Skip to main content
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Home > FAQs >

FAQs - J-1 Visas

What is a J-1 student visa?

A visa program through the U.S. Department of State which provides “…foreign students the opportunity to participate in a designated exchange program while studying at a degree-granting post-secondary accredited educational institution. Exchange visitors under this category may participate in degree and non-degree programs. Such exchanges are intended to promote mutual understanding by fostering the exchange of ideas between foreign students and their American counterparts.” 22 CFR 62.23 , Chapter I, Subpart B (a)

Who is eligible for a J-1 student visa from Dartmouth College?

  •  Students who have been admitted to Dartmouth College. See 22 CFR 62.23, Chapter I, Subpart B (d). And
  •  Students studying in the United States under a program carried out pursuant to a written agreement e.g. between Dartmouth College and a foreign educational institution or foreign government or who are supported substantially by funding from any source other than personal or family funds. See 22 CFR 62.23, Chapter I, Subpart B (c)(3) and (4).

How does one obtain a J-1 student visa to attend Dartmouth College as an exchange visitor?


J-1 Student Status

1. What types of activities are allowed under a J-1 exchange visitor visa?

Dartmouth College is authorized to offer five categories of J-1 visa status:

• Professor

• Research Scholar

• Short term Scholar

• Student (degree and non-degree)

• Specialist

See http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ovis/updates/j1/categories.html for more complete descriptions of each category.

2. What is required of the exchange visitor to maintain J-1 student status?

• Valid unexpired documents – DS-2019, passport, and Form I-94 marked “D/S”.  If you entered the U.S. by land the Form I-94 will be a white card stapled to your passport.  If you entered the U.S. by air or see you will receive an Admission stamp in your passport, and a Form I-94 will be created electronically by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).  You can access and print your electronic Form I-94 here

• Full-time enrollment, defined as three (3) courses at the undergraduate level. Graduate level program enrollment differs according to the particular graduate program requirements.

• Only authorized employment.

• Satisfactory advancement towards completion of the academic program

• Adequate health insurance coverage for the entire period of program participation.

• Timely report of any address changes, within 10 days of the change.

3. May a J-1 student work on campus?

Yes, with prior approval from their Office of Visa and Immigration Services Advisor for the specific employment, for up to twelve months.

• The student must be in good academic standing.

• The student must continue to engage in a full course of study, except for official school breaks and during the student’s annual vacation term.

4. How many hours a week may a J-1 student work on campus?

Employment may be no more than 20 hours per week, except during official school breaks and the student’s annual vacation term when employment may be “full time.”

5. May a J-1 student work off-campus?

Yes, this is called “Academic Training” and must be approved by the Academic Dean or Advisor and by the OVIS Advisor. The approval must be for the specific employment, in advance and in writing, for up to 18 months or no longer than the duration of the student’s academic program.

6. Must a J-1 student receive wages for academic training?

No. The student may participate in academic training programs during his or her studies, with or without wage or remuneration. Advance written permission from the OVIS Advisor is required in any event.

7. What type of employment may a J-1 student accept?

On campus employment must be for Dartmouth College, and may be in any student-related area of the college, e.g. dining hall, library, research for a professor, etc.

Off-campus academic training must be directly related to the student’s major field of study as listed on his or her Form DS-2019.

8. What information does the OVIS Advisor require to approve Academic Training?

  • A letter from the Academic Dean or Advisor which:
  • Describes the goals and objectives of the specific training program;
  • Describes the training program, its location, the name and address of the training supervisor, number of hours per week, and dates of the training;
  • Explains how the training relates to the student's major field of study; and
  • Explains why it is an integral or critical part of the academic program of the exchange visitor student.

9. Is part-time employment allowed?

Yes. Students should see their OVIS Advisor for more information.

10. What is the Two Year Home Residency Requirement?

Known as rule 212(3), the Two-Year Home Residency may be imposed by the Consulate issuing the visa, for J exchange visitors who:

  1. were financed in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by an agency of the U.S. Government or by the exchange visitor’s government, or are nationals or residents of a country which have been designated by the Department of State as requiring the skills of the exchange visitor (see the State Department Skills List in the Office of Visa and Immigration Services).
  2. These J exchange visitors must return to their country of nationality or last residence after completing their program in the United States, and reside there physically for two years before they become eligible to apply for an immigrant or temporary worker visa (H or L visas). See 22 CFR 514.44 and see http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ovis/updates/j1/index.html

11. What is the Twelve Month Bar?

An individual may not enter in the J-1 category of professor or research scholar if he or she has been physically present in the United States in J-1 status for all or part of the twelve month period immediately preceding the date of program commencement as stated on his or her Form DS-2019, unless:

  • The participant is transferring to the sponsor's program and has not exceeded the maximum allowed time of three years;
  • The participant's presence in the United States was of less than six months duration; or
  • The participant's presence in the United States was pursuant to a short-term scholar exchange activity.

