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TYPES OF VISAS SPONSORED FOR INTERNATIONAL PROFESSORS AND RESEARCHERS

The Slutzker Center for International Services is the office responsible for issuing visa documents for professors and researchers from abroad to visit Syracuse University serves as Syracuse University’s , in consultation with the Syracuse University host department, will determine the most appropriate immigration status for your work at Syracuse University. Before the Slutzker Center for International Services may process any initial or extension of visa support for a visiting international professor or researcher, you must be invited or have your invitation extended by a Syracuse University department which will serve as your host. For new or continuing paid employees of Syracuse University, this means that an approved job offer and appointment letter must be signed before sponsorship or extension. For independently-funded, unpaid visiting researchers, an invitation letter must be prepared before visa sponsorship or extension. For specific information about the visa categories which Syracuse University commonly sponsors, please select from the categories below:

  • J-1 Exchange Visitors: This is the most common status used for visiting international professors and researchers at Syracuse University.

For further information about the following possible visa categories, please contact Jennifer Gavilondo in the Office of University Counsel.

  • H-1B Temporary Workers: The H-1B nonimmigrant status permits temporary employment in "Specialty Occupations.The minimum educational level acceptable for H-1B status is a bachelor's degree in the field of the proposed employment.
  • TN Mexican and Canadian NAFTA Professional Workers: The TN category permits Canadian or Mexican citizens entry to the U.S. to be employed in certain designated professions, and/or engage in certain designated professional activities.
  • O-1 Aliens of Extraordinary Ability: The O-1 is a category that is rarely used by Syracuse University. This category is for people with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics.
Permanent Residents: Sponsorship for Permanent Residency is reserved for international faculty and staff who have been offered permanent positions at Syracuse University.

J-1 Overview & Categories

J-1 Overview & Categories

OVERVIEW OF J-1 VISA

The J-1 category is for persons who are coming to the U.S. for a short-term program in a variety of different areas: study, long-term research, short-term research, teaching, and training. Syracuse University authorizes documents only for professors, research scholars, specialists, student interns, and students. The SEVIS DS-2019 is the document issued by the Slutzker Center for International Services to any person approved by Syracuse University for a J-1 program.

It is important to note that the J-program is a temporary program and that J-Visa holders should have no immigrant intent. This visa category should not be used by departments or internationals for permanent employment positions or to seek Permanent Residency in the United States.

The J Exchange Visitor classification authorized by I.N.A. § 101(a)(15)(J) was developed to implement the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act (Fulbright-Hayes Act) of 1961 [Public Law 87-256, as amended, 22 U.S.C. § 2451, et seq.]. The overall purpose of that Act and the objective of the Exchange Visitor classification is “to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges.” The Department of State issues J-Visas and establishes and administers the federal regulations and policies governing the J Exchange Visitor Program.

J-1 EXCHANGE VISITOR CATEGORIES

J-1 Research Scholar/Professor

  • Limited to a maximum stay of 5 years to engage in research and/or teaching
  • Independently-funded scholars are limited to 1 year of sponsorship with eligibility for annual extensions
  • J-1 Research Scholars/Professors may NOT hold or be candidates for tenure
  • Must have a specific objective sponsored by SU, such as to conduct research, teach, or consult
  • 12/24-month bars may prevent J-1 Research Scholar/Professor sponsorship of those who have previously held J visa

J-1 Short-Term Scholar

  • Limited strictly to 6 months; Short-Term Scholars may not extend stay beyond 6 months
  • 12/24-month bars do not apply to J-1 Short-Term Scholars who wish to return in J-1 Professor/Research Scholar category

J-1 Specialist

  • Limited to a maximum stay of 12 months
  • J-1 Specialist is often used for non-teaching staff positions, such as for a coach, manager, or trainer
  • J-1 Specialists may not fill a permanent or long-term position of employment in the U.S.
  • 12-month bar applies to J-1 Specialists who wish to return in J-1 Professor/Research Scholar category

 J-1 Student Intern

  • Limited to a maximum stay of 12 months
  • J-1 Student Intern category is meant to host international students who are currently enrolled and pursuing a degree at a postsecondary academic institution outside the United States.
  • J-1 Student Intern may not fill a permanent or long-term position of employment in the U.S.
  • 12-month bar applies to J-1 Student Interns who wish to return in J-1 