IPSO is dedicated to supporting the university's commitment to diversity and inclusion by helping our colleges and departments bring new international visitors and employees to campus.
The J-1 exchange visitor (EV) visa classification is for people who are coming to the U.S. for a temporary program in a variety of different areas: study, research, teaching and training. Augusta University authorizes documents in the categories described in the "Authorized Categories of Sponsorship at AU" section of this page.
Department managers considering bringing an international visitor to campus should begin by filling out the Immigration Consultation Request Form. If our office decides that J-1 is the appropriate immigration status for the visitor, you will continue by following the steps for requesting J-1 processing. Once the processing is complete, our office will issue a Form DS-2019, which authorizes the scholar to apply for the J-1 exchange visitor visa at a U.S. embassy. While at Augusta University, a scholar may need to request a revised or updated DS-2019 form, or a new form for accompanying dependents.
Note: If the scholar is new to Augusta University, the inviting department must initiate the sponsorship process BEFORE the scholar submits his or her request for a Form DS-2019. (Prospective scholars: Contact your sponsoring department to see if they have begun the initial sponsorship process with IPSO.)
Required Mandatory Immigration Check-In: Note that following the scholar's arrival in the U.S., a mandatory immigration check-in with IPSO is required. (This is called a validation appointment.) A J-1 orientation session is also required. The orientation appointment will be scheduled at the validation appointment.
Exchange visitors must have the education, experience and English language proficiency needed to participate in the academic activities in which they intend to engage. Augusta University host departments must evaluate the individual's academic and professional credentials to determine whether the individual has the credentials needed to participate successfully in the program.
IPSO requires departments/colleges to complete the Certificate of English Language Proficiency which is part of the DS-2019 Department Request for Initial J-1 Visa Status.
It is important that any international scholar coming to the U.S. have the financial resources to support themselves and any accompanying dependents during their stay in the U.S.
Effective July 1, 2023, the AU J program minimum funding amount will increase to $29,000 per year to match the Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) stipend amount. Going forward, the minimum support amount for a J EV in any category will align to match the GRA stipend amount set annually by The Graduate School at Augusta University.
|J Program Minimum Funding Amounts|
|Per Year||Per month|
|J-1 Exchange Visitor||$29,000||$2,417|
|Each J-2 Child (under 21 years old)||$2,400||$200|
|J-1 Category||Purpose||Time Limits|
|An individual concerned primarily with teaching, lecturing, observing or consulting. J-1 Professors may also participate in departmental research. If the EV will be here primarily to conduct research the Research Scholar category above is more appropriate, even if the individual is a professor in his or her home country.||5 years|
An individual concerned primarily with conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project and is also allowed to teach or give lectures. Each prospective Research Scholar must have appropriate academic credentials (bachelor’s degree or the equivalent) and experience appropriate to the field of endeavor.
|Short-Term Scholar||A professor, researcher, specialist, or a person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the U.S. on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills.||6 months|
|Specialist||An individual who is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill coming to the U.S. for observing, consulting, or demonstrating special skills and increase the exchange of ideas with American counterparts.||1 year|
|Student Intern||A foreign student currently enrolled and pursuing a degree at a post secondary academic institution outside the U.S. whose U.S. internship will "fulfill the educational objectives for his or her current degree program at his or her home institution."||Up to 12 months per foreign degree or major|
The J-1 Exchange Visitor category may not be used for the following:
Since this is an immigration classification intended to promote educational and cultural exchange, there is an expectation that J-1 status holders will return home to apply the knowledge and skills gained in the U.S. As a result there are certain restrictions placed upon individuals who have previously been in the U.S. in J-1 status. These restrictions apply to individuals who have completed their previous J program and seek to return to begin a new program as either a J Research Scholar or as a Professor.
12-month bar: A person who previously held J status in any category other than Short-term Scholar for more than six months cannot begin a new J-1 program in either the Research Scholar or Professor classification until the individual has been out of J status for 12 months or more. (Please note that this bar does not prevent someone who is actively engaged in a J program from transferring his/her J-1 sponsorship to Augusta University.)
