Inviting and Hosting Scholars

The U.S. Department of State has a long tradition of encouraging educational and cultural exchanges between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The J Exchange Visitor category was developed to implement the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act (Fulbright-Hayes Act) of 1961 and is now part of SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System). The regulations governing J-1 scholars are complex, and only a brief summary is offered here. For specific questions, please contact ISSS. Sponsoring Departments are responsible for assisting visiting scholars with finding housing. Departments should also provide the visiting scholar with office space.

The University at Albany is designated to host the following categories of J-1 Exchange Visitors: Student: At bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and non-degree level. Requires admission to the University, enrollment in full time study and payment of tuition and fees, like any other student. See “Requirements of F and J Student Visas” above. Limited to the amount of time usually needed to complete the program of study, with reasonable extensions allowed.

Short-Term Scholar

A professor, research scholar, specialist, or a person with similar education or accomplishments (including students enrolled at foreign universities) coming to the U.S. on a short-term basis for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills. The maximum duration of stay is 6 months (no extension permitted).

Research Scholar

An individual, with appropriate academic credentials (including graduate students at foreign universities), primarily conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project (may also teach or lecture). Extension of program allowed up to five years (minimum participation period: three weeks). Scholars who complete their programs, no matter the duration, are not eligible to return to the U.S. in a Research Scholar or Professor category for two years.

Professor

An individual primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting (may also conduct research). May be hired in a temporary visiting faculty position or as an adjunct, but may not be hired in a tenure-track position. For more information, contact Human Resources. Extension of program allowed up to five years (minimum participation period: three weeks). Professors who complete their programs, no matter the duration, are not eligible to return to the U.S. in a Research Scholar or Professor category for two years.

Student Intern

The department is required to submit the additional form DS-7002 – Training/Internship Placement Plan. Visitors must be enrolled in and pursuing studies at a foreign degree-or-certificate-granting-post-secondary academic institution outside the U.S.; or have graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to their exchange visitor program. Interns cannot work in unskilled or casual labor positions, in positions that require or involve childcare, elder care, medical patient care or contact, or positions that require more than 20% clerical or office support work.

English Language Proficiency

Visitors must possess English language proficiency. The Department of State approved this new regulation effective January 5, 2015. Sponsors are required to use one of the following objective measurements to determine an applicant’s language proficiency:

  • A recognized English language test
  • Signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school
  • A documented interview conducted by the sponsor either inperson or by videoconferencing, or by telephone if videoconferencing is not a viable option

This evidence must be submitted with the DS-2019 request form, as the Department of State requires this information be made available upon their request.

Fees

  • J-1 visiting scholars will pay a required University at Albany scholar fee. The scholar fee will be $150, and $50 for each accompanying dependent.
  • J-1 Extensions will require a fee of $75 (to be paid by the scholar prior to issuance of a new DS-2019 form)
  • J-1 scholars will be required to purchase a minimum of 6 months of insurance coverage for themselves and dependents (unless their J-1 program is less than 6 months). The approximate cost per month is J-1 Scholars; $117.90 per month, Dependent coverage: Spouse; $253.09 per month; Children; $135.45 per month. This rate is good for up to 3 children.

J-1 Scholars should be prepared to pay these fees upon their arrival to the International Student & Scholar Services Office. These fees must be paid by credit card, no cash or checks will be accepted.

Orientation

Upon your arrival and within three days of beginning your stay at UAlbany, you must contact International Student and Scholar Services (Science Library, G-40) to check-in and complete an Arrival Form. Please note that under Department of State regulations, failure to check-in with ISSS within 30 days of arrival will result in cancellation of your exchange visitor status and may subject you to deportation.

Bring these items when you check in at ISSS:

  1. Passport, with visa;
  2. Print out of I-94 card (Arrival/Departure Record). To do this, go to www.cbp.gov/I94.
  3. Form DS-2019

Health Insurance

The United States Department of State requires all J-1 visa holders and any accompanying dependents to obtain health and accident insurance, which includes the following minimum coverage:

  1. medical benefits of at least $100,000 per person per accident or illness;
  2. repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000; and
  3. expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000.

As of January 15, 2014, SUNY requires all J-1 program participants to purchase insurance through the University. You should not purchase insurance before coming to Albany as alternate insurance will not be accepted. The exchange visitor must report to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (Science Library G-40) to purchase insurance coverage for the primary (J-1) and all dependents (J-2).

Housing and Transportation

ISSS has compiled a list of resources for scholars and departmental sponsors to assist with finding long term and short term housing options for J-1 visitors.  For a list of resources, please click here.

J-1 scholars and their dependents are not eligible for free CDTA bus transportation and certain other campus benefits(e.g. Fitness center access) based on their UAlbany affiliation. Only qualifying students, faculty, and staff are eligible for this benefit.

Forms

Scholar DS-2019 Request Form
Extension for DS-2019 (Scholar and Non-Degree Students)
Extension of Program of Study for F-1/J-1 Non-Immigrant Student