j-1 visa information
for Exchange visitors
THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT PEMBROKE
CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS
Professors, Researchers and Short-Term Scholars
This sheet is designed for international scholars who have been invited to this institution to teach or conduct research as J-1 exchange visitors.
The Form DS-2019 is your certificate of eligibility for J-1 status at this institution. Below you will find instructions on how to arrange your status properly.
The five-year time limit
The total stay in the United States for exchange visitors in the professor or research scholar categories is generally limited to five years. Extensions beyond that time are no longer possible. If you are now in the United States in your fifth year in either of these categories, please contact this institution’s international office so that we can verify that we have complete information on your time in J status. Once you have exhausted the five-year allocation, you must return to your home country for a minimum of two years before commencing an additional five year allocation.
If you are an exchange visitor in short-term scholar category, you are limited to six months in status with no possibility of extension.
The two-year home country physical presence requirement [212(e)]
Many, but not all exchange visitors are subject to the “two-year home country physical presence requirement.” Its purpose is to enable your home country to benefit from the experience that exchange visitors gain in the United States. For the terms of the requirement please see item 1(e) on page 2 of the enclosed Form DS-2019. If you have questions about the requirement, such as whether or not you will be subject to it, ask the consular officer when you apply for you visa, or in the international office of this institution.
In addition to the two-year home country physical presence requirement, Department of State has instituted a 12-month bar to entry as a J-1 in professor or researcher categories under certain circumstances. J-1 exchange visitors who have been in any J status in any category for more than 6 months of the 12 months preceding the start date of a new J program cannot return to the United States in J status in the categories of visiting researcher or professor until 12 months have passed from the date of departure from the United States. It is sometimes the case of that a J student will complete his or her degree and wish to return to the United States shortly to take up research which seems to be an extension of the degree program. Although it may be logical for such a person to reenter in J-1 status in the professor or researcher category, he or she may not do so until he or she has spent twelve months outside the United States. This bar is independent of the two-year home country physical presence requirement and applies to all exchange visitors.
PART I. IF YOU ARE NOT YET IN THE UNITED STATES…
To enter the United States as a J-1 scholar under this institutions sponsorship, you must have a valid J-1 visa stamp in your passport. To apply for your visa you first must make payment of your SEVIS fee. Information on how to make the payment is available at www.FMJvisa.com. You must then take this institution’s Form DS-2019 and your passport to a U.S. consulate. The consular officer may ask you to provide evidence of funding other than funds offered by this university. (Appropriate evidence may include a letter of award or support, a bank statement, proof of income, etc.) If your dependents will accompany you, they will need J-2 visas, and you should take their passports with you to the consulate and be prepared to show proof of marriage to your spouse and parenthood of each child.
Two special notes:
I-94 Departure Record card and your Form DS-2019
When you arrive in the United States, an United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) officer will give you two important documents, which you should keep in your passport: the I-94 Departure Record card (and after inspection, will return) your Form DS-2019. These documents are your only proof of J-1 status, and you will need them for purposes such as extending your permission to stay in the United States and reentering this country after temporary trips abroad. You should keep the Form DS-2019 permanently. It is also advisable, after your arrival, to photocopy the identification pages of your passport, your visa stamp, I-94 Departure Record card, and the Form DS-2019 and keep them separate from the originals for use in applying for replacements if the originals should be lost or stolen.
Part II. IF YOU ARE ALREADY IN THE UNITED STATES AS A J-1 SCHOLAR…
You may change your J-1 sponsorship to this institution either by leaving the country and reentering or by “transferring”--as long as you remain within the overall five-year limit.
Leaving and reentering
If you go abroad and come back into the United States using this institution’s Form DS-2019, your re-entry will enable you to affiliate with this institution. However, the “leaving and reentering” procedure may not work if you travel to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean islands for less than 30 days. This is because the Immigration Inspector at the port of entry may return your Form DS-2019 to you intact and unmarked, and refuse to record your reentry. If that happens to you, you will have to proceed as though you had not gone abroad, and either leave North America and reenter the United States, or else carry out the following “transfer” procedure.
Transferring programs without leaving the country by changing J-1 sponsorship
Transferring from one institution to another is only permitted to conduct the same essential activities indicated on the original DS-2019, and requires a coordinated effort between you, your current sponsor and this institution. Along with the proper entries in your SEVIS record, your current institution’s responsible officer must complete and sign item 8 on your DS-2019. That will release you to this institution’s sponsorship. If your present sponsor is unwilling to sign item 8, call this institution’s international office. Be aware that you must complete transfer or extension procedures within the dates on your DS-2019 and prior to commencing activities at UNCP
Transferring by notification. You may use this procedure only if your I-94 Departure Record card shows “Duration of Status” or “D/S” instead of a specific expiration date. Bring your Form DS-2019, with required signatures, to this institution’s international office for advising.
