled in an undergraduate degree program in their home country, or a graduate degree program and they wish to avoid the 24-month bar associated with the Research Scholar category.  
    • 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.
  • Note that there is a 12-month bar associated with this category that prevents beginning a program in the Research Scholar/Professor categories until twelve months have passed; see the 12-month bar.
  • Student intern category has a J-1 Student Intern Evaluation requirement

Note: We will not support J-1 Staff Volunteer appointments for persons who would normally be appointed as Postdocs if they had sufficient funding or for Visiting Graduate Students who have exhausted their 2-year time limit, as this would be circumventing other institutional policies.

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).

Processing Time and Cost

Processing times

Timelines listed below are from date we receive a complete request. Standard processing time is up to 15 business days from receipt of a complete DS-2019 request and all required documentation, including the required recharge fee; a RUSH request will be processed within 5 days or less.
Request Description Processing Time Note
J-1 Initial 15 Business Days In order to provide quality service to all of our scholars and allow incoming scholars time to schedule visa appointments, IFSO will require all initial J-1 requests to be submitted at least 30 days prior to the requested start date of the J-1 program. 
J-1 Transfer-In 15 Business Days Please note for J-1 scholars Transferring to UC San Diego, IFSO cannot issue the DS-2019 until the SEVIS release/start date. This may fall out of the 15-day business window depending on the transfer date.
J-1 Amendment 15 Business Days
J-1 Date Amendment 5 Business Days 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.
J-1 Extension 15 Business Days
J-2 Addition (after J-1 issued) 15 Business Days There is no IFSO fee to issue a J-2 DS-2019.
Rush Request 5 Business Days All J-1 Initial submissions with less than 45 days before the requested start date will require a rush fee.

 

Cost/Fees

Description Fees (effective 09/01/23) Who Pays? Note

IFSO J-1 Request Fee (New and Extension)

Payment via POET(AF):

  • Initial $657
  • Extension $437

or

Payment via Credit Card with overhead cost recovery:
  • Initial $749
  • Extension $498
EITHER Department or J-1 Scholar

Department pays by recharge or scholar can pay by credit card.

Note: department must pay recharge for all postdoc appointments.

IFSO Rush Fee

Payment via POET(AF):
  • $437

or

Payment via Credit Card with overhead cost recovery:
  • $498
EITHER Department or J-1 Scholar Department pays by recharge or scholar can pay by credit card.
SEVIS Fee $220 EITHER Department or J-1 Scholar Normally, J-1 pays. Covers all J-2s and future extensions. Fee is paid to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Visa Fee (aka MRV Fee) $185 J-1 Scholar Each visa applicant must pay (J-1, J-2s) and for each subsequent visa. Fee is paid to U.S. embassy or consulate.
Visa Reciprocity Fee Variable J-1 Scholar Only applies in some countries.

IFSO's online recharge form aligns with the update in the UCSD Financial System (July 1, 2020), the addition of a two-tiered structure was implemented to reflect different rates applied based on source of funds--institutional or credit card/outside payments, per institutional policy regarding overhead cost recovery

J-1 fee resources:

Advisor Breakdown

Faculty & Scholar 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 Surname/Family/Last Name Advisor Name  Advisor Email Advisor Meeting Scheduling Calendar
A - H Ashley LeBourveau alebourveau@ucsd.edu Schedule Meeting with Ashley
I - L Christine Sampankanpanich christinesam@ucsd.edu Schedule Meeting with Christine
M - V Taylor Luscutoff ischolars@ucsd.edu  Schedule Meeting with an advisor 
W - Z Nallely Garcia nallely@ucsd.edu  Schedule Meeting with Nallely
ISD Support:

12-Month and 24-Month Bars

Regulations restrict repeat participation in J programs; visit our webpage Regulations Restricting Repeat J-1 Participation for information regarding the 12-Month and 24-Month Bars.

212e - Two-Year Home Country Residence Requirement

Certain J-1 Exchange Visitors are required to spend two years in their home country after their J program ends; visit webpage Two-Year Home Country Residence Requirement (212e) for additional information regarding criteria to determine if a scholar is subject, waiver process, etc.

J-1 Resources

Form I-9

Only J-1 employees at UC San Diego should complete I-9 forms. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides I-9 instructions in their Handbook for Employers (M-274), identifying the List A document to include “an unexpired foreign passport AND Form I-94 indicating J-1 nonimmigrant status AND Form DS-2019 with the responsible officer’s endorsement.” Only a DS-2019 issued by UC San Diego, or a DS-2019 issued by another organization listing UC San Diego as funding source or site of activity (e.g., Fulbright-issued DS-2019), will meet I-9 requirements. For explicit instructions, see:

Note: a UC San Diego-issued DS-2019 cannot be used for I-9 purposes when the scholar has not yet entered the U.S., as they will not have an I-94 document; persons changing status must also have an I-94 indicating "J-1" status on their change of status approval notice.

