J–1 Professor, Scholar, and Student Intern
The Exchange Visitor Program was created to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges."
The Exchange Visitor program is administered by the U.S. Department of State. The institutions that wish to receive exchange visitors must apply for and receive sponsor designation from the U.S. Department of State. It is the policy of International Scholar Services that negative incidents involving exchange visitors or their dependents will be reported to the U.S. Department of State within one business day of learning of the event in compliance with 22 CFR 62.13 (d). International Scholar Services must comply with federal regulations designed to ensure the safety and well-being of all exchange visitors in the United States and the reputation of the Exchange Visitor Program governed by the U.S. Department of State. Federal regulations require that International Scholar Services inform the U.S. Department of State within one day of learning of any event that may endanger the health, safety, or well-being of an exchange visitor or otherwise could be expected to bring the U.S. Department of State, the Exchange Visitor Program, or UTSA's exchange visitor program into notoriety or disrepute. Examples of reportable incidents or allegations of misconduct include, but are not limited to:
- Medical emergencies (accident, illness, injury)
- Exchange Visitor missing (sudden departure, long absence, has not returned to UTSA as planned)
- Incident involving the criminal justice system (arrest, charges, law enforcement, etc.)
- Sexually-related incidents or abuse
- Exchange Visitor death
- Other situations impacting Exchange Visitor safety (natural disasters, civil unrest, outbreaks of violence)
J–1 exchange visitors must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Exchange visitors may come under the financial sponsorship of UTSA, or they may come on their own funding — from their personal savings, from their current employer, from their government, or from some other source. All exchange visitors are required by the U.S. Department of State to have insurance coverage while they are in the U.S.
Effective 05/15/2015 insurance coverage must include:
- Medical benefits of at least U.S. $100,000 per accident or illness.
- Repatriation of remains in the amount of U.S. $25,000.
- Expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of U.S. $50,000.
- Deductible per accident or illness $500 or less.
- A willful failure to carry required insurance is considered to be a violation of the Exchange Visitor Program.
Two year home country residency requirement and waiver
Many people who come to the U.S. on J–1 visas are subject to the Two–Year Home Country Residency requirement. For most, this is because they have received government financing for their program (from either the home country or the U.S.), or they are on the Exchange Visitors Skills List. For more information on this requirement or how it can be waived, see an international student and scholar advisor in the Office of International Programs.
More information on waivers to the Two-Year Home Country Residency Requirement can be found at the U.S. Department of State.
Waiver of the Exchange Visitor Two-Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement
Certain exchange visitors (J-1) are subject to a two-year home-country physical presence requirement which requires you to return to your home country for at least two years at the end of your exchange visitor program. This is also known as the foreign residence requirement under U.S. law, Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 212(e). If you are unable to return to your home country to fulfill the two-year requirement, you must obtain a waiver approved by the Department of Homeland Security prior to changing status in the United States or being issued a visa in certain categories for travel to the United States.
Eligibility for a Waiver
Select Eligibility Information for details about which J-1 exchange visitors are subject to the two-year home-country physical presence requirement and whether a waiver of this requirement is available to you.
How-to-Apply Instructions and the J-1 Waiver Recommendation Application
Select Instructions and Online DS-3035 to learn more and access the online form to request a recommendation for a waiver of the two-year home-country physical presence requirement from the Department of State’s Waiver Review Division.
Before you apply - Additional information
J-1 Waiver Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Exchange Visitors Skills List - 2009
Exchange Visitor Visas Information
After you apply – Status Check and Contact Updates
Visit the J Visa Waiver Online webpage to notify the Waiver Review Division of a change of address or contact information and to check the status of your waiver request.
- Invitation to teach, lecture or conduct collaborative research
- Indication of adequate financial support for length of program
Possible income from U.S. sources
- Unlimited income for work on campus in pursuit of academic objective
- Off-campus work allowed only for occasional lectures and consultations with prior approval from the Office of International Programs
Maximum length of stay in U.S.
- Five years
- Relatively easy and quick to obtain
- Spouses may work with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services approval and/or go to school full time
- May be subject to two-year home residence requirement based on funding, or skills list.
- Cannot change program objective
Supporting documentation needed by Office of International Programs for issuing DS-2019
- Scholars resume
- Evidence of financial support for the length of program
- English Language Proficiency
- J-1 visa application documents request form
Copy of scholars passport, biographic page, and dependents, if applicable
Supporting documentation needed by U.S. Embassy for issuing J-1 visa
- DS-2019 issued by UTSA Office of International Programs
- Evidence of financial support for the length of program
- DS-160 non-immigration visa application form and continuation page with bar code if completing the form online
- Travel itinerary, if any
- Dates of last visits or trips to U.S., if any
Resume/Curriculum Vitae for completing DS-160
Note: Some applicants may need to provide additional documents or information while completing the DS-160 or while applying for the J-1 visa. Check with the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country to make sure what additional documents may be required.