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Welcome to UGA!. J-1 Scholar Orientation International Student, Scholar, & Immigration Services Sylvia Schell Assistant Director. What is a J-1 Exchange Visitor. A foreign national temporarily in the U.S. under the U.S. Department of State

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welcome to uga

Welcome to UGA!

J-1 Scholar Orientation

International Student, Scholar, & Immigration Services

Sylvia Schell

Assistant Director

what is a j 1 exchange visitor
What is a J-1 Exchange Visitor

A foreign national temporarily in the U.S. under the U.S. Department of State

Purpose: Educational and Cultural Exchange (Not employment, although incidental employment is ok)

Expectation: Return to home country at end of program

j 1 categories at uga
J-1 Categories at UGA

Each category has its own rules and regulations.

*Changes of category require approval from DOS and are rarely granted.


Student Intern



Research Scholar

Short-Term Scholar

common acronyms
Common Acronyms
  • CBP: Customs and Border Protection
  • DHS: Department of Homeland Security
  • DOS: Department of State
  • EV: Exchange Visitor (J-1)
  • ICE: Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • SEVIS: Student and Exchange Visitor Information System
  • USCIS: United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
step 1 check in with issis
Step 1: Check-In with ISSIS
  • All exchange visitors & J-2 dependents are required to check in with ISSIS after arriving in the U.S. Validation of the SEVIS record will only occur after check-in is completed.
    • J-1 & J-2 Visa
    • Passport
    • Printed I-94
    • DS-2019
    • Proof of Health Insurance
    • Pay ISCF Fee
step 2 check in with uga departments
Step 2: Check In with UGA Departments

Check in with your Academic Department

Obtain UGA ID Card at UGA Card Office

Obtain UGA MyID. https://myid.uga.edu

If you receive payment or funding from UGA, Contact Susan Caldwell susanc@uga.edu

Complete New Employee Orientation

Sign Up for Health Insurance

Parking Permit with Parking Services

Post Doc Association: Contact Jessica Hawks - jhawks@uga.eduor opa@uga.edu

Open Bank Account

Obtain Social Security Number & Driver’s License

Check out ‘New to Campus’ at newtocampus.uga.edu

international scholar compliance fee iscf
International Scholar & Compliance Fee: ISCF
  • Unrelated to the I-901 SEVIS fee paid to the U.S. Government to obtain your visa, UGA has an ISCF that must be paid to OIE upon arrival:
  • This fee is:
    • $50 for a stay of 6 months or less
    • $100 for 6 months to a year & each year thereafter
    • The fee can be paid by check or money order payable to “UGA/OIE.”

Student Exchange Visitor Information System

The internet-based system streamlines reporting and record keeping within the Department of Homeland Security & Department of State

SEVIS ID number is assigned to all exchange visitors and their dependents within SEVIS that appears on the Form DS-2019

certificate of eligibility ds 2019
Certificate of EligibilityDS-2019

Generated by your Program Sponsor via SEVIS

Shows you have been accepted to participate in an exchange visitor program designated by the U.S. Department of State

Determines what date you are allowed to enter the U.S. and what date you should depart the U.S.

Should remain valid at all times

i 94 admission document
I-94: Admission Document
  • New Process!
  • Printed from cbp.gov/i94
  • “Determining” document:
  • Determines status in which

visitor is granted entry to the

  • U.S., and the duration of that


  • “D/S”=Duration of Status
  • You will print a new I-94 each time you enter the U.S.

Visa is placed in an individual’s passport and allows the person to travel to a U.S. port of entry and request permission to enter the U.S. Inspecting Officer will determine eligibility for entry into the U.S.

Obtaining a visa does not guarantee entry into the U.S.

Used for entry purposes only

Does not need to be valid to remain in the U.S.

Ok if it expires in U.S.

Does not determine legal status in U.S.

Must be obtained OUTSIDE the U.S.


Official identification while in the U.S.