24-month bar: A person who previously held J-1 status (regardless of how long he/she was actually present in the U.S.) in either a Professor or Research Scholar category cannot return to the U.S. to begin a new J-1 program as a Research Scholar or as a Professor until he/she has been out of J status as a Research Scholar or Professor for two years. This is a different requirement from the two-year home residency requirement that is attached to some J status holders.
Two-Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement (Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and PL-94-184 as amended)
Exchange visitors whose programs are financed in whole or in part — directly or indirectly — by either their government or by the U.S. government are required to reside in their home country for two years following completion of their program before they are eligible for immigrant status, temporary worker (H) status or intra-company transferee (L) status. Likewise exchange visitors who are acquiring a skill which is in short supply in their home country will be subject to the same two-year home-country residence requirement. These skills appear on the Exchange Visitor Skills List. The U.S. Department of State reserves the right to make the final determination regarding 212(e).
Note that marriage to a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident or birth of a child in the United States does not remove this requirement. The requirement also applies to the J-2 dependent(s) of exchange visitors who are subject to the requirement. Some but not all exchange visitors are subject. The purpose of this requirement is to have the home country benefit from the exchange visitor's experience in the U.S. Exchange visitors come to the U.S. for a specific objective such as program of study or a research project. The requirement is intended to prevent a participant from staying longer than necessary for the objective and to ensure that he or she will spend at least two years in the home country before coming back to the U.S. for a long-term stay.
Please review the following information:
If you have not already done so, please submit an Immigration Consultation Request Form to begin the hosting or sponsorship process. Please wait for a response from IPSO before proceeding. If the response you receive recommends J-1 immigration status, you may proceed with the steps below.
Exchange Visitor Affiliate (EVA)
The response to your Immigration Consultation Request Form will provide instructions on accessing the “J-1 Application for a New Exchange Visitor” in AU International. You must use the link provided in the email to access these e-forms. There are three e-forms in AU International for the department to complete:
Once all three department forms are submitted, the J-1 applicant will be notified by email that he/she must log in to AU International and complete the necessary e-forms.
The J-1 applicant will log into AU International with a temporary ID number and password that are provided in the email. There are two required forms and one optional form for the J-1 applicant.
Once the J-1 applicant submits the four required e-forms, we will automatically be notified in AU International that the initial request is complete.
As a department manager or faculty host, you will be responsible for many steps in the process of hosting a J-1 exchange visitor.
Here are some frequently asked questions that will help guide you through the process. We've broken this page into four sections to make it easier for you to find what you need. Click the links below to jump to a section or scroll through all the questions.
What is a J-1 visa?
The J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals to enter the U.S. to participate in an exchange visitor program to promote the sharing of knowledge and skills in education, arts and science.
What are the J-1 categories?
There are several categories for a J-1 visa holder. The categories and descriptions are listed on the IPSO website under Authorized Categories of Sponsorship.
How long may a J-1 visit the U.S.?
Visits range anywhere from 1 day to 5 years depending on the J-1 category. For more information about time limits of a J-1 program see Authorized Categories of Sponsorship.
When screening a potential candidate for a J-1 visa at Augusta University what should I consider?
What credentials must a J-1 possess in order to participate in a J-1 program at Augusta University?
The Department of State requires all J-1 Scholars have academic credentials and experience appropriate to the field of endeavor. To participate in a J-1 program at Augusta University, the individual must have earned the equivalent of at least a bachelor’s degree, except for those in the Student or Student Intern categories. J-1s who are offered employment must meet the qualifications of the Augusta University appointment title offered to them.
What am I responsible for as a faculty host or department manager to a J-1?
What are some examples of activities that a faculty host or department manager may expect of a J-1?
What should I communicate before inviting the visitor to Augusta University?
Communicate both verbally and via email your requirements and expectations before sending the invitation letter. An open communication between you and the J-1 should alleviate any misunderstanding that may arise once the J-1 arrives in the U.S. to begin the J program. In your communication discuss:
What should I communicate in the invitation letter to the J-1?
