Academic Affairs

For International Exchange Faculty/Scholars

Procedures for Securing J-1 Visa Application

The following is an attempt to de-mystify the process for securing the appropriate visa for an international exchange faculty member or visitor who is being invited to campus.

Forms and Resources

Prior to the Exchange Visitor's Arrival

Responsibilities of the Department:

The department interested in bringing an international exchange faculty member to campus is responsible for assigning a contact person to facilitate the invitation process. (Please note - the host department and contact person have direct responsibility for advising and assisting the international faculty visitor with locating housing and with the cultural transition as they adapt to the local and campus communities.) The process is initiated by the contact person securing information from the exchange visitor and completing the International Visiting Faculty/Scholar Questionnaire form.

Responsibilities of the Administration

The Department Chair of the host department forwards to the College Dean:

  • a memo requesting that a letter of invitation be drafted to the international visiting faculty member
  • the completed International Visiting Faculty/Scholar Questionnaire

Please note: If the International Visiting Faculty/Scholar is being hired to teach a course, then the following steps must be adhered to and the following documents will be forwarded to the individual along with the above-referenced documentation:

  • a Lecturer Transaction form (Form 500; not currently available online) is prepared by the Department and forwarded to the College Dean for approval
  • Form 500 then is forwarded to Academic Personnel Services, wherein the document is processed into the CMS system and a CMS-generated Letter of Offer is prepared
  • the Letter of Offer and Form 500 is forwarded to the Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs for approval

The College Dean prepares a letter inviting the exchange visitor to campus, which includes the terms of the invitation (e.g., program being established, research being conducted and/or courses being taught) with the salary and inclusive dates of the appointment, if appropriate. The following is then forwarded to the Assistant to the Provost (Lura Holtkamp):

  • the College Dean's letter of invitation
  • the completed International Visiting Faculty/Scholar Questionnaire

The Assistant to the Provost prepares a DS-2019 form and a cover letter, which includes insurance requirement information and a Petition to Approve Alternate Insurance form to be completed and signed by the insurance company should the exchange visitor carry insurance that meets minimum requirements. These items, along with the College Dean's letter of invitation, and, if appropriate, the CMS-generated letter of offer, are forwarded to the exchange visitor.

Responsibilities of the Exchange Visitor

Effective September 1, 2004 , exchange visitors and students are responsible for payment of a Student and Exchange visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee in the amount of $180. Information can be accessed on-line at SEVIS fee payment system.

The following documents should then be presented to the U.S. Consulate, who has jurisdiction over the exchange visitor's place of residence:

  • the original, signed DS-2019 form
  • proof of having paid the SEVIS fee
  • documentation evidencing financial ability to meet expenses (copy of CMS-generated letter of offer, bank statements, etc.)
  • the signed letter of invitation from the College Dean
  • passport
  • the original, signed DS-156 form, Nonimmigrant Visa Application
  • if required, the original, signed DS-157 form
  • photographs
  • Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee
  • proof of insurance as prescribed in the university's letter of invitation

The Consular officer will review the documents, and if in order, will stamp the inside of the exchange visitor's passport with a J-1 visa stamp.

Upon receipt of documents from the University, the CMS-generated letter of offer, if applicable, should be signed and returned to Academic Personnel Services immediately upon receipt. If existing insurance is in place, the Petition to Approve Alternate Insurance form is to be completed and signed by the insurer and returned by the exchange visitor to the Assistant to the Provost prior to the exchange visitor's arrival on campus.

If the exchange visitor will be receiving a stipend for services rendered while on campus, and will not be securing a Social Security number, the exchange visitor is required to obtain an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) and can do so by completing IRS Form W-7. Because it takes approximately 30 days to process, it is suggested that the exchange visitor apply prior to their arrival.

Questions regarding income tax withholding may also be directed to the Accounts Payable Office at Humboldt State University. Additional information is also available on the Financial Services web page.

Insurance Requirement:

Insurance coverage for both the exchange visitor and any dependents traveling with them is required by law (per 22 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 62.14 and 62.45 (d) & (f). If the exchange visitor does not have existing insurance coverage which meets the minimum requirements, insurance is available for purchase through the College of eLearning & Extended Education. Said insurance coverage must be obtained prior to the exchange visitor's arrival at HSU.

If the exchange visitor is being employed at a minimum .40 time base, advise them to contact the Office of Human Resources to secure health insurance benefits. Please note - additional insurance coverage to address the repatriation and medical evacuation requirements can then be purchased through the College of eLearning & Extended Education at a reduced rate. Again, if the exchange visitor has insurance which meets the minimum requirements below, the Petition to Approve Alternate Insurance form is to be completed by the insurance company (in English, and coverage converted to American currency), signed, and returned by the exchange visitor to the Assistant to the Provost prior to the exchange visitor's arrival on campus.

While this requirement may appear unnecessarily prescriptive, the Code of Federal Regulations reads:

"A sponsor shall terminate an exchange visitor's participation in its program if the sponsor determines that the exchange visitor or any accompanying spouse or dependent willfully fails to remain in compliance with insurance requirements."

Minimum insurance coverage is as follows:

  • medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness, with a co-payment of no more than 25%
  • repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500
  • expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his/her home country in the amount of $10,000
  • a deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness, and
  • coverage of pre-existing conditions after six months of continuous coverage

Upon the Exchange Visitor's Arrival

Responsibilities of the Department:

The department contact person accompanies the exchange visitor to the following locations:

See On-Campus Integration and Departure Sequence for New International Faculty Members and Exchange Visitors for more detailed information.

Conclusion of the Program

The exchange visitor will meet with the Assistant to the Provost to confirm that they are concluding their program and establish the date of return to their home country.

Humboldt State University