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.


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.


The Scholar fee is required of new scholars, their dependents and related DS-2019 program extensions. The respective fee rates are listed below: 

  • $150 for a new J-1 scholar DS-2019 
  • $50 for each new J-2 dependent DS-2019
  • $75 for a J-1 DS-2019 program extension, $25 for J-2 dependent DS-2019 

The $150 payment by a new J-1 scholar will be paid upon arrival to campus while the $25 J-2 dependent and $75 J-1 program extension will be paid before the issuance of the corresponding DS-2019 visa document. 


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
  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).

INA 212 (e), “Two-Year Home County Residence Requirement”

The Two Year Home Residency Requirement is often referred as the 212(e). Only the U.S. Department of State can determine if a J-1 and/or J-2 is subject to the 212(e). If subject, a J-visa holder will have to physically reside within their last country of legal permanent residence for two years before s/he may return to the U.S. as an H-1B visa holder, L visa holder, K visa holder or as a Permanent Resident. If subject, J-visitors are unable to apply for a change of status within the USA. Being "subject" to this regulation does not prevent a visitor from returning to the U.S. in another visa status, such as F-1 (student), B1/B2 (tourist/business) or under the visa waiver program.

There are three reasons a J-1 visitor may be subject to the 212(e):

  •  J-1 program is funded in part or wholly by the United States government, the visitor's government, or an international organization.
  • the J-1 program is engaged in one or more of the skills listed on the Exchange Visitor Skills List (1997 Amendment) for his/her country.
  • the J-1 visa holder is receiving graduate medical education or training.

For more information on J-1 two-year requirement, visit the Department of State website.

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.  

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.


Scholar DS-2019 Request Form
Extension for DS-2019 (Scholar and Non-Degree Students)
The information contained in this web site/form is provided as a service to international students, faculty and staff at the University at Albany. It does not constitute legal advice. We try to provide useful information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site or any associated site or form. Neither the University at Albany nor ISSS is responsible for any errors or omissions contained in this website, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. Nothing provided herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel; students may wish to consult an immigration attorney on the specifics of their case as needed.