Transferring by application. You must use this procedure if your I-94 Departure Record card show a specific expiration date.
PART III. LATER- EXTENDING YOUR PERMISSION TO STAY IN THE UNITED STATES
Your permission to stay in the United States ends on the date shown on you I-94 Departure Record card-unless the card is marked “Duration of Status” or “D/S.” In that case your permission to stay will expire 30 days after the date shown in item 3 of your Form DS-2019. If an extension is necessary, be sure to arrange it ahead of time by contacting your J-1 Responsible Officer at least two months before the expiration date shown on your Form DS-2019, in item 3. Be aware that you must extend your stay during the bracket dates on your DS-2019. Once you are into the 30-day grace period, you may not extend you stay by notification. Consult your Responsible Officer for details.
PART IV. –SHORT TRIPS OUT OF THE UNITED STATES
To come back into the United States in J-1 status, you will need to have the Travel Revalidation of the Form DS-2019 endorsed by your J-1 Responsible Officer confirming both your affiliation with this institution and the continuing availability of financial support. Before endorsing your DS-2019, the Responsible Officer will first have to see proof of funding for the exchange period. If you will be leaving North America you will need a valid visa stamp to reenter this country. If your visa has expired, you will have to apply for a new one at a U.S. consulate abroad (see “Visa Stamp” in Part I). The visa applicant must present all the recently endorsed Form DS-2019 to consular officer and may be required to provide proof of funding for your remaining exchange period.
PART V. MISCELLANEOUS
This institution cannot make arrangements for your housing, and you ought therefore to plan to arrive some time before the beginning of the date of your program. Visiting J-1 professors and research scholars may seek the assistance of their academic departments in locating appropriate housing. Several apartments are within walking distance of the campus and it is advisable to lease them well before the academic year begins. Other apartments may require the use of a bicycle or automobile. Some are available with furniture; others are rented without furniture. All require the tenant to pay one month’s rent in advance and another months rent as a damage deposit.
Other likely costs
Other costs incurred may include health insurance, food, transportation and miscellaneous expenses. For basic living expenses, an exchange visitor should expect to spend a minimum of $1,345 per month, plus $500 for accompanying spouse and $350 for each child.
Health Care and Insurance
This institution operates a health center (clinic) for students. Because it is partially supported by student fees, its services are available only to students and not to non- student faculty members, visiting professors, or research scholars. Services may be acquired by the payment of current fee available to UNCP employees.
Exchange visitors are required as a condition of their J-1 status in the United States to carry health insurance for themselves and their accompanying family members. By government regulation, minimum coverage must provide $50,000 per accident or illness; $7,500 for repatriation of remains; $10,000 for medical evacuation to the home country; and a “deductible” not to exceed $500 per accident or illness. Co-insurance payable by the exchange visitor or sponsor may not exceed 25 percent. Coverage may not exclude any risks inherent in the activities of your exchange visitor program. The company providing the insurance must have an A.M. Best rating of “A-“ or higher, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of “A-1” or higher, a Standard & Poors Claim-Paying Ability rating of “A-“ or higher, or a Weiss Research Inc. rating of “B+” or higher.
The University System of North Carolina provides a preferred health plan for students and scholars, which meets the requirements indicated. Premiums will be payable for individual medical insurance each semester and summer. Coverage for accompanying family members may cost an additional $1,500 per year or more.
Exchange visitor professors and researchers who do not obtain their insurance before arriving at this institution should have the funds available to purchase it from the institution, for themselves and their dependents, no later than the day they arrive on campus. Coverage for the family members of non-students is expensive ($2,100 or more per year for an adult couple with additional costs for children).
It is possible that the exchange visitor may be considered an employee of UNCP and as such may be covered by the University health plan. This plan does not cover the medical evacuation and repatriation coverages required by law. You may apply for additional insurance to provide these coverages upon arrival at UNCP.
In the United States certain kinds of elective medical care, such as eyeglasses or dentistry are ordinarily not covered by insurance, and they are very expensive. To the extent possible you should take care of such needs before leaving home.
University Policy and Procedure
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke reserves the right to set policies, requirements and restrictions above and beyond those set by the Department of State and/or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.
Updated: Saturday, May 23, 2009
© The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
PO Box 1510 Pembroke, NC 28372-1510 • 910.521.6000