Please contact the Office of Visa and Immigration Services if you have any questions about the 12-month bar. http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ovis/updates/j1/barinfo.html

12. What are the requirements for J-1 travel?

All travelers who plan to re-enter the U.S. require

• A valid passport;

• A valid DS-2019 (for J-1 visa holders) with a valid travel signature;

• A valid J-1 visa stamp (unless the person is from Canada);

• A valid Form I-94:

    • If you entered the U.S. by land -- will be a white card which is usually stapled to the passport

    • If you entered the U.S. by air or sea -- will be processed electronically by CBP.  After you enter the U.S. you can access and print an electronic Form I-94 here.

• Proof of financial support

We also recommend:

• Copies of academic transcripts to verify enrollment and academic progress for students.

See full information on the OVIS website: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ovis/updates/j1/travel.html

13. What if the exchange visitor needs more time to complete the academic program?

J exchange visitors who are maintaining status, and who require more time to complete their academic program, must apply for an extension. Eligibility for a program extension will depend on each individual's circumstances and program category. Extensions must be done prior to the end of the current DS-2019 by submitting the form “DS-2019 extension request” to the OVIS Advisor. The form is found here: https://fs8.formsite.com/Rcatmur/ProgramExtension/secure_index.html

The student must simultaneously contact the Registrar’s office to verify their new anticipated graduation date or program end date.

14. Can a J-1 exchange visitor transfer to another college or university?

Yes, if the program sponsor is approved for the J-1 visitor category and if the purpose of the transfer is to complete the program objective for which the exchange visitor was admitted, and if it is in the same J-1 category. Contact the Office of Visa and Immigration Services for specific information about transfer.

15. What is the Health Insurance requirement for J-1 exchange visitors?

All exchange visitors are required by law to have sickness and accident insurance, as well as medical evacuation and repatriation insurance, for the duration of their program. Failure to carry such insurance is considered a violation of regulations. Contact the Office of Visa and Immigration Services for specific information about the coverage requirements imposed by law.

16. Can a J-1 exchange visitor bring a dependent to the U.S.?

Yes. Spouses and unmarried minor children under the age of 21 are eligible for J-2 dependent status. Funding for the support of the dependents, as well as required health insurance must be shown before any J-2 documentation may be issued.

 

What if the exchange visitor needs more time to complete the academic program?

J exchange visitors who are maintaining status, and who require more time to complete their academic program, must apply for an extension. Eligibility for a program extension will depend on each individual's circumstances and program category. Extensions must be done prior to the end of the current DS-2019 by submitting the form “DS-2019 extension request” to the OVIS Advisor. The form is found here

The student must simultaneously contact the Registrar’s office to verify their new anticipated graduation date or program end date.

Can a J-1 exchange visitor transfer to another college or university?

Yes, if the program sponsor is approved for the J-1 visitor category and if the purpose of the transfer is to complete the program objective for which the exchange visitor was admitted, and if it is in the same J-1 category. Contact the Office of Visa and Immigration Services for specific information about transfer.

What is the Health Insurance requirement for J-1 exchange visitors?

All exchange visitors are required by law to have sickness and accident insurance, as well as medical evacuation and repatriation insurance, for the duration of their program. Failure to carry such insurance is considered a violation of regulations. Contact the Office of Visa and Immigration Services for specific information about the coverage requirements imposed by law.

Can a J-1 exchange visitor bring a dependent to the U.S.?

Yes. Spouses and unmarried minor children under the age of 21 are eligible for J-2 dependent status. Funding for the support of the dependents, as well as required health insurance must be shown before any J-2 documentation may be issued.

J-1 Scholar Visa Applications 

How much are the visa application fees?

The Machine Readable Visa fee (MRV fee) is $131.00 (accurate as of 2008).  More information on visa fees can be found online, here: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1263.html

Depending on your country's policy on fees for U.S. citizens, there may also be a "reciprocity fee" that you will have to pay.  You can find information on the reciprocity fees online, here: http://travel.state.gov/visa/fees/fees_3272.html

If you are applying for a J-1 visa in the researcher, professor, student or specialist categories, you must also pay a SEVIS fee of $180.00 (accurate as of 2008).  You can find more information on how to pay the SEVIS fee online, here: https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/

How long will it take to get my visa?

This depends on many factors, among them, what type of visa, which Consulate, and whether your application will be subject to a security clearance check.  In general, most U.S. visas are approved and issued within a day or two, though some can take a little longer.  Most security clearances are approved within two to four weeks.  You can find information online regarding visa appointment and processing wait times, here: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/wait/wait_4638.html

What documents do I need to take with me to a visa application appointment?

