J-1 visa procedures for departments

The most common way to bring foreign scholars or specialists to the University 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.

J-1 visa process steps

  1. Request form DS-2019. Fill out the Request For Form DS-2019 available by emailing clindloff@unr.edu.
  2. Submit form, passport information and fee. Send the completed request form to the Office of International Students and Scholars, along with a good quality copy of the biographical page of the foreign visitor's passport (scanning and emailing is highly recommended), invitation letter/description of work being performed, proof of financial support, completed Export Control Evaluation (SP.30), and the OISS processing fee. The fee can be paid either by the department through an IPO for "J-1 Immigration Services" or by the visitor with a check in U.S. currency payable to "The Board of Regents".
  3. Forward form and documentation to J-1 applicant. Allow 7 to 10 business days for the DS-2019 form to be completed. Pick it up at OISS and forward to the visitor, along with the attached documentation, including a welcome brochure, greeting letter and formal invitation letter issued by the department.
  4. Present documentation to proper authorities. The prospective visitor should present the form and other required documents at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their home country to apply for the J-1 visa stamp required to enter the United States.

Items to remember about the J-1 visa process

Plan ahead at least eight weeks. 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 eight weeks into the future for most visitors. Please contact us if you have questions about the start date for a specific visitor.

Health insurance is required. 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.

Program duration. The maximum program duration for professors and research scholars is five years, six months for short-term scholars and one-year for specialists. Program extensions are allowed up to those limits and should be applied for four weeks prior to program completion date.

Home country residency requirement. Some exchange visitors may be subjects to section 212(e) and are required to return to their home country for two 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.

Arriving and departing J-1 scholars

Arrival. Upon the visitor's arrival, please email clindloff@unr.edu to initiate the J-1 check-in process and 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.

Departure. 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.