Southeast Missouri State University is a program sponsor participant of the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program administered by the U.S. Department of State (DoS).
This visa category is for candidates approved to participate in work-and-study-based exchange visitor programs.
Before creating a SEVIS record and producing a DS-2019 form or an exchange visitor in the category of either Professor or Research Scholar, it must be determined that the individual:
- Is eligible to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program as a Professor or Research Scholar
- Can provide appropriate financial support for the duration of the program
- Has English language proficiency to perform the activities for which they are entering the United States and function in an English-speaking environment day-to-day.
An individual may be selected for participation subject to the program conditions.
Exchange visitors are required to possess adequate funding for themselves and each J-2 dependent for the duration of the program. Verified bank documents and/or scholarship letters are acceptable proof of financial support.
- Exchange Scholar: $5,000 per semester
- Spouse: Add $2,000 per semester
- Children: Add $1,000 per semester, per child
DoS requires J-1 Exchange Visitors to have “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.” [22 CFR 62.11(a)(2)] An applicant whose first language is English and is a citizen of a country in which English is the primary spoken language of daily life (e.g., Australia, Barbados, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, United Kingdom) is exempt from this requirement.
J exchange visitors must check-in at the OIES within 72 hours of arrival to campus, after meeting with their Southeast faculty sponsor.
SEVIS registration will not be completed if the exchange visitor does not report to the OIES upon arrival, resulting in willful failure to maintain J exchange visitor immigration status.
SEVIS registration will be completed within the first week of the program which requires the following information to be provided to the OIES by J exchange visitors:
- local residential address
- active email
- local telephone number
Proof of private insurance (see Maintaining J Status section) must be submitted to OIES at time of check-in.
Visiting scholars must notify OIES of program completion, including early termination of program. To notify OIES of completion of the program visit our office or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exchange visitors have 30 days from the program completion date to depart the U.S. even if the DS-2019 has a future end date.
Exchange visitors can acquire “visa overstay” or “unlawful presence” if they fail to depart the U.S. in a timely manner. Consequences for unlawful presence include a 3-year bar from reentering the U.S. for remaining unlawfully in the US for 180 days or more, and a 10-year bar for remaining unlawfully in the U.S. for 365 days or more. These situations occur if:
- An immigration judge finds that the J exchange visitor violated their nonimmigrant status
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security determines that there has been a status violation
How to Apply
A visiting scholar applicant must submit a completed application and all required documentation directly to their faculty sponsor at Southeast. (See J-1 Exchange Visitor application for checklist of required documents.) Southeast’s faculty sponsor will determine English language proficiency for the J-1 applicant. The application and certification of English language proficiency are then forwarded to the Office of International Education and Services by the faculty sponsor, along with an invitation letter from the sponsoring department.
A DS-2019 will be issued for an exchange visitor in the category of either Professor or Research Scholar if the individual meets the Exchange Visitor Program conditions. An acceptance letter and the DS-2019 will be forwarded to the faculty sponsor responsible for the visiting scholar. The sponsoring department will oversee the shipping of acceptance materials to the applicant.
Maintaining J Status
- It is the responsibility of the exchange visitor to maintain their J exchange visitor status.
- DoS mandates J exchange visitors to obtain and maintain insurance that meets the minimum requirements listed below, with the option to purchase private coverage prior to arrival to the University or enroll in the University’s international group plan. Proof of private coverage must be submitted to OIES upon arrival. Minimum requirements include:
- Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
- Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
- Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
- A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness
- Report changes in local residential address. If you move, you MUST report your change of address to OIES within 10 days of moving
- Engage only in the specific activities as described in the DS-2019 Request Form submitted to OIES.
- Refrain from unauthorized employment or other academic or professional activities without first consulting OIES, including accepting payments from Southeast if not officially funded by Southeast.
- Work only as approved on DS-2019 and have a valid, unexpired Form DS-2019 at all times.
- Maintain a valid passport at all times.
Faculty Sponsor Information
It is the responsibility of Southeast’s faculty sponsor to oversee the J Exchange Visitor’s program participation. This includes responsibility for arrival, stay, and departure of the participant. Faculty sponsors are responsible for notifying the Office of International Education and Services of any changes to the program of each sponsored exchange visitor, including their stay and/or departure. The Office of International Education and Services may contact a faculty sponsor periodically to validate that the exchange visitor is participating in the program for which they were approved.