Please contact ischolars@ucsd.edu if you have any questions.

English Language 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 their program and to function on a day-to-day basis." [22 CFR 62.11(a)(2)].

The International Faculty & Scholars Office has a detailed list of which evidence can be accepted as proof of English language proficiency: Proof of English Proficiency.

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.

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, 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

Proof of funding is required and must be shown to cover the J-1 program's full duration. 

See our detailed funding documentation instructions.

Health Insurance

Visitors in J-1 and J-2 statuses are required to maintain health insurance coverage that meets U.S. Department of State requirements for their program duration as a condition of their participation in the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. 

The minimum requirements are listed on page two of the DS-2019; the minimum is intended to provide catastrophic health insurance coverage while on the J-1 program.

Quick Guide:
  • UC San Diego offered Postdoc Plans: Provide comprehensive coverage and meet all the requirements noted on page two of the DS-2019, including the Supplemental Medical Evacuation and Repatriation (MER).
  • UC San Diego offered Health Insurance plans (excluding Postdoc Plans): Provide comprehensive health coverage that meet almost all the requirements noted on page two of the DS-2019. Supplemental Medical Evacuation and Repatriation (MER) coverage will need to be purchased.
    • CORE Plan is not compliant with federal regulations, even if Supplemental MER coverage is purchased.
  • Gallagher (Garnett Powers) plans: Meet all the minimum requirements noted on page two of the DS-2019, including the Supplemental Medical Evacuation and Repatriation (MER). There are three plans to choose from; however, the plans are all intended to provide catastrophic health coverage. The plans may not include vaccine coverage, require pre-certification for doctors visits, and may not include preventative care coverage.
  • Alternate Health Insurance plans: Scholars are welcome to purchase an alternate plan, however they will have to submit a waiver with Gallagher, as they will verify for UC San Diego that the health insurance meets all the requirements noted on page two of the DS-2019.

Direct scholars to contact ifsoinsurance@ucsd.edu if they 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. This statement must be signed off by the Dean of the School or Medicine or their designee. For 2090 Visiting Physician appointments, Dr. Michelle Daniel is the Dean's Designee; all other appointments should be signed off by Dr. Robert Ross.

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.

See ISD instructions for more information regarding how to submit/complete the 5pt statement.

Receive the DS-2019

Following an April 2023 update from the US Department of State, DS-2019 forms may now be submitted to scholars via email. As such, pickup and shipping are no longer necessary. When scholars receive their DS-2019 via email, they must print all pages of the document, sign and indicate place and date at the bottom of the form, and utilize the printed paper version for visa appointments and re-entry to the United States. These instructions and additional information will be included in the distribution email.

Any questions on this new distribution method can be directed to the scholar advisor assigned based on last name.

Submit Requests via International Scholar Dossier (ISD)

Obtaining Access to ISD

Department contacts must attend a one-time training via UC Learning to obtain access to ISD. For information regarding obtaining access and resources visit the ISD webpage

Gather Required Documents

Note

List below is for quick reference. All required supporting documentation will need to be uploaded to ISD by the scholar and department contact. Please review the detailed information in the Scholar ISD instructions and Department ISD instructions.
Initial Requests (including transfer-in from other institution): Extension Request 
  • Recharge Fee
    • Scholar may be asked to pay, however the department must initiate the payment request which will trigger an email to the scholar.
  • Update the ISD fields noted in the Department extension ISD instructions page
  • Upload updated proof of funding
  • Upload new appointment letter
Amendment Request
  • Evidence will depend on the reason for the amendment typically updated proof of funding and a new appointment letter are necessary.

Amendment - Date Change (prior to scholar arrival at UCSD)

Department can submit date amendments by updating the relative date fields in ISD. Detailed instructions are included in the Department amendment ISD instructions page under the section "Amendment - Date Change (prior to scholar arrival at UCSD)."

  • No recharge fee or request form is required. 
  • Allow at least 5 business days for processing
  • We are unable to backdate the Start Date on a scholar's DS-2019; therefore we kindly ask that you date any new Start Date at least 5 days into the future upon submission
    • If it is an urgent request for a Start Date less than 5 days away, you should contact the advisor processing the request or ifsoisd@ucsd.edu.  

Amendment After Scholar Arrival to U.S. (Not a Date Amendment)

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 ISD. 

Detailed instructions are included in the Department amendment ISD instructions page under the section "Amendment After Scholar Arrival to U.S. (Not a Date Amendment)."

Please note: No recharge fee or request form is required. 

Extension

Departments can submit J-1 Extensions by updating relevant field information in ISD. Detailed instructions are included in the Department extension ISD instructions page

The extension end date cannot exceed the new appointment end date. 

