Department Information

Outline of J-1 Visa Procedures

The most common way to bring foreign scholars or specialists to UNR for temporary appointment is through our Exchange Visitor Program. The Department must first request a DS-2019 form which is then used by the visitor to apply for J-1 visa at the U.S. Consulate abroad. The procedures are outlined below:

  1. Fill out the Request For Form DS-2019 available at the OISS website.
  2. Send the completed Request Form to the Office of International Students and Scholars, MS 074,along with a good quality copy of the biographical page of the foreign visitor's passport (scanning and e-mailing is highly recommended) and a $350 fee. The fee can be paid either by the department thru an IPO for "J-1 Immigration Services" or by the visitor with a check in US currency payable to "The Board of Regents".
  3. Allow 2-3 days for the DS-2019 form to be completed. Pick it up at OISS located at 120 Student Services Building and forward to the visitor, along with the attached documentation (Welcome Brochure and OISS greeting letter) and a formal invitation letter issued by the department. The prospective visitor should present the form and other required documents at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in his/her home country to apply for the J-1 visa stamp required to enter the United States.

Please keep the following issues in mind:

  • Visa processing times can be very high especially for visitors subject to security background checks due to their nationality or professions if listed on the Technology Alert List. The program start date indicated on a DS-2019 form should be realistic, at least 8 weeks into the future for most visitors. Please contact us if you have questions about the start date for a specific visitor.
  • J-1 visitors and their dependents are required by law to carry health insurance which provides a minimum of $100,000.00 coverage for the duration of the program.
  • The maximum program duration for professors and research scholars is 5 years; for short-term scholars is 6 months only, and for specialists is 1 year. Program extensions are allowed up to those limits and should be applied for 4 weeks prior to program completion date.
  • Some exchange visitors may be subjects to section 212(e) and are required to return to their home country for 2 years upon completion of their stay in the U.S. In some circumstances it is possible for a visitor to apply for a waiver of this requirement.
  • Upon the visitor's arrival, please call OISS at 784-6874 to schedule a J-1 check-in meeting. The Exchange Visitor should bring the DS-2019 and passports for him/herself and all accompanying family members for the check-in/orientation meeting.
  • Please report the departure of an Exchange Visitor from your department to the OISS so that accurate records can be maintained. A phone call or brief e-mail is all that is needed.

Please feel free to call with questions at ext. 46874 or  e-mail OISS at