IPSO has created an invitation template for your convenience. Once you submit an Immigration Consultation Request Form and it’s approved, our office will email instructions to complete the request for J-1 Processing. The invitation template letter is included in the instructions. All requirements, expectations and estimated costs such as tuition and fees should be clearly outlined in the invitation letter.
What can I do if the J-1 fails or refuses to meet the J program expectations outlines in the invitation/offer letter?
Documented failure or refusal to comply with J program requirements is justification to terminate the J-1’s program. J program termination requires the J-1 to exit the U.S. immediately. A termination is a negative action and must be reported to the U. S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
What is the Form DS-2019?
The Form DS-2019 or "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status" is the basic document used in the administration of the exchange visitor program.
Why does the prospective J-1 scholar (or J-2 dependent) need the Form DS-2019?
This form permits a prospective exchange visitor to seek an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in order to obtain a J visa to enter the United States. The Form DS-2019 identifies the exchange visitor and the designated sponsor and provides a brief description of the exchange visitor’s program, including the start and end date, category of exchange, and an estimate of the cost of the exchange program.
What is the first step in inviting/employing a J-1 scholar?
Department managers and faculty hosts who are interested in inviting or employing visitors will need to complete an Immigration Consultation Request Form. The information provided will help to determine if the individual is eligible for a J-1 visa. If the individual is eligible for a J-1 visa, the director of International and Postdoctoral Services Office will decide which category is appropriate. An email will be sent to the department manager or faculty host with complete instructions on what to submit for J-1 Processing.
After the "J-1 Application for a New Exchange Visitor" is complete in AU International, how long will it take to receive the Form DS-2019?
The Form DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for the J-1 will be ready within 30 days (45 days for a J Student Intern request), pending a complete and correct "J-1 Application for a New Exchange Visitor" in AU International. (This includes both the department e-forms and the prospective exchange visitor's e-forms.) Once the DS-2019 is ready, you and the prospective exchange visitor will receive an email notifying you. The prospective exchange visitor will be prompted to log back in to AU International and pay for the shipment of the original DS-2019.
When may the visitor schedule the visa interview?
The J-1 may schedule the visa interview once the Form DS-2019 has been received and the SEVIS FMJ Form I-901 fee has been paid.
What is SEVIS?
SEVIS stands for Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. SEVIS is a nationwide, internet-based system that the U.S. government uses to maintain accurate and current information on non-immigrant students and visitors and their dependents.
Who is responsible for paying the SEVIS (Form I-901) fee and other visa fees?
The J-1 is responsible for paying the SEVIS FMJ Form I-901 fee and all visa processing fees.
How soon can the J-1 arrive in the U.S. after receiving the visa?
The J-1 may arrive in the U.S. up to 30 days before the most recent program begin date in SEVIS. This may or may not be the date on the most recent Form DS-2019.
What happens if the J-1 is delayed?
If the J-1 is unable to arrive in the U.S. by the program begin date, the department manager or faculty host must notify IPSO as soon as possible to request an amended Form DS-2019. A new Form DS-2019 is not necessarily required. The information in the SEVIS electronic database is available to the U.S. embassy personnel where the J-1 applied for the J-1 visa, at the port-of-entry (airport, land or seaport), and to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
What happens if I fail to notify you of the J-1's delay?
Failure to notify IPSO immediately if the J-1 will not arrive at Augusta University on or before the program begin date listed on the Form DS-2019 may result in the invalidation of the SEVIS record and the Form DS-2019. An invalid record may result in denial of the visa application and/or refusal of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers to allow entry into the U.S.
If the SEVIS record becomes invalid can this be corrected?
Yes. To correct an invalid record the J-1 must submit an application for reinstatement and pay an application fee. The current application fee is ($367 as of December 2016, subject to change) and may not be paid by Augusta University. The reinstatement application must be submitted to and adjudicated favorably by the U.S. Department of State prior to the J-1 beginning the J program activities at Augusta University.
Where can I find pre-arrival information for the J-1?
Information for J-1 Exchange Visitors can be found on the IPSO website. The information on that webpage should answer most questions a J-1 may have before arriving in the U.S.
When should the J-1 book a flight to come to the U.S.?
