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Bringing an International Visitor to Ohio University

 

Ohio University has a long tradition of bringing international visitors to campus for academic exchange.  The information on this page pertains to the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa program.  Ohio University has been granted permission by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor visitors on this program.

Part I:  Details of the J-1 visa

How to determine if the visitor needs a J-1 visa

In some limited instances, the J-1 visa may not be necessary.  A visitor may be able to use the Temporary Visitor for Business (B-1) visa, or the Visa Waiver program, to conduct activities at OHIO.  To determine if your visitor will require J-1 visa sponsorship by OHIO, please review the following chart.

 

 

J-1 Research Scholar or Professor

J-1 Short-term Scholar

B-1/Visa Waiver

Appropriate Activities

Collaborative research, teaching (NOT tenure track), consultation, cultural exchange, observation, demonstration of special skills

Collaborative research, teaching (NOT tenure track), consultation, cultural exchange, observation, demonstration of special skills

Conference attendance, meeting to formalize agreements, independent research (with no benefit to OHIO), observation (with no participation)

Length

Minimum:  3 weeks, Maximum 5 years

No minimum, Maximum of 6 months

Generally 6 months for B-1 and 90 days for Visa Waiver; Officer at the Port of Entry has discretion to reduce length

Compensation Options

May receive a salary or other type of payment, or may be self-funded

May receive a salary or other type of payment, or may be self-funded

May receive reimbursement for reasonable expenses related to activities.  May receive honorarium ONLY IF the visit at OHIO is 9 days or less AND the visitor has not received honoraria from more than 5 other US institutions in the past 6 months

Health Insurance Requirements

Mandatory, policy requirements set by federal regulation

Mandatory, policy requirements set by federal regulation

None, though travel insurance is highly recommended

Social Security Number Eligibility

Eligible

Eligible

Not eligible

Fees for Visitor

$220 SEVIS fee + embassy appointment fees

$220 SEVIS fee + embassy appointment fees

Embassy appointment fees for B-1 visa or ESTA fee for Visa Waiver

ISFS Role

Complete application must be submitted to ISFS, who will prepare visa paperwork within 5 business days

Complete application must be submitted to ISFS, who will prepare visa paperwork within 5 business days

No ISFS involvement, host department provides invitation letter

Impact on Future US Travel

Subject to 24 month bar on repeat participation; may be subject to two year home residency requirement

May be subject to two year home residency requirement

None

Spousal benefits

Spouse on J-2 visa is eligible to apply for work authorization

Spouse on J-2 visa is eligible to apply for work authorization, but may not be practical

There are no dependent visa options

Restrictions

Visitor cannot have held J-1 Research Scholar or Professor status within past 24 months (unless transferring active record), cannot have held any J status other than Short-Term Scholar in past 12 months

None

None, but visitor must be sure to obtain B-1 (business) visa, not B-2 (tourist) visa

 

 

  • There is another J-1 visa option that is specific to visitors who are pursuing a degree at a foreign university, and wish to fulfill a required internship at OHIO.  Please contact ISFS for additional information if you believe this visa may be appropriate.
  • If none of these options seem appropriate for your visitor, you may need to consult with the Office of Legal Affairs about the possibility of other visa types.

J-2 Dependents

International visitors included in the Exchange Visitor Program may request immigration documents for their dependents to travel to the US with them.  Dependents include spouses and children under the age of 21.

Health Insurance

International visitors included in the Exchange Visitor Program must comply with the Department of State regulations regarding health insurance (see  Ohio University Exchange Visitor Health Insurance Requirements and Agreement  ).  This includes any dependents who accompany the visitor.  

Financial Support Documents

International visitors included in the Exchange Visitor Program must provide financial documents for themselves and any accompanying dependents.  Any financial support/salary from Ohio University should be included.

Two-year home residency requirement

Certain international visitors included in the Exchange Visitor Program will be subject to a requirement that they return to their home country for two years before being allowed to return to the US in certain immigration statuses.  This requirement is most common for international visitors receiving financial support from their home government or the US government and for international visitors on their country’s “ Skills List ”.  Please consult with ISFS if more information is needed.

English language proficiency

Federal regulation requires Ohio University to assess a prospective Exchange Visitor’s level of English proficiency to ensure 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.”

The department hosting the Exchange Visitor must assess the individual’s English language proficiency as part of the application process. Departments can choose one of the options below:

  1. Provide the results of a recognized English proficiency test (TOEFL, IELTs, etc.) demonstrating that the Exchange Visitor’s proficiency meets or exceeds the program's requirement*. Test results must be no more than three years old; include the test results with the Exchange Visitor application.
  2. Provide a signed document from an academic institution or English language school verifying the Exchange Visitor’s English proficiency meets or exceeds the program's requirement*. The letter must be no more than three years old; a copy of the letter should be included with the Exchange Visitor application.
  3. Provide a written summary of an in-person, videoconference, or telephone interview of the Exchange Visitor demonstrating that the Exchange Visitor’s proficiency meets or exceeds the program requirement*.  The Physics Department prepared a helpful guidance document.  It is shared with their permission.

*The regulations do not specify the level of proficiency that must be demonstrated.  Instead, the department needs to evaluate whether the visitor has the skills needed to successfully communicate within the department and in the greater community.

 

Part II: University procedures

To request immigration documents for an international visitor, the department must complete an “Application for Exchange Visitor” available at the bottom of this page.  Once the completed application, invitation letter, and supporting financial documents are submitted to ISFS, a Form DS2019 will be issued for the international visitor and any dependents.  This process may take several weeks to complete, depending on how quickly the application form can be completed.

It is the responsibility of the sponsoring department to mail the DS-2019 to the Exchange Visitor.

When the international visitor receives the Form DS-2019, he or she will need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee of $220 (information included with the DS-2019) and apply for a J-1 visa to enter the US.  Dependents do not need to pay the SEVIS fee; they do need to apply for J-2 visas.  This may also take several weeks.

IMPORTANT  :  The international visitor may enter the US up to 30 days prior to the start date on the DS-2019.  The Exchange Visitor must report to ISFS within 3 business days of entering the US.  If the visitor is not able to enter the US and report to ISFS during this window, ISFS will issue an updated DS-2019 with a later start date.   Please contact ISFS if this situation arises.

After arriving at Ohio University, the international visitor and the department host/contact must report the arrival to ISFS and schedule a new scholar orientation meeting.  The international visitor must present their immigration documents including their passport, DS-2019 and I-94 when reporting their arrival. The international visitor must also either bring proof of the required health insurance or purchase university coverage. The orientation meeting will include information about maintaining immigration status, health insurance, and applying for a Social Security Number.

The hosting department should contact ISFS at least one month prior to the end date on the visitor’s DS2019 in the event an extension is needed.  The extension request form can be found at the bottom of this page.  

The department must notify ISFS when the visitor departs the university early or at the end of their program.

Part III: Department Forms

To request visa documents for a new scholar, please download and complete the  J-1 Visitor Application form.  Please note that pages 6 - 9 must be completed by the scholar.  If you are inviting the scholar for 6 months or less, you will also need to include the  Short Term Scholar Supplement  form.  


To request an extension of the J-1 program for one of your current Exchange Visitors, please download and complete the  Department Application for J-1 Extension form.  Please note that the last page must be signed by the scholar.

 

 

 

 


   

   
   

   
   

   
   

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