Please keep in mind that the requested start should be at least 60 days in the future at the time that the DS-2019 is created. It can take varying lengths of time to complete the application process. Departments must consider the following factors in deciding a reasonable start date:
- An employee’s personal or work-related travel itineraries (employees should inform departments as soon as possible).
- Expiration of current visa status, gaps in current work authorization including an employee changing to J-1 status or “transferring” a current J-1 visa.
- Potential delays due to administrative processing by the U.S. Embassies in adjudicating the visa.
- Hiring or selection dates which will not allow enough time for visa appointments.
- Pre-filing preparation and processing times required for ISSS (typically 2-3 weeks).
- Programs should not begin on official university holidays or closures (eg. Winter Break, Independence Day, etc.).
Many of above factors are out of the control of ISSS. Therefore, departments must allow ample time to complete the J-1 visa process given all possible factors. ISSS is unable to process incomplete requests.
To comply with university policy, departments should also inform their candidates that obtaining J-1 status on their behalf does not obligate the university to sponsor the employee for H-1B. Such sponsorship is left to the discretion of hiring officials.
Funding must be secured for the entirety of the initial period requested. The minimum funding required is:
- J-1 Exchange Visitor only is $1,834/month or $22,000/year
- J-2 Spouse is an additional $567/month or $6,800/year
- J-2 Child (per Child) is an additional $392/month or $4,700/year
Documentation of funding must be provided for all sources outside of UK departmental funding. English translations and a currency conversion sheet (we recommend taking a screenshot from XE.com) must be uploaded into iCAT along with the original funding document if it is in a language other than English or a currency other than USD.
When submitting your application, you will need to know:
- If the EV has previously entered the USA as a J-1 or J-2 exchange visitor
- The EVs citizenship information (including citizenship, nationality, and city of birth)
- If the Exchange Visitor will be bringing a spouse or any children with them as dependents
Copies of passports will need to be uploaded to iCAT for the Exchange Visitor and any dependents. A marriage certificate is required if the Exchange Visitor will bring a spouse.
Determine that the candidate has sufficient English skills (including verbal communication) to undertake your program objectives. According to 22 CFR 62.10(a)(2) UK needs to attest that “the exchange visitor possesses sufficient proficiency in the English language, as determined by an objective measurement of English language proficiency, successfully to participate in his or her program and to function on a day-to-day basis.”
ISSS generally accepts TOEFL/IETLS test scores and personal interviews (in-person, via phone, via skype, etc.) as proof of this requirement.
To determine the correct J-1 Category for the prospective Exchange Visitor, departments must first complete the Exchange Visitor Start Point e-form.
After the department has submitted the Exchange Visitor Start Point e-form and the e-form has been approved, ISSS will contact the department administrator regarding which final application to submit based on the determined J-1 Category (J-1 Scholar, J-1 Student Non-Degree, or J-1 Student Intern). Departments must first complete the Exchange Visitor Start Point e-form and be notified of the appropriate J-1 Category application to complete prior to starting the final forms.