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International Education

J-1 Exchange Visitor Information

Request Form Procedures

The Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) has designated the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia as program sponsor for Exchange Visitor Program No. P-1-05814. Under this program, the University System is allowed to issue a “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status” (Form DS-2019) to enable foreign visitors who meet the eligibility criteria to apply for a J-1 visa and subsequently enter the United States. Exchange Visitor Program - US Dept. of State

The USG’s J-1 program is administered by the University System Office of International Education. The International Education is authorized to issue Form DS-2019 to persons who are to engage in USG’s J-1 program in the following categories:

  • PROFESSOR: A person who is engaging in this program for the purpose of teaching or conducting advanced research or both at a USG institution (5-year program limit).
  • RESEARCH SCHOLAR: A person who is engaging in a research program at the USG for the purpose of undertaking or participating in research or demonstrating and sharing specialized knowledge or skills (5-year program limit).
  • SHORT-TERM SCHOLAR: A person who is participating in USG’s J-1 program for six months or less (no extensions).
  • SPECIALIST: A person considered an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill who is coming to the U.S. for observing, consulting, or demonstrating special skills (one-year limit).
  • STUDENT: A person who is engaging in an academic program at one of the USG institutions for the purpose of pursuing formal courses, or any combination of courses, research or teaching that leads to a recognized program objective, degree or certificate at the USG institution.
  • INTERN: A student who is enrolled in and pursuing studies at a post-secondary institution outside the US who utilizes the Exchange Visitor program to enter the US and participate in a guided work-based internship program in his or her field of study.

J-1 STUDENT ELIGIBILITY

Students are eligible for the Exchange Visitor Program only if at any time during their college studies in the United States:

  1. they or their program are financed directly or indirectly by the United States government, the government of their home country, or an international organization of which the United States is a member by treaty or statute;
  2. the programs are carried our pursuant to an agreement between the United States government and a foreign government;
  3. the programs are carried out pursuant to a written agreement between U.S. and foreign educational institutions, between a U.S. educational institution and a foreign government, or between a state or local government in the United States and a foreign government; and
  4. the exchange visitor is supported substantially by funding from any source other than personal or family funds. [22 CFR 514.23 (c)]

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Any USG faculty or staff member wishing to sponsor a J-1 Exchange Visitor must complete the DS-2019 request form and forward it - along with a clear copy of the exchange visitor’s passport and proof of sufficient funds - to the Board of Regents Office of International Education no less than two months prior to the beginning date of the J-1 program, taking into account adequate mailing and processing time. The institutional sponsor will be contacted if additional information is required to determine visitor eligibility. If there are any questions regarding J-1 procedures, the following person is available for assistance:

Doug Podoll PhD GPHR
Director, International Education
Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia
doug.podoll@usg.edu
Phone: 404-962-3061

After receiving the completed request form, the System Office will issue a Form DS-2019 and send it to the USG sponsoring institution via express mail. The Form DS-2019, along with information about mandatory health insurance, pre-arrival and orientation information, and other relevant documents, is then sent to the exchange visitor by the USG host institution. The exchange visitor will use the Form DS-2019 to apply for a J-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consular Post in the home country.

IMMEDIATE FAMILY

An exchange visitor is allowed to bring immediate family members to the U.S. provided that the exchange visitor document support funds available for the dependents (see below). The family may either accompany the visitor or enter the U.S. separately at a later date. Specific information is required for each family member, and the family data section in the request form must be completed. Dependents of exchange visitors will enter in J-2 visa status. J-2 status is limited to the spouse and any dependent, unmarried, minor children of the J-1 Exchange Visitor. A J-2 visa holder may apply for work authorization through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services after arrival.

