Please read the following information carefully before you begin the invitation process. Please email J1program@westernu.edu with questions.
J-1 Visa or H-1B Consideration
Before beginning the hiring/invitation process, please keep in mind that the J-1 status is not appropriate for visitors who intend to work in excess of 5 years or are seeking an H-1B visa and/or Green Card. If you are hiring a Post Doctoral Fellow, you may find it ultimately easier to submit an H-1B application for her/him instead of a J-1 visa. Please contact the Office of Human Resources email@example.com regarding a H-1B visa application process.
In addition, a prospective J-1 scholar may be subject to the "Two Year Bar" Home Residency Requirement based on skills or funding and may later need to file for a timely and costly waiver of this requirement or, if they have been in the U.S. on a J-1 visa previously, they may be subject to the "Twelve Month Bar".
As of May 2005, regulations governing the Professor and Research Scholar categories were amended (22 CFR 62.20) to extend the duration of program participation for professors and research scholars from three years to five years (and beyond five years for participants in federally-funded research programs –G-7). A participant is not eligible to return to the United States in the professor or research scholar category for a period of two years (24 months) immediately following completion of a five-year period.
An applicant under consideration for a J research scholar or professor visa does not quality if he/she has been in the United States on a J visa more than six of the twelve months preceding the new program’s start date. A participant in the short-term scholar category is exempt from this bar.
Invitation Process Timeline
Plans to invite an individual in the J-1 visa category must begin early as it may take anywhere from one to four months for the entire Exchange Visitor process.
J-1 Employee - Position Approval Required
To begin the invitation process, approval for the J-1 employee position must first be processed in the People Admin system before the J-1 RO/ARO can request a DS-2019 Form in the SEVIS program. Questions regarding the People Admin hiring process should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org in the Office of Human Resources.
Issuance of DS-2019 Form
The J-1 RO/ARO will require the documentation listed below before issuance of the DS-2019 Form. It is important that the host department provide all information requested. Missing information will cause unnecessary delays in the J-1 visa approval process.
Department Letter of Invitation
An offer letter is a critical part of J visa approval process by the U.S. Embassy in the scholar's homeland. It should be succinct in content and must include the following information:
Name of Host College at WesternU;
name of inviting faculty/direct supervisor;
description of the Exchange Visitor's program objective and proposed activities
proposed Program Start and End Dates;
source of financial support with a minimum $1500 per month for non-academic expenses (housing, transportation, insurance, etc.) Additionally, $500 for spouse; $250 for each dependent should be allowed per month,
statement of medical insurance requirement for the J-1 and their J-2 dependents for the entire visit in the U.S. If the scholar is not an employee, evidence of medical insurance documents must be in translated into English and must meet DOS regulations described below on this page.
J-1 scholars are not eligible for the WesternU retirement program. J-1 Post Docs scheduled to be at WesternU for one year or longer are eligible for a two-week paid vacation. J-1 Post Docs do not accrue vacation time. Unused vacation shall be forfeited upon departure from the University.
Department Request for DS-2019 Form (DRF)
The DRF Department Request for DS-2019 Form must be completed by the host department supervisor and the visiting scholar and signed by the College Dean; the inviting faculty member and the prospective scholar in BLUE INK.
The prospective scholar must provide the following documentation:
Copy of passport photo page and accompanying dependents (J-2s);
Sufficient Financial Documentation - if, funded by other than WesternU;
Copy of all diplomas earned by the visiting scholar;
Copy of the Exchange Visitor's current CV/resume;
Copies of immigration documents - if the scholar is already in the U.S.
J-1 Program Activity Location
The location (off Pomona or Lebanon campus) where the J-1 scholar's research/education activity will take place must be clearly defined on the Department Request for DS-2019 Form.
Please read the following statement from the US. Dept. of State Regulations:
22 CFR 62.20(f) - "Professors or research scholars shall conduct their exchange activity at the location(s) listed on the Form DS-2019 which could be either at the location of the exchange visitor sponsor or the site of a third party facilitating the exchange. An exchange visitor may also engage in activities at a location not listed on the Form DS-2019 if such activities constitute occasional lectures or consultations."
