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UTA J-1 Scholar Information For Hosting Academic Departments

J-exchange Visitor Program Information

Welcome to the Office of International Education J-1 scholar web page. This information is for the University of Texas at Arlington Academic Departments who are interested in hosting J-exchange visitors. 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.

For information on H-1B temporary nonimmigrant worker visas and the University's sponsorship of foreign national employees for permanent resident status, please visit:  https://www.uta.edu/hr/international-employees/h1b.php

Requesting DS-2019

To host a J-exchange visitor, the host academic department must first assign an academic liaison who will serve as primary departmental contact for the Office of International Education (OIE). The departmental liaison is responsible for ensuring compliance with J-exchange visitor procedures. The departmental contact will create an account for the visiting scholar in MyMav. This is important for future automatic data transfer from MyMav to the Sunapsis system. The host academic department will then initiate the J-1 process by emailing all required documentation listed under “Required Forms to Request DS-2019” to jinfo@uta.edu. Office of International Education will process the DS-2019 and other supporting documentation. When the DS-2019 is ready, OIE will inform the host department. The host department will mail the documents to the prospective exchange visitor. The exchange visitor will make an appointment for J-1 visa. Please note that it may take several months to receive the visa.

Reporting Exchange Visitor Arrival to UT Arlington

Upon arrival to the U.S. and UT Arlington, the scholar must report to the Office of International Education for mandatory orientation and program validation. The host academic department is expected to confirm orientation completion with the exchange visitor.
During the orientation:

  1. OIE will validate program participation, verify mandatory health insurance coverage, and provide helpful information about getting settled in Arlington.
  2. New scholar orientations are every Friday from 3 to 4 p.m. OIE is located at 1022 UTA Blvd.
  3. If the exchange visitor is not able to arrive by the program start date indicated on the DS-2019, the host academic department must notify OIE so that a new DS-2019 can be processed if appropriate.

The departmental contact will request physical and system access to the visitor. It is always important that the access matches J-exchange visitor program dates.

Upon Departure from UT Arlington

Exchange visitors must conclude their program at UTA by the program end date indicated on their DS-2019 form. They can legally remain in the U.S. for an additional 30 days (grace period). If an exchange visitor departs the U.S. 14 days or more prior to the program end date indicated on DS-2019, it is important that the host academic department contacts Office of International Education so that the DS-2019 can be updated accordingly. Host academic departments are expected follow normal University exit procedures and must submit the exit e-form to OIE through Sunapsis System at the conclusion of the visit. OIE will serve as the central record holder, however it is important the host academic department also keep copy of the documents for their own records.

Required Forms to Request DS-2019

  1. Exchange visitor information form
  2. Dependent information form (if applicable)
  3. Memorandum for DS-2019
  4. Verification of English language ability (through a sponsor-conducted interview, by a recognized English language test, or by signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school).
  5. Verification of sufficient finances to support self and dependents if applicable for the entire stay in the United States
    https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/temporary-workers.html
  6. Copy of passport ID page (if available)
  7. Resume or CV

    * J-1 Scholars->USD 1329.08/month

    * J-2 Spouse -> USD 417/month

    * J-2 Child -> USD 417/month



Please submit all the required documents to jinfo@uta.edu for processing.

Exchange Visitor Program Requirements

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, but also 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 $100,000 per accident/illness, with no more than a $500 deductible.
  2. Coverage of at least $25,000 for repatriation of remains in case of death.
  3. Coverage of at least $50,000 for medical evacuation to the home country.
    Health Insurance Companies

J-scholars must submit proof of eligible health insurance upon arrival at UTA. The coverage preferably covers the duration of stay.

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.

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 documented interview conducted by the sponsor either in-person or by video conference, or by telephone if video conference is not a viable option. PLEASE INCLUDE COPY OF THE INTERVIEW RESULTS.
    Sample English proficiency letter

SEVIS Fee

Exchange Visitors are required to pay a $220 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.

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.

Additional Resources The Exchange Visitor Program Welcome Brochure

The U.S. Department of State has developed the following welcome brochure to introduce you to the Exchange Visitor Program:
https://j1visa.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Brochure-The-Exchange-Visitor-Program.pdf

Wilberforce Pamphlet (Rights and Protections for Temporary Workers)

If you will be working in the United States during your exchange visitor program, please take time to read the pamphlet for temporary workers:
https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/temporary-workers.html

J-Extension

In order to extend a J-1 visitors time in the US past his/her original entry documents the host academic 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.
Please submit the following:

  1. Exchange visitor information form
  2. Dependent information form (if applicable)
  3. Memorandum for DS-2019
  4. Proof of current health insurance coverage

Contact for J-1 Scholars

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