J-1 visa — student visa Immigration Frequently Asked Questions

150 150 Marisol Mancera

J-1 visa — student visa Immigration Frequently Asked Questions

J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa that lets foreigners enter the U.S. to take part in exchange programs. The aim of this visa is to promote the sharing of skills and knowledge in sciences, arts, and education.

We have prepared a few facts that we believe will help you understand this visa.

Do you need to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee?

The Department of Homeland Security will require that you pay a $180 fee if you are new to the J-1 program. This fee covers the cost of running the SEVIS program. When you are issued a new Ds-2019 to start a new program, you will need to pay the I-901 SEVIS fee. However, any further extensions or transfers to the original DS-2019 do not come with any SEVIS fee.

Ensure that you print a copy of the receipt when going for the visa interview and when traveling to America.

What if you apply for the visa and it is delayed or denied?

The learning institution you will be visiting obviously has a commitment to assist their international students. However, when it comes to deciding visa application, the U.S. consulate has final authority. If the visa is subjected to administrative processing, this can lead to a delay of up to 60 days.

If the visa is denied, you should obtain the reason for the denial in writing. Later on, you can re-apply after you show evidence that there is a significant change in the circumstances since the last application.

How do you check in when you get to the university?

For you to maintain the J-1 status, a J-1 professor has to complete the mandatory check-in. You will need to call the college or university to schedule the check-in process. During the appointment, you will need to have the I-94, passport, visa, and proof of insurance for you and any dependents.

What do you need to re-enter the U.S. if you leave?

If you are leaving the U.S. for less than 30 days, there will be no need to inform the OIP. However, if you will travel for more than 30 days, you have to submit the J-1 Extended Absence Request form.

How do you renew the J-1 Visa?

The visa is a travel document that lets you enter the U.S. with a valid DS-2019. You will only need a valid J-1 visa to re-enter the U.S. You can stay in the U.S. with a valid DS-2019 and an expired visa. If you want to re-enter the U.S. from abroad, you will have to apply for a new visa before you can re-enter. The visa can only be applied at a U.S. consulate.

What is the Two-Year Residency Requirement?

Under various circumstances, holders of the J-1 visa may need to undergo a two-year home physical presence. In such a case, the visa holder has to go back to their home country for two years before they can change their visa classification. A waiver can be applied and obtained in some circumstances. The two-year rule does not ban you from ever re-entering the U.S.

What are the health insurance requirements?

Every J-1 holder must have health insurance that meets the Department of State requirements. The law states that you must submit proof of coverage within 15 days to the OIP. The health insurance coverage will apply for the length of your program. If you willfully choose to ignore this requirement, you are in violation of the visa.

What happens if you need more time to complete your program?

You are eligible for an extension of the Ds-2019 if you have not reached the maximum duration limit of your J-1 visa. You can get a 2-year waiver. To get this extension, you need to submit the DS-2019 extension form for scholars to the OIP.

Can you work outside the university you are visiting?

Besides being employed by the university related to your J-1 objective, you are eligible to receive authorization for incidental employment. This employment must be related to your J-1 objectives. For instance, you can offer occasional consulting or provide lectures. The incidental employment has to get OIP approval before you can start working.

How can you move the J-1 status to a new institution?

The transfer request must go through OIP. ON the release date, the SEVIS database record is shifted from your current academic institution t your new one. After that, the new school can start to prepare an updated Ds-2019, which reflects your new sponsorship. Once the SEVIS record is transferred, you will no longer have any affiliation with the former institution. That means you cannot work there unless the new sponsor provides approval.

Can you change your status to another visa classification?

Because of various requirements, changing your status can prove quite stressful. Always consult with a lawyer before you attempt such a move.