DOS Requirements for J-1 Health Insurance
All J-1 Scholars and their J-2 dependents are required to maintain health and accident insurance coverage during the entire time. The Department of State, Homeland Security regulations specify a minimum level of coverage as follows:
Medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness
Repatriation of remains in the amount of $7500
Expenses associated with medical evacuation of the International Scholar to his or her home country in the amount of $10,000
A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
J-1 Health Insurance Program at WesternU
The following statement must be in the offer letter to a prospective J-1 employee:
The University offers a BETA Medical Insurance Plan for the J-1 international scholars and their J-2 dependents. As a J-1 exchange visitor, being paid by WesternU, you may be eligible for the BETA International Health Plan. The University pays for the BETA insurance plan, however, the BETA insurance must be supplemented by one of the University's medical insurance plans, BLUE SHIELD or KAISER offered at a minimual cost to WesternU employees. A benefits orientation with the Manager, Benefits Administration, Office of Human Resources (OHR) must be scheduled on the J-1 scholar's Date of Arrival on WesternU campus.
The Host College/Inviting Faculty is responsible for emailing J1Program@westernu.edu with the scholar's Date of Arrival on campus. The J-1 RO/ARO will schedule an orientation with the Manager, Benefits Administration. Any questions, the scholar may have, will be answered during the OHR orientation.
Visiting Scholars who are not WesternU employees
In accordance with DOS/DHS regulations, proof of medical insurance (in ENGLISH) is required for all J-1 visiting scholars and their J-2 dependents while visiting in the U.S. Evidence of health insurance must be received prior to entering the United States. Please send 'Evidence of Insurance' documentation to: J1Program@westernu.edu
Reporting J-1 Scholar "Change of Status"
As a J-1 Program Sponsor, WesternU is required to monitor J-1 participants to the extent appropriate for the category, and ensure that J-1 activities are consistent with the category indicated on the Form DS-2019. Host Colleges and J-1 supervisors must inform all exchange visitors that they are required to keep them apprised of any "change of status" activites as follows:
intent to transfer to another university,
intent to travel both inside and outside of the U.S.
seeking application for a waiver of 212e (as noted on JVisa).
petitioning for an H-1B visa,
seeking application for a Green Card,
change of address or phone number,
report the birth of a child (J-2) while in the U.S. (passport and proof of medical insurance are required for all J-2s)
Host College/Professor Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the host department to help the visiting scholar secure housing and transportation from the airport to the university.
- Ensure that the sponsoring faculty member will not be on sabbatical or other leave during the stay of the visiting faculty member; if he or she is taking leave, an alternate sponsor, who will be available to meet the visiting faculty's needs, must be specified in writing to the ISR office J-1 Responsible Officer (RO).
- provide appropriate office and laboratory space as needed by the visiting faculty member to meet the goals of his/her visit.
- assist the visiting scholar and his/her family with locating an appropriate place to live and related needs.
- provide professional contacts and support for the visiting faculty member during his/her visit.
- insure that the visiting faculty member visits ISR upon arrival at the University for orientation required by federal regulations and completes any processes required by the University.
- insure that any difficulties which arise during the visiting faculty member's stay at WesternU are brought to the attention of the J-1 RO in ISR.
- request extensions of exchange visitors in a timely manner.
- inform the J-1 RO when exchange visitor completes his/her program and exits US.
J-1 Scholar Travel Out of Country
30-day Absence from the U.S. - J-1, H-1B and some other nonimmigrant classes and their families affected.
Absence from the U.S. of more than 30 days can cancel, terminate, end your J, H, O, etc. status. You will need to start your status all over again. There are a few exceptions. Do not even consider being abroad more than 30-days without reviewing this information and making an appointment with an international advisor to discuss your plans.
Updated: April 2013