Please note: No request form necessary.

Transfers

Transfer In to UC San Diego

For scholars transferring their J-1 from another institution, Departments will need to submit a J-1 initial application.Our office will need the name and contact information of the scholars current International Office Advisor to coordinate the transfer, this can be added in the notes section in ISD. The standard processing time is approximately 15 business days from the receipt of a completed J-1 Application and 5 business days with RUSH processing.

Please note for J-1 scholars Transferring to UC San Diego, we cannot issue the DS-2019 until the SEVIS release/start date. This may fall out of the 15-day business window depending on the transfer date.

International travel is NOT recommended when transferring in between positions.

Transfer Out from UC San Diego

Scholars should notify their advisor and department if they would like to transfer to another institution. The immigration advisor at the new institution should contact the scholars immigration advisor in our office to request the transfer of the J-1 record.

The IFSO standard processing time is approximately 15 business days.

In order to facilitate the transfer out to another J-1 program we will need the following Information from the prospective J-1 program sponsor/institution:

  • International Scholar Advisor contact name:
  • International Scholar Advisor email:
  • J-1 SEVIS program number (NOT the SEVIS number) P-X-XXXXX

The following will need to confirmed by your UCSD department administrator or Supervisor:

  1. Confirmation the scholar is in good standing with department from (department Admin or PI):
  2. Confirmation the scholar has maintained their J-1 status;
  3. Last date of employment at UCSD:

J-2 Request (After J-1 DS-2019 Issuance)

Typically, J-2 DS-2019’s are requested with the Initial and Extension Application for the primary scholar. However, there are instances where a J-2 DS-2019 may need to be requested after the J-1 DS-2019 issuance.

Please have the scholar view the Scholar ISD J-2 Request Instructions.

J-1 Student-Intern Category

Student Intern category is for or students who have not completed a bachelor's level degree program and are currently enrolled in one in their home country. 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.

The following eligibilities must be met:
  • The scholar must be currently enrolled and in good academic standing at an accredited postsecondary academic institution outside the U.S.
  • The scholar must be fulfilling educational objectives for their current degree program.
  • The scholar must plan to return to their home institution as an enrolled student after their J-1 program in the U.S.
  • The internship program at UCSD must be at least 32 hours/week and cannot include more than 20% clerical work.
Required Request forms to be submitted via ISD:

This J-1 Student Intern category requires additional documentation. During the ISD submission process for a J-1 Student Intern, the department will be required to complete fields in ISD for a DS-7002 Training/Internship Placement Plan. This information will be submitted to our office, who will then issue an official Form DS-7002 along with the DS-2019.

When it is ready for signature, the Form DS-7002 T/IPP must be signed by the scholar's PI/Supervisor via DOCUSIGN. 

  1. Go to docusign.ucsd.edu and login using your UCSD SSO credentials (active directory or business directory).
  2. Follow the instructions to complete signing the document.
  3. Click "Finish" when done signing.

Once the document has been signed by the supervisor it will be routed to the IFSO advisor for completion and will then be e-mailed to the student intern along with the DS-2019. All pages of the forms DS-7002 and DS-2019 must be printed and signed in ink by the student intern. This signed forms will be required by the US Consulate to issue the J-1 visa.

For processing instructions see the Supplemental Student Intern ISD instructions.

Review of Information and Issuance of Documents

Scholar Advisors will review all the information and documents submitted with this record. If anything is missing from the department or the scholar, we will be in contact with the scholar and/or the departmental administrator. Within 15 business days of a complete submission request, we will issue the Form DS-2019 and email it to the scholar and department contact.

J-1 Maintain Status, Completion, Departure or Separation

Student Intern Required Evaluation

The J-1 Student Intern category requires the submission of a written evaluation of the scholar's performance.

  • If the program is less than 6 months, we will require only one final evaluation
    • The evaluation should be submitted towards the end of the program.
  • If the program is longer than 6 months, we will require two evaluations
    • At both the midway and final points.

This evaluation should be submitted via ISD by the scholar. Our template may be used or the supervisor and scholar can create their own evaluation.

Leave of Absence Authorization

All J-1 scholars who will be out of the country for more than 30 days for business should notify our office. For additional leave of absence information visit IFSO's webpage Leave of Absence Authorization for information regarding requirements and how to request. 

Occasional Lectures and Consultations

Scholars may receive payment for occasional lectures or short-term consultations at another institution or company, provided certain requirements are met, and only with employment authorization from their Scholar Advisor. View the requirements and how to request authorization on the Occasional Lectures and Consultations webpage.

J-1 Program Completion

Scholars/Departments are obligated to notify us when a J-1 Exchange Visitor completes their program.

See Department Separation/Departure instructions regarding how to notify our office via ISD.