This depends on the type of visa for which you are applying.  Each Embassy will tell you what to bring to the visa appointment

In general, J-1 applicants should bring:

  • The completed Visa application form(s), available from the U.S. embassy
  •  DS-2019 form, issued by your sponsoring institution,
  •  passport valid for at least six months into the future,
  •  proof of SEVIS fee payment
  •  financial evidence
  •  proof of sufficient English language ability
  •  proof of non-immigrant intent (evidence that you have strong ties to your home country, and that you plan to return there after your U.S. program of study or research)
  •  J students should bring proof of acceptance to the U.S. school

I've heard that I may need to prove that I intend to return to my home country after I finish my J-1 program.  What kind of evidence would be acceptable as "proof of non-immigrant intent"?

This is evidence that you have strong ties to your home country, and that you plan to return there after your U.S. program of study or research.  This sort of evidence can vary widely:

  • a simple statement that you plan to leave the U.S. at the end of your program, and return to your home country
  • evidence of property or real estate  / land ownership in your home country
  • evidence of financial holdings in your home country
  • ownership of a car
  • spouse or children in the home country
  • permanent employment offer in the home country
  • strong religious or civic ties to your local community

How do I pay the SEVIS fee?

If you are applying for a J-1 visa in the researcher, professor, student or specialist categories, you must also pay a SEVIS fee of $180.00 (accurate as of 2008).  You can find more information on how to pay the SEVIS fee online, here: https://www.fmjfee.com/i901fee/

My spouse is applying for a J-2 dependent visa.  Does she need to pay the SEVIS fee?

No - J-2 dependents do not need to pay the SEVIS fee.

My spouse is applying for a J-2 dependent visa.  What documents does she need to bring to the visa application appointment?

J applicants who are also having a spouse or children apply for dependent visas should bring marriage certificates, translated to English, and birth certificates

I applied for the visa, and now they tell me they can't issue the visa, because my application has to go through administrative processing.  What does this mean?

This means that your visa application has been subjected to a security clearance procedure.  In general, this will add between two and four weeks to the visa application process.  Unfortunately, there is nothing anyone can do to speed this process.  Please do let us know if your application is delayed due to a security clearance check.  We may need to issue you a new DS-2019 form with a deferred start date.

I applied for the visa, but was given a statement saying that my application was subject to "221(g)".  What does this mean?

This means that your visa application has been subjected to a security clearance procedure.  In general, this will add between two and four weeks to the visa application process.  Unfortunately, there is nothing anyone can do to speed this process.  Please do let us know if your application is delayed due to a security clearance check. We may need to issue you a new DS-2019 form with a deferred start date.

I received my J visa, but it says on it that I am subject to 212(e), the home residency requirement.  What does this mean?

There are usually three reasons a person would be subject to the home residency requirement:

  1. participation in a J-1 program for clinical training
  2. receipt of direct government funding for the purposes of international educational exchange
  3. participation in aJ-1 program for study or research in a field for which your home country has a skills list on file with the US government

The home residency requirement (regulation 212 e) means that you will be required to return to your home country at the completion of your J-1 program for a two-year period before you are allowed to apply for an H-1B temporary worker visa, and L-1 work visa or US permanent residency.  It does not prevent you from returning to the US as a student or tourist at any time. 

I am subject to regulation 212(e), the home residency requirement.  Is there a way I can avoid having to fulfill this to your home residency requirement?

J1 participants who were subject to regulation 212(e) may file for a waiver of the home residency requirement.  There are several categories for filing a waiver.  More information on filing a waiver to the 212(e) home residency requirement can be found online, here: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/info/info_1296.html

My visa was denied because of regulation "214(b)".  What does this mean?

A denial based on regulation 214(b) generally means that the applicant has failed to prove nonimmigrant intent.  This means that the consular officer was not convinced that you intended to leave the United States at the end of your program.  You may reapply for the visa if you have new information relating to your nonimmigrant intent.

My visa was denied.  Can I re-apply?

Yes, in general, if your visa is denied, you may reapply.  You should be sure that you have new evidence or information, however, before you reapply.  If you are denied a visa please inform our office as soon as possible.

J SCHOLAR/FACULTY IMMIGRATION STATUS

I am coming to the U.S. as a J-1 research scholar or professor.  What am I allowed to do as a J-1 exchange visitor?

DJ one research and professor categories are considered interchangeable.  As a research scholar you are allowed to teach for your sponsoring institution and as a professor you are allowed to conduct research for your sponsoring institution.  You are not allowed any employment opportunities that are not directly related to your program of research or teaching.

