|J-1 Visiting Scholar Information|
According to the Department of State (DOS), the purpose of the program is to foster the exchange of ideas between Americans and foreign nationals and to stimulate international collaborative teaching and research efforts. The exchange of visiting scholars promotes interchange, mutual enrichment, and linkages between research and educational institutions in the United States and foreign countries. Participants in this program will enter the U.S. with a J-1 visa, identified as “exchange visitors.” Their activities are primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or conducting research.
EXPORT CONTROL REQUIREMENTS: Please note that J-1 visiting scholar requests at WMU first require clearance from the WMU Export Control Committee at the Office of the Vice President for Research. The WMU sponsoring department must contact OVPR for an Export Control decision by phone at (269) 387-8293 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, see here
MINIMUM FUNDING REQUIREMENTS
Minimum Funding Requirements for J-1 Exchange Visitors
If the EV is funded by an organization, the funding promise letter from the organization should list the entire funding required or the annual funding, in addition to the length of its financial sponsorship for the EV.
If the funding is not adequate, IAS will issue Form DS-2019 for the period which could be covered by the funding available at the time of DS-2019 issuance. Then, the EV can later apply for an extension with a new financial document that is less than six months old.
HEALTH INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS
1. Medical insurance must cover the entire period of participation in the Exchange Visitor program.
2. Medical benefits must provide a minimum of $50,000 per accident or illness.
3. Medical evacuation must be covered in the amount of $10,000, minimum. (Medical evacuation is emergency medical transportation to the home country.)
4. Repatriation must be covered in the amount of $7,500, minimum. (In the unfortunate event of death, repatriation is the transportation of remains back to the home country.)
5. The deductible must not exceed $500 per accident or illness.
CATEGORIES AND TIME LIMITATIONS
A foreign national is ineligible to participate in a professor/research scholar exchange program if he or she has held J nonimmigrant status within the 12-month period immediately preceding the start of the exchange program. This 12-month bar applies to spouses and dependents as well as principal nonimmigrants.
The immigration regulation prohibits foreign nationals from engaging in repeat participation in the J-1 professor/research scholar exchange program category for a period of two years immediately following the completion of his/her J-1 professor/research scholar program participation although a total of his/her stay as a J-1 professor or research scholar was less than five years allowed (i.e. Two-Year bar). For more information, please contact IAS.
Please note that once J-1/J-2 receives either a waiver approval notice (from DHS/USCIS) or a waiver recommendation (by DOS), he/she is no longer eligible for any extensions, transfers, etc., as he/she is no longer considered as a bona fide exchange visitor by the Department of State, which oversees the J exchange visitor program. He/she can, of course, finish his/her current exchange program until the end date listed on the current DS-2019. Thus, a J-1/J-2 should plan the timing of a waiver application carefully.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR WMU HOST DEPARTMENT
1. The application consists of two parts (Part A and Part B). Part A is to be completed by the WMU host department or college. Part B is to be completed by the prospective exchange visitor. Please use a computer or typewriter.
2. Please submit the application forms to IAS along with:
3. A letter of appointment or invitation must accompany all DS-2019 requests. The letter must state: (1) objectives of the visit; (2) dates of appointment/visit; (3) site of visit; (4) name and title of WMU faculty who will oversee/supervise the visit; and, (5) terms of financial arrangements.
NOTE: The U.S. Department of State regulations require that all J-1 scholars and their J-2 dependents carry a comprehensive health plan for the duration of their visit. WMU Employee Health Insurance Plan does NOT include Repatriation and Medical Evacuation Insurance. Thus, J-1/J-2 must purchase it separately and provide proof to IAS.