COST ESTIMATES

The departmental sponsor must verify that adequate funding is available for the incoming Exchange Visitor and accompanying dependents. The following figures constitute an approximate cost estimate (based on monthly maintenance rates suggested by the Institute of International Education):

LIVING EXPENSES (per month)  
J-1 EXCHANGE VISITOR (STUDENT/SCHOLAR) $1,800
SPOUSE $500
CHILD (EACH) $300
HEALTH INSURANCE (per year)  
J-1 EXCHANGE VISITOR (STUDENT/SCHOLAR) $800 - $2,000
SPOUSE $4,000 - $5,000
CHILD $2,500 - $3,000

HEALTH INSURANCE

Health insurance for all J-1 visitors and their dependents is mandatory and must be valid for the entire length of the Exchange Visitor Program. Specific information regarding insurance should be provided to all exchange visitors prior to their arrival. Exchange visitors and all accompanying dependents will be terminated from the J-1 program if they are not in compliance with mandatory health insurance regulations. See: Mandatory Health Insurance Coverage

U.S. ENTRY

When an exchange visitor enters the United States, the port-of-entry official will inspect and stamp the Form DS-2019 of the exchange visitor and will approve the I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. The I-94 documents the visitor’s arrival date, port of entry, and admission number. The I-94 should be kept with the visitor’s passport while in the U.S. and must be surrendered upon departure. This DS-2019, passport, the J-1 visa and the I-94 are the documents required for I-9 processing by the personnel office at the visitor’s USG institution. The Form DS-2019 and the I-94 are also used to facilitate re-entry after travel outside the U.S. The Form DS-2019 must be certified for re-entry by the program’s Responsible Officer or Alternate Responsible Officer at the System Office prior to travel. This process takes at least 7-10 business days, not including mail time, so please allow ample time for this process.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF USG DEPARTMENT SPONSORS AND THEIR INSTITUTIONS

The USG host institutions have a responsibility to carry out all J-1 Exchange Visitor Program requirements on behalf of the Board of Regents. In requesting an Exchange Visitor through the J-1 program, the USG host institution agrees to the following:

  1. Confirm the arrival and program start date of all J exchange visitors and dependents within three days of arrival.
  2. Provide a copy of the visitor’s passport, visa stamp, I-94 departure/arrival record, DS-2019, and proof of the visitor’s insurance coverage to the International Education (IE) office within three days of the Exchange Visitor’s arrival.
  3. Provide cross-cultural activities for participants for the purpose of sharing the language, culture, or history of the visitor’s home country.
  4. Adhere to all regulations governing the exchange program.
  5. Provide accurate, updated, and complete information to the Office of International Education regarding the visitor’s local Georgia address and phone number within 7 days of any change. Change of Address Form
  6. Provide adequate staffing and sufficient support services to exchange program participants and ensure that all employees, officers, and third parties involved in the administration of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program are adequately qualified, appropriately trained, and in compliance with Exchange Visitor Program regulations.
  7. Inform the USG International Office of any changes in the exchange visitor’s status, legal name, and early program termination. For exchange visitor students, the sponsoring institution will provide the student’s arrival date and class registration/enrollment date. Students who drop below a full course of study must also be reported to International Education. The institution must also immediately inform the USG International Education office of any disciplinary action taken against the student as a result of the student’s conviction of a crime.
  8. Provide pre-arrival information to participants, including:
    • the purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program
    • the home-country physical presence requirement
    • travel and entry into the United States
    • housing and other fees
    • living expenses and other costs
    • insurance requirements and health and emergency care
    • additional information that will assist the participant to prepare for his or her stay in the U.S.
  9. Offer appropriate orientation for all exchange visitors and their family members regarding:
    • life and customs in the United States
    • local community resources (public transportation, libraries, recreation centers, banks, schools)
    • health care, emergency care, and insurance coverage
    • the description of the Exchange Visitor Program
    • the rules and procedures the exchange visitors are required to follow
    • the name and phone number of the USG Department Sponsor and Academic Advisor/staff member responsible for Exchange Visitors
    • the address of the sponsor and the name and phone number of the Responsible Officer, and a copy of the Exchange Visitor Program Regulations.
  10. Monitor the exchange visitors to ensure that they engage in the activities described on the Form DS-2019.

Resources

What a Student Can Expect
Social Security Information for International Visitors
Employment for J Exchange Visitor Students
Exchange Visitor Program Information
New Requirements for J Exchange Visitors
Academic Training Request Form
Pursuing Employment in the US
Does the J-1 Home Residency Requirement Apply?
US-VISIT