I am being sponsored by Dartmouth to be a J-1 research scholar.  Another University, though, wants to have me give a lecture there after I arrive in the U.S.  They said they would pay me for this. Can I accept this offer?

Yes J-1 researchers and professors may accept occasional outside lectures and consultations for pay if they do not delay the progress of the primary research or teaching program.  You are sponsoring department or faculty member must approve these offers an advance, and they must be approved in writing, in advance, by your immigration advisor at the Office of Visa and Immigration Services.

My funding source for my J-1 research program has suddenly ended, although my DS-2019 form is still valid for another year.  What should I do?

If you're funding sources change in any way, you must inform your immigration advisor at the office of visa and immigration services as soon as possible.  You are advisor will need to amend your DS-2019 form.  J1 participants must always be able to show enough funding to support themselves and any accompanying dependents for the duration of the program in the United States.  In general, this should be equivalent to at least $24,000 per year, or $2000 per month.  Note that it is possible for a jay one research or professor category to be self-funded.

My DS-2019 form is valid for only one more month, although my Dartmouth department would like me to stay on for another year.  What should I do?

You should notify your immigration advisor at the Office of Visa and Immigration Services as soon as possible.  If allowed under your J1 category, your advisor can extend your DS 2019 form to allow you to remain in the US longer.

I was sponsored by Dartmouth to come as a researcher for three years, but my department wants me to teach a course next term.  Can I do this?

Yes, you can.  The research and professor J-1 categories are considered interchangeable by the US Department of State.

I am currently sponsored as a J-1 by another school in the U.S., but have just been appointed as a researcher at Dartmouth starting next month.  What should I do to transfer my J-1 status to Dartmouth College?

You should first contact your immigration advisor at the Office of Visa and Immigration Services.  You advisor will send you a link to a online form required in order to transfer your J-1 program from your current host institution to Dartmouth College.  Please note that there are restrictions on the amount of time you are allowed to remain in the US as a J-1 participant depending on what category you hold.  In order to transfer your J-1 record to Dartmouth College, you must have time remaining within your J-1 category and you must be transferring to study or conduct research in the same is field in which your original DS-2019 form was issued.

I am a J-1 exchange visitor at Dartmouth, and got married while I was at home on vacation.  How can I bring my spouse here to the U.S.?

You should contact your immigration advisor at the Office of Visa and Immigration Services to request a J-2 dependent DS-2019 form.  Your spouse will need to apply for a J-2 dependent visa at the US Embassy.  Using this DS-2019 form before coming to the US.

My spouse is a J-2 dependent, and would like to try to get a job in the U.S.  Is this allowed, and if so, how can my spouse apply for work permission in the  U.S.?

Yes, J2 dependent spouses may apply for work authorization within the United States.  He or she will need to file an application for work card to the US government.   You should contact your immigration advisor at the office of these and immigration services for more information on this process.   It can take three to four months for the work hard to be issued by the government.  Your spouse may not work while the work card application is pending, but may be actively looking for work.  Note that the J-2  spouse may not use the money earned while working in the US to support the J-1.

Do I have to prove "non-immigrant intent" if I have a J-1 visa status?

Yes as a jay one visa applicant, you will need to be able to prove nonimmigrant intent if asked by the consular officer.  This is evidence showing that you have strong ties to your home country, and that you plan to return there after your U.S. program of study or research.  This sort of evidence can vary widely:

  • a simple statement that you plan to leave the U.S. at the end of your program, and return to your home country
  • evidence of property or real estate  / land ownership in your home country
  • evidence of financial holdings in your home country
  • ownership of a car
  • spouse or children in the home country
  • permanent employment offer in the home country

I'm a J-1 researcher at Dartmouth College, and I have been offered a part-time field hockey coaching position with the Athletics Department.  May I accept this part-time employment while I'm on a J-1 research category visa?

No, you may not legally except this employment under a J-1 research category.  Any employment you accept must be related to your field of study or research, and approved by your immigration advisor in the Office of Visa and Immigration Services. 

I am in J-1 status at Dartmouth College, and I would like to travel to Canada for the weekend.  However, my J-1 visa has expired.  Can I go to Canada and return to the United States with an expired J-1 visa?

Yes, you can under a procedure called "automatic revalidation".  This allows some non-immigrants to travel to Canada for a period of less than 30 days and return using an expired visa.  You must have in your possession:

  • a current and valid DS-2019 form with a valid travel signature less than one year old from your immigration advisor
  • a current and valid passport
  • a current I-94 card (if you entered the U.S. by land) or passport Admission stamp (if you entered the U.S. by air or sea) indicating J-1 status

Please contact your immigration advisor at the office of visa and immigration services, if you plan to take advantage of automatic revalidation of an expired visa.

Last Updated: 12/6/13