Name in passport should be the same on all immigration documents

Should always have at least 6 months of validity

maintaining j status
Maintaining J Status

Comply with Health Insurance Requirements for self & dependents

Check-In with ISSIS- SEVIS Record is Validated

Attend ISSIS Orientation

Depart from US in a timely manner

Engage ONLY in activities listed on DS-2019

maintaining status cont
Maintaining Status (Cont…)

No Unauthorized Employment

Comply with all Local, State, and Federal Laws

Keep Passport current for at least 6 months in the future

Report Address Changes within 10 days of the move date

File timely & appropriate transfers & extensions

program termination
Program Termination
  • Exchange visitors who fail to comply with the J-1 regulations are subject to termination from their J-1 program
  • Reasons for termination can include:
    • Failure to conduct the activities listed on the DS-2019
    • Violation of the regulations of the exchange visitor program and/or rules of The University of Georgia
    • Willful failure to maintain the mandatory exchange visitor and dependent (if applicable) insurance coverage requirements, and;
    • Engagement in unauthorized employment
j1 j2 health insurance
J1/J2 Health Insurance
  • The U.S. Department of State requires all J-1 exchange visitors and their J-2 dependents to purchase and maintain medical health insurance coverage while in the United States including medical evacuation & repatriation insurance. It mandatory!
  • Minimum insurance requirements are:
    • Medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness;
    • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500;
    • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $10,000; and
    • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
  • Exchange visitors may continue their program objective under the sponsorship of another authorized sponsor in the U.S. by having their SEVIS record transferred to the new program sponsor.
  • Requirements for transfer of program include:
    • Program sponsor is approved by Department of State (DOS) to sponsor the same J Exchange Visitor category
    • Program objective/activity remains unchanged
    • Period of program will not exceed maximum DOS established period; and J Exchange Visitor checks in with new sponsor immediately following transfer date
    • Proof of acceptance to new sponsor is required before transferring
  • Further information concerning a transfer of program can be found:

J1 Exchange Visitor Transfer Out Request Form

departure form
As you finish your stay at the University of Georgia, we ask you to take a few moments to complete a departure form. The information gathered here will allow us to update your record in a timely manner.

The Notice of Departure form is located on our website:

J1 Exchange Visitor Departure Form

Departure Form
j1 travel
J1 Travel

For re-entry into the United States, the

exchange visitor needs:

  • Valid DS-2019
  • Valid travel signature (every year if traveling)
  • Valid passport
  • Valid visa (if subject to the requirement)

Temporary Absences – contact OIE before leaving

U.S. for extended period of time

* YOU WILL RECEIVE A NEW I-94 NUMBER EACH TIME YOU ENTER THE U.S., and can print your I-94 record at www.cbp.gov/i94*

extension of stay
Extension of Stay

Extensions are obtained for exchange visitors through the sponsoring department. Proper paperwork must be submitted to ISSIS 30 days before the end date of the J program

A professor or research scholar can be sponsored by UGA for a maximum period of five years

A short-term scholar program is limited to 6 months in duration. NO extensions granted

A specialist is limited to 1 year in duration. No extension granted

Your department will be required to initiate the extension request at Departmental Information for Hiring or Hosting a J-1 Exchange Visitor

two year home country residence requirement
Two-Year Home Country Residence Requirement
  • Requires a J-1 exchange visitor (EV) to return home for two years after completing a J-1 program, or be granted a waiver through DOS before changing status to an H, L or immigrant status
  • An EV is subject if one or more of the following are true:
    • His/her program is financed directly or indirectly by U.S. government, the EV’s own government, or an international organization
    • The EV’s home country has deemed his/her field of research or skill necessary to the development of that country, as shown on the Exchange Visitor Skills List
    • The EV has come to the U.S. to receive graduate medical education or training
  • J-1 “subjectivity” may be notated on J-1 visa stamp and/or DS-2019
  • Waivers must be filed directly by the J-1 to the DOS. ISSIS does not assist (conflict of interest)
12 month bar
12-Month Bar
  • A visiting scholar is not eligible to begin an exchange program as a Professor or Research Scholar based on a DS2019 issued “to begin a new program” if he or she was physically present in ‘any’ J status (including J-2) for “all or part of” the “twelve month period immediately preceding the date of program commencement set forth on his or her Form DS2019.”
  • If in the U.S. for less than 6 months OR as a short-term scholar, this does not apply
  • Example:
    • EV was a Research Scholar at UGA from 1/1/2013 – 8/1/2013 (7 months). EV is not eligible to return to UGA on another J-1 Research Scholar program until 08/01/2014 (12 months after end of 1st program). EV could come back earlier as a Short-Term Scholar
24 month bar
24 Month Bar

