J-1 Exchange Visitor Program

According to the Department of State (DOS), the purpose of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the US and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange.

The exchange of international visitors promotes interchange of knowledge and skills, mutual enrichment, and stronger links between research and educational institutions in the US and foreign countries. The J-1 status is a temporary, nonimmigrant status. Participants are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Intent to pursue appropriate activity (research, teaching, etc.)
  • Intent to return to home country (as determined by consular officer)
  • Sufficient funding for J program duration
  • Appropriate background for program activity
  • English language proficiency

The UCSC department must extend an academic appointment to the prospective J-1 Exchange Visitor prior to requesting a DS-2019. J-1 Exchange Visitor status is limited to those who hold temporary, “visiting” academic positions. The J-1 status cannot be used for tenure-track faculty positions, regular faculty or support positions, administrative positions, or staff positions. The following titles are eligible for J-1 Exchange Visitor status:

  • All Visiting Appointments
  • Visiting Scholar, Visitor (Graduate Student), Visitor (Undergraduate Student)
  • Research Associate and Research Fellow
  • Postdoctoral Scholar
  • Jr. Specialist

Please reference Recruitment and Appointment of Non-Citizens for more information.

Please note the immigration bars and limitations that may affect a prospective Exchange Visitors’ eligibility to visit UCSC when submitting a DS-2019 request to ISSS.

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Process Timeline

  1. Department Invited Exchange Visitor
    Before submission to ISSS
  2. Submit DS-2019 Request to ISSS
  3. ISSS Processes DS-2019
    7 business days
  4. Visitor Makes Visa Appointment
    2-4 weeks
  5. U.S. Embassy/Consulate Processes Visa
    1-12 weeks
  6. Visitor Arrives in U.S. and Completes ISSS Orientation Process*
    2-4 weeks

*Must complete no later than 30 days from start date

UCSC Department and Faculty Responsibilities

The UCSC department and hosting supervisor are responsible for providing assistance to the Exchange Visitor upon arrival to UCSC and must comply to the following reporting requirements:

  • Monitor the J-1 Exchange Visitor’s arrival dates and inform ISSS of possible delays or cancellations by submitting an amendment request
  • Inform J-1 Exchange Visitors that they are required to have health insurance for themselves and their J-2 dependents that meet the Department of State's requirements for the J program.
  • Remind the J-1 Exchange Visitor to complete the mandatory ISSS orientation process no later than 30 days after their start date.
  • Notify ISSS by submitting an amendment request if the J-1 Exchange Visitor will experience any of the following at least 30 days in advance:
    • program activities end before the program end date on the DS-2019
    • program activities will be extended past the end date on the DS-2019
    • change/add UCSC compensation
    • change departments or labs within UCSC
    • change faculty supervisor within UCSC
    • additional site of activity (new location where activities will be conducted)