Once the visa is obtained, the J-1 may schedule the flight and make travel arrangements. The cost of travel is the responsibility of the J-1. If, for any reason, the visa application process is delayed or denied, the costs spent on travel arrangements may not be recoverable.
Should the J-1 purchase insurance before arriving in the U.S.?
No. Augusta University has designated insurance plans that meet the requirements per regulation 22 CFR, Section 62.14. The J-1 will be required to purchase insurance within 24 hours of the program validation in SEVIS. More information about J-1 program insurance requirements is shared on the IPSO website.
How much money should the J-1 bring to cover necessary move-in costs and other related expenses?
The J-1 should bring $6,000 to $7,500 to cover expenses for him/herself. Additional funds may be required if the J-1 is accompanied by J-2 dependents. It is advisable that the visitor obtain a credit card to cover immediate expenses such as insurance premiums that are due 24 hours after validating the program.
If the J-1 is offered employment at Augusta University, is it necessary to bring additional funds to cover expenses?
Yes. Before the J-1 can be placed on the Augusta University payroll and begin J program employment a Social Security number and card with an assigned number is needed to complete the Human Resources on-boarding process. If there is a delay in acquiring a Social Security card, the J-1 will be required to address all expenses while the application is pending. These costs are not recoverable and may not be reimbursed to the J-1.
When the J-1 arrives in the U.S. what am I required to do?
To ensure the visitor is welcomed into a professional but warm environment, IPSO recommends the following:
When must I notify IPSO of the J-1’s arrival to Augusta University?
The faculty host or department manager must notify IPSO immediately by completing the J-1 Arrival & Validation e-form in AU International to request a validation appointment. The J-1 will either come to our office or meet with us on Teams to complete an immigration check-in and SEVIS program validation. Validating the program reports the presence of the J-1 and any accompanying J-2 dependents to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of State. The department manager or faculty host is required to attend at least one validation appointment per year.
The J-1 is expected to be proficient in English, however, if you feel the J-1 appears to be uncomfortable communicating in English as a newly-arrived visitor to the U.S., we advise that you send a translator who is fluent in English and the J-1’s first language to avoid any miscommunications. IPSO does not have in-house translators.
What documents are necessary to complete the J-1 Arrival & Validation e-form?
The J-1 Arrival & Validation consists of two e-forms:
On the Validation Appointment Request e-form, the department manager is responsible for collecting and uploading the J-1's:
Once the department submits the Validation Appointment Request e-form, the J-1 Exchange Visitor will receive an email requesting that he/she log into AU International and follow the steps to purchase the required insurance and upload proof of that insurance.
What occurs during the validation appointment?
What are the J program insurance requirements?
The U.S. Department of State requirements for health insurance may be found on the IPSO website under Health Insurance. J-1s and accompanying J-2s are required to enroll in an insurance plan that meets the health insurance requirements for the duration of the J-1 program.
Why is a J program orientation required?
Federal Regulation 22 CFR 62.10 (c) states the J program sponsor, Augusta University, must offer and record participation in an appropriate orientation for all J-1s. The J-1 is responsible for the information provided in the orientation.
What happens at the orientation session?
During the appointment there will be a review of the information provided on the J-1 Exchange Visitors webpage.
When may the J-1 apply for the Social Security number (SSN) and card?
At least 10 calendar days after entry to the U.S. and at least 3 working days after J program validation.
Why must the J-1 wait to apply for the Social Security number (SSN) and card?
Applying for the Social Security number before the dates listed above may delay the process of receiving the SSN and card for weeks or months.
What must the J-1 take with them to apply for the SSN?
How soon after J program validation may the newly hired J-1 employee begin work activities?
The newly-hired J-1 at Augusta University may not begin work or any work-related activities until the IPSO J program requirements are met and the Human Resources on-boarding is completed.
How soon after J program validation may the Exchange Visitor Affiliate (non-paid visitor) begin the J program activities?
The J-1 Exchange Visitor Affiliate (non-paid visitor) at Augusta University may not begin the J program activities until the IPSO J program requirements are met and the Augusta University badging process is completed.
Who is responsible for assuring that the J-1 receives badging, parking, and other related on-boarding processes through Human Resources?