Repeat Participation As A Professor or Research Scholar

  • If the Professor or Research Scholar completes a full five years of program participation with one or more sponsors; or If, before the full five-year period is over, the Professor or Research Scholar completes his or her program. In this case, the continuity of the five-year period is broken, the five-year window is "closed," the individual is not eligible to access the remaining unused time, and the individual must wait for two years before beginning a new program as a J Professor or Research Scholar.
  • Must wait two years before holding the Professor or Research Scholar category again
  • Could possibly come back earlier as Short-Term Scholar
  • This rule is separate from and in addition to the:
  • 12 month bar
  • 2 Year Home Residency Requirement
  • Example:
    • EV completes Research Scholar program at UGA on 6/1/2013 and returns home. EV must wait until 6/1/2015 before returning to UGA as a Research Scholar. Could come back earlier as Short-term Scholar, as long as 12-month bar met.
j 2 dependents
J-2 Dependents

Exchange visitors with family members (spouse and/or children under the age of 21) may be eligible to have those family members accompany them during their stay

Dependents of J Exchange Visitors are granted J-2 status and are required to have a separate Form DS-2019 issued in order to apply for a J2 visa stamp

Dependents are required to carry health insurance meeting specific requirements as outlined in the insurance information.

Minor J2 dependents are allowed to attend kindergarten through high school. Adult J-2 dependents can study full or part-time

Dependents are subject to the Two Year Home Residency Requirement – 212(e) along with the J-1

Dependents are eligible to apply for work authorization once they arrive in the U.S. by filing an I-765 with the USCIS. Information can be found at: http://www.uscis.gov under immigration forms.

social security
Social Security
  • UGA Scholars who are actively employed on campus are eligible to apply for a social security number
  • The Social Security number is used by the U.S. Government to identify wage earners for tax purposes
  • To apply for a social security number, you need the following:
    • Valid passport
    • DS-2019
    • Printed I-94 record
    • Letter of offer/invitation from department
    • Mailing address: 1650 Prince Avenue, Athens, GA 30606-6027, 1-800-772-1213
    • Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Monday – Friday
  • For additional information go to www.ssa.gov
driver s license
Driver’s License
  • You can use your unexpired international driver’s license to drive in the U.S. for the first 12 months
  • To apply for a Georgia Driver License, you need the following
    • Social Security card (or denial letter from social security office if you are not eligible for a card)
    • Passport
    • Printed I-94 card Record
    • DS-2019 (Eligibility of Certificate)
    • Proof of residence in the state of Georgia such as:
      • Bank Statement showing your Georgia address
      • Current Lease agreement
      • Employer verification
      • Current utility bill (i.e. water, electricity or gas)
  • For more information, please contact GDDS at http://www.dds.ga.gov
payroll taxes
Payroll & Taxes

Susan Caldwell


Payroll Department

Room 204 Business Services Building

706-583-8193 fax:542-6779



j scholar listserv
J Scholar Listserv

This listserv is for scholars and UGA departmental faculty and staff.

Updated immigration and general information is sent out as needed.

If you are not getting messages please email issis@uga.edu and asked to be added to the Scholar Listserv!

walk in hours
Walk-In Hours

Tuesday 2 pm – 4 pm

Wednesday 2 pm – 4 pm

Thursday 9 am – 11 am

compliance unit j 1 exchange visitor program office
Compliance Unit- J-1 Exchange Visitor Program Office

Compliance Unit

Office of Exchange Coordination and Designation

Bureau of Educational and Cultural Exchanges

U.S. Department of State

301 4th Street, S.W., Room 734

Washington, D.C. 20547

Fax 202 203-5087



contact oie issis


Office of International EducationInternational Student Scholar & Immigration Services1324 South Lumpkin StreetAthens, GA 30602

Phone: (706) 542-2900Fax: (706) 583-0123