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J-1 Exchange Visitor Program

  • About the Exchange Visitor Program (J-1 Visa)
    The J-1 is an Exchange Visitor Visa. UMES is authorized to offer five J-1 categories:
    Student/Student-Intern, Professor, Research Scholar, Short-term Scholar, and Specialist. These are individuals who are coming to UMES to study, do research, teach a course, receive training, etc.

    The categories are as follows:

    A. Student
    An individual who is studying in the United States, and pursuing a full course of study at a secondary accredited educational institution. Will need to meet UMES Admission Requirements.

    B. Scholar Categories:

    1. Professor
    Primarily teaching, lecturing, observing and may conduct research. Minimum stay in U.S. is 3 weeks, maximum is 5 years. Minimum of bachelor’s degree required and not tenure track.

    Repeat participation in this category is permitted, as long as the 24 Month Bar Rule has been observed (See 24 Month Bar for an explanation of this rule).

    2. Research Scholar (including post-doc. positions)
    Primarily conducting research, observing, and may also teach or lecture. Minimum stay in U.S. is 3 weeks, maximum is 5 years. Minimum of bachelor’s degree required and not tenure track.

    Repeat participation in this category is permitted, as long as the 24 Month Bar Rule has been observed (See 24 Month Bar for an explanation of this rule).

    3. Short-term Scholar
    Person with similar education to professor/research scholar coming for short-term visit primarily for lecturing, observing, training, etc. No minimum stay required. Maximum stay in U.S. is 6 months. Minimum of bachelor’s degree required.

    4. Specialist
    Primarily observing, consulting, or demonstrating special knowledge or skills. Minimum stay in U.S. is 3 weeks, maximum is 1 year. Must be experts in the field.

    Repeat participation in this category is permitted, as long as each new program of participation is different in focus and/or breadth from the previous one. The 24-Month Bar does not apply.

    C. Student-Intern Category
    An individual enrolled in a course of study at a post-secondary (or higher) accredited educational institution abroad who is in the United States to receive training in his or her major field of study. Maximum stay in U.S. as Student-Intern is 12 months per educational level. Repeat participation is only permitted up to 12 months in aggregate. The 24-month bar does not apply. More similarities to Scholar categories than to Student.

    The following applies to the Professor, Research Scholar, Short-term Scholar, Specialist and Student-Intern categories:
    • Visitors on any of the above four categories may be paid or unpaid.

    • The J exchange visitor must have a minimum of $1,300/month of support. This support could potentially come from UMES, U.S. government agency, international organization, the visitor’s home government, and/or their own personal funds.
    • Scholars and Student-Interns are only allowed to take part-time classes. For Graduate level courses, part-time would mean that the individual may only take one class. If the individual wishes to become a full-time student, he/she will need to change their status to
    an F-1 or change their category to J-1 student. For Student-Interns, enrollment in a credit-bearing course must be part of an approved internship training plan and listed on the DS-7002 (Training/Internship Placement Plan or TIPP).

    The following applies to ALL J categories, including student:
    • All J exchange visitors are required to have adequate health insurance as required by the J-1 Regulations and satisfy English language proficiency requirements.
        o Proof of additional funds and adequate health insurance is required to bring J-2 dependents.

    • English Proficiency requirement can be verified by:
        o Option 1: Evidence of having obtained a degree from a post secondary institution whose language of instruction is English (including U.S institutions)
        o Option 2: Evidence of citizenship of a country whose official language is English
        o Option 3: Evidence of having obtained the minimum required scores on a recognized English language test. Only test scores from within the past two years will be considered valid.
        o Option 4: English Language Proficiency Interview

    • We ask that the all forms requesting for DS 2019 be submitted to UMES Office of International Programs 2 months prior to the expected date of attendance to provide time for review and visa interview.

    J-2 Dependents
    The spouse and unmarried minor children (under 21 years of age) of the J-1 exchange visitor. This does not include U.S. citizens (i.e. children born in the U.S.). Other family members, such s parents, brothers, sister, etc. are NOT eligible. However, they may be eligible for short-term visits as B-2 or WT tourists.

    You are required to have a DS-2019, passport, and a J entry visa to enter the U.S. as a J-1 or J-2 exchange visitor.

    Application Process at UMES

    1. Select a category, then complete and submit Prospective Scholar Application with all required document(s) to the Office of International Program (OIP).

    2. Once approved by OIP, hosting department will be notified and asked for a method to post mail the DS-2019 to the applicant.

    3. Once the applicant receive the signed DS-2019, applicant will pay for SEVIS fee/I-901. Information for how to pay the fee can be found by clicking or copying and pasting the link https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/paying-the-i-901-sevis-fee .

    4. Next the applicant will apply for visa in his/her home country.

    5. Once visa is received by the applicant:
    (i)     applicant will notify hosting department and OIP to retrieve pre-orientation package; and
    (ii)    the hosting department will contact UMES Employment Manager regarding the appropriate forms to be completed to start the UMES on-board processing.

    This will allow the applicant's information to be inserted into UMES system in order to retrieve a University ID card, login, etc.

    6. Upon arrival in the U.S., applicant and dependents (if applicable) will need to come to OIP for check in and orientation. Hosting department will be responsible for ensuring that all UMES’ HR forms are completed, and all arrangements (housing, transportation, etc.) are made.

    Please note that social security number is not needed unless the person will be employed by the University. If, employment is involved, the process is the same but require an extra step.

    Please notify OIP in order to obtain additional information.