Future J-1 Scholars

Obtain Immigration Documents

Are you interested in teaching or doing research at the University of St. Thomas?

  1. Contact the academic department or college in which you would like to teach or do research.
  2. Once an arrangement is made, confirm the dates and the purpose of your visit.
  3. The St. Thomas Academic Department will request a DS-2019 from Office of International Students & Scholars (so that you can apply for your J-1 visa).
  4. The DS-2019 and other important information about St. Thomas will be sent to you so that you can apply for the visa.
  5. Upon arrival in St. Paul, check-in with Office of International Students & Scholars and receive a J-1 scholar orientation.

Obtain Health Insurance

The University of St. Thomas strongly recommends that you purchase ISO’s J-1 Exchange Plan to cover your stay in the U.S.  It is very affordable and meets the minimum requirements set by Department of State.

U.S. Immigration law requires all J-1 exchange visitors and their J-2 dependents to have health/medical insurance at all times while participating in the J-1 exchange program; this includes the 30 days before and after the J-1 program. Health Insurance, Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Insurance are required of all J-1 and J-2 exchange visitors.

Program participants and their dependents are required to have medical insurance coverage with the following minimum benefits [22 CFR 62.14].

  1. Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness
  2. Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
  3. Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000
  4. A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.

Arrival and Entry to the U.S.

U.S. immigration law permits all J-1 visa holders and their J-2 dependents to enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the program start date on the DS-2019. You must schedule an appointment with Office of International Students & Scholars for a 1:1 J-1 orientation upon arrival.

Current J-1 Scholars

Stay Legal

  1. J-1 scholars must only conduct the academic activities (teaching, research, etc.) that are listed on their DS-2019.
  2. Maintain health insurance per J-1 immigration regulations. J-1 Scholar Insurance Compliance
  3. Valid passport and valid DS-2019 for entire stay in the U.S.
  4. Do not engage in any other employment unless authorized in advance by OISS and related to your research or courses at St. Thomas.* 
  5. J-1 scholars may engage in incidental study while maintaining valid J-1 immigration status.
  6. Report a change of address within 10 days of your move by emailing oiss@stthomas.edu

*OISS must authorize honorariums for presentations at other institutions in advance of that presentation or conference. Please contact OISS for additional information about this.

212(e) Two Year Home Country Rule

Some J-1 and J-2 visa holders might be subject to this requirement and if so, it would be noted on the J-1/J-2 visa in your passport. J-1 visa holders with funding from their home government or the U.S. government will be subject to the 212(e) rule. Individuals with expertise listed on the skills list might be subject to the 212(e) rule. 

The 212(e) rule prevents an individual from changing their immigration status within the U.S. and requires this individual to live in their home country for 2 years before they are eligible for this type of immigration benefit. Individuals subject to the 212(e) rule can apply for a waiver of this requirement or leave and re-enter in a new student status. The waiver process is complicated and can be time consuming.

If you are interested in obtaining a waiver, please contact OISS for details about your specific situation.

Extension of Stay

J-1 scholars who can not complete the purpose of their J-1 program before the program end date listed on their DS-2019, must apply for an extension of stay. Please complete J-1 Scholar Extension Request Form‌ to request extension.

  • J-1 Research Scholars and J-1 Professors have a 5 year maximum duration of participation and are subject to a 24 month bar from participating in another J-1 program when their stay has ended.
  • Short-term J-1 Scholars have a 6 month maximum duration of participation that can not be extended and they are not subject to the 24 month bar.

Transfer Out

A J-1 scholar is permitted to transfer to a different institution provided the transfer procedure is followed. To transfer to a different institution, J-1 Scholars should with an OISS advisor‌. The transfer will be effective on the “SEVIS release date” that you select to have your J-1 SEVIS record transferred from St. Thomas to the new institution.

NOTE: When choosing your release date, make sure you take into account your on-campus position. On your release date, you will no longer be able to work or conduct research on St. Thomas campus.

J-2 Dependents

J-2 Dependents (spouse and/or children) may study full or part-time in the U.S. J-2 dependents may apply for employment authorization while in the U.S. OISS staff will assist with the application for employment authorization. J-2 visa holders are only eligible to apply for a Social Security Number if they apply for and receive employment authorization from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.