J-1 Scholar Visa Program
Who should get a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa?
This classification is appropriate for most research scholars who are coming temporarily to the United States and expect to return home.
Who sponsors this kind of international scholar?
Saint Louis University has been approved by the U.S. State Department to serve as the visa sponsor for these individuals. Other organizations -- the Institute for International Education, the National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization and the Agency for International Development -- may serve as the J-1 visa sponsor for SLU international scholars instead of SLU. If another organization sponsors the scholar, he or she still should check in with the Office of International Services (OIS).
How does an international scholar secure a J-1 visa?
- Scholars must get a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status (Form DS-2019) from OIS or from the sponsoring organization.
- After the scholar receives the DS-2019 they should pay the SEVIS fee (What is SEVIS). You will need to keep the receipt for the SEVIS fee for your J-1 visa.
- Documentation that shows that you can meet the financial responsibilities of your program.
- Evidence that you will return home once you complete your program.
- Nonimmigrant visa applications and payment of any required fees.
- Photographs (See requirements at U.S. Department of State)
How do I maintain a J status?
Upon arriving in the U.S., an exchange visitor must check in with the OIS as soon as possible so that we can validate your J-1 program in SEVIS. Once you have checked in, you must engage in the appropriate activities of your program (professor should be teaching, research scholar should engage in research project, etc.). A requirement of the J-1 and J-2 visa status is that each individual must prove insurance coverage. For more information on the requirements for the insurance coverage, click here. Also, if you move, you must notify the OIS within 10 days of moving. See the change of address form.
To request the DS-2019 for a visiting international scholar, the hiring department should complete the J-1 Department Request Form. The prospective J-1 scholar should complete the New J-1 Scholar Information Sheet. Both forms should be returned to OIS.