The department manager or faculty host is responsible for coordinating all HR on-boarding processing.
Is monitoring the J-1’s activities and location of activities required?
Yes. The host must ensure that the activities in which the J-1 is engaged are consistent with the category and activity listed on the Form DS-2019. The J-1 is allowed to engage ONLY in the activities described on the Form DS-2019 and for the length of time indicated.
In addition, the host department must ensure that the J-1 is fully engaged in the J program activities. This means the J-1 must spend a minimum of 30 hours per week conducting research, observing, teaching or consulting in the subject field described on the Form DS-2019.
The host should also monitor the physical location (site of activity) and the progress and welfare of the J-1 to the extent appropriate for the category.
Does the J-1 have to conduct the research at the location notated on the form DS-2019?
Yes, the J-1 must conduct the program activities at the primary site identified on the Form DS-2019. However, more than one site may be added to the SEVIS record if activities are occasionally conducted at other sites.
If I want to extend the program of a J-1 in my department, what is the process?
We will process a J program extension up to 6 months in advance of the current J program end date. The extension must be initiated by the department. Department managers can log into AU International and complete the J-1 Extension for an Exchange Visitor e-forms. The visitor will then be prompted to complete his or her e-forms.
What if I choose not to extend a J-1’s program, the program objectives have been completed, or the J program will end as noted on the most recent Form DS-2019?
The department manager or faculty host should log into AU International to complete and submit the J-1 Program End or Change of Activities e-form.
What if the J-1 fails or refuses to meet the J program expectations outlined?
The host should collect documented details of the reasons for failure or refusal to comply with J program requirements. If the J-1 refuses to comply with your expectations of the J program, you are justified in terminating the J-1 program. J program termination requires the J-1 to exit the U.S. immediately. Termination of a J program is a negative action and must be reported to the U. S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The department manager or faculty host should complete and submit the J-1 Program End or Change of Activities e-form in AU International.
What is required of a J-1 traveling outside the U.S. and upon returning?
The J-1 must log into AU International and complete the Travel Endorsement Request e-form. The J-1 should not travel outside the U.S. without first completing the travel endorsement process. The J-1 must upload the following documents to the Travel Endorsement Request e-form:
For detailed information about traveling outside the U.S. visit the Travel section on the IPSO website.
Are J-2 dependents permitted to enter the U.S. after the J-1 is already present in the U.S.?
Yes, J-2 dependents may enter separately from the J-1. In fact, IPSO recommends that the J-1 arrive in the U.S. prior to bringing the J-2 dependents. The J-1 will be able to navigate the new city, find housing, and establish the needs for living in a new country without the added worry of the dependents.
Is it possible to add J-2 dependents to the program after the J-1 has entered the U.S.?
Yes. The J-1 can complete the Add a New J-2 Dependent e-form in AU International.
Are J-2 dependents allowed to study while in the U.S.?
Yes. A J-2 spouse may attend classes at any level of study. J-2 children may attend public/private, primary and secondary schools, and may also study at a college or university.
At what age is a J-2 dependent child required to change status or exit the U.S.?
J-2 children who are approaching the age of 21 must either change their visa status or depart the U.S. prior to their 21st birthday. Augusta University does not support in-country change-of-status applications.
Are J-2 dependents allowed to work while in the U.S.?
Yes, with a valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD). There is a separate application and fee for the EAD. Upon request, IPSO will assist the J-2 dependent with the application to apply for the EAD. Employment for a J-2 dependent is a choice. Unlike the J-1, the primary function of the J-2 dependent is to accompany the J-1 Scholar.
Are J-2 dependents allowed to “volunteer” at Augusta University?
If a J-2 dependent engages in an activity that benefits Augusta University and for which someone else receives compensation, this may be considered employment without any express or implied compensation agreement under the Fair Labor & Standards Act (FLSA).
A J-2 may volunteer, but they may not perform the same or similar activities as someone who is compensated.
IPSO advises J-2 dependents to apply for and receive the Employment Authorization Document to engage in activities (volunteer or otherwise) on any Augusta University campus that requires background checks and Augusta University badging.