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UTA J-1 Scholar Information

Welcome to the Office of International Education J-1 scholar web page. This page is intended to provide general information to J-1 scholars, J-2 dependents and the sponsoring departments at University of Texas at Arlington.

For information on H-1B temporary nonimmigrant worker visas and the University's sponsorship of foreign national employees for permanent resident status, please visit http://www.uta.edu/hr/eos/international-employees/index.php

J-1 Scholar Overview

Under the Exchange Visitor status, scholars, professors, researchers and others may come to the United States for temporary periods for the purpose of educational exchange. Any international visitor who has sufficient academic training to benefit from an academic or professional program at a U.S. college or university may be eligible for this status. However, if the university is hiring an international employee into a tenure track position, the J-1 status may not be appropriate. The J Exchange Visitor program is designed for temporary exchanges rather than long-term employment. Specific information about the visitor, the period of the assignment and the source of financial support is necessary for the preparation of the "Certificate of Eligibility" (Form DS-2019) for Exchange Visitor (J-1) status. This document will be used by the visitor to obtain the appropriate J-1 visa to enter the United States as a Professor, Research Scholar, or Short-term Scholar and to be eligible to receive a salary when one is included in the appointment. Immediate dependents of the J-1 visa holder qualify for J-2 status and may apply for employment authorization, if desired.

Health Insurance Requirement

Health insurance is a mandatory requirement for J-1 scholars and their dependents. Failure to maintain adequate coverage as defined by the U.S. Department of State is grounds for termination of legal status.
It is not only unwise to be in the United States without adequate health insurance, it is a violation of J-1 status. Although in many countries the government bears the expense of health care for its citizens, individuals and families in the United States are responsible for these costs themselves. Since a single day of hospitalization and medical treatment can cost thousands of dollars, many hospitals and clinics refuse to treat uninsured patients except in life-threatening emergencies. A good medical insurance plan is the only protection against the enormous costs of health care in the USA. The visitor is required to certify that he/she has the required levels of health, medical, evacuation and repatriation insurance for himself/herself and dependents. The U.S. Department of State defines adequate coverage as:
  1. Coverage of at least $50,000 per accident/illness, with no more than a $500 deductible
  2. A maximum of at least $7,500 for repatriation of remains in case of death;
  3. A maximum of at least $10,000 for medical evacuation to the home country.

 

Please note upcoming insurance changes:

Item Current 62.14 Reg. Final Rule (Effective 05/15/2015)
Medical Benefits $50,000 $100,000
Reparation of remains $7,500 $25,000
Medical Evacuation $10,000 $50,000
Deductible per accident or illness $500 $500

Funding Requirements

The initial request by the hiring department can be for up to a maximum of five years. Verification of financial support is required. Funding may be from the university, the Exchange Visitor's government, personal funds or a combination of these sources. Documents verifying financial support from a source other than UTA must be included with the request for DS-2019 to Satu Birch, Director of International Student & Scholar Services, Office of International Education at sbirch@uta.edu

English Language requirement

The exchange visitor must be able to participate in his or her program and to function on a day-to-day basis in English. Suggested objective measurements of English Language Proficiency as per U.S. Department of State [22 CFR 62.11(a)(2)]

  1. A recognized English Language Test; (IELTS speaking score of 5, iBT speaking score of at least 18-25, or TOEIC speaking score of at least 6)
  2. Signed documentation from an academic institution or English Language School; or
  3. A document interview conducted by the sponsor either in-person or by video conference, or by telephone if video conference is not 
a viable option

SEVIS Fee

Exchange Visitors are required to pay a $180 SEVIS fee before applying for the J-1 visa. Office of International Education (OIE) provides a guide to the visitors along with their DS-2019 to inform them of the fee and the payment process. More information can be found at SEVIS Fee Homepage.

J-Extension

In order to extend a J-1 visitors time in the US past his/her original entry documents the department must take the first step by submitting an extension request to the Office of International Education. This must be done before the current program end date on the DS-2019. Please note that 5-7 business days should be allowed for processing. For more information regarding the request, please email Satu Birch, Director of International Student & Scholar Services, Office of International Education at sbirch@uta.edu

212 e Home Residency Requirement

The J status has special restrictions and requirements for the Exchange Visitor. The visitor may be subject to the "two-year home residency requirement" if funding is from government sources or if the academic area of the visitor is on the "Exchange Visitor's Skills List" for his/her country of last legal residence. Being "subject" to this requirement means that the visitor must return to the country of legal residence for two years immediately following completion of the J-1 program. A waiver may be requested, but is not guaranteed. More information can be found at US State Department J Visa Waivers Homepage

Maintaining Your J-1 Status

As a J-1 visiting scholar at University of Texas at Arlington, you have been admitted for a specific period of time to engage in a particular research or teaching activity, as described on your DS-2019 form. You must take care during your stay to maintain lawful J-1 status, as failure to do so can have serious long-term consequences for you. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure that your stay in the U.S. remains valid:
  1. Be aware of the expiration date of your status. This is not your visa expiration date; it is the ending date in section 3 of your DS-2019 form. If your appointment at the University is extended, the hiring department must contact OIE before the current expiration date of the current form to have the DS-2019 form extended. 
  2. Do not accept unauthorized employment. The only activity you are permitted is the one described in section 4 of the DS-2019 form. You must consult OIE beforehand if you wish to take up any other work during your stay.  
  3. If offered a comparable position at another college or university, discuss your plans with OIE to make sure that the required transfer procedure can be accomplished. 
  4. Comply with the U.S. Department of State health insurance requirements for J-1 visa holders and their families. Willful disregard of these requirements will result in termination of your program and your J-1 status.
  5. Keep your passport valid. Passports can be renewed by your consulate in the United States. For a listing of Foreign Embassies in the U.S., go to the US State Department Web Sites of Foreign Embassies Homepage.

Forms

  1. Exchange visitor information form
  2. Dependent information form
  3. Memorandum for DS-2019
   Additional documents:
  1. Verification of sufficient finances to support self and dependents if applicable for the entire stay in the United States

    * J-1 Scholars->USD 1086/month

    * J-2 Spouse -> USD 417/month

    * J-2 Child -> USD 417/month

Contact for J-1 Scholars

For specific questions and concerns, please contact Satu Birch, Director of International Student & Scholar Services at sbirch@uta.edu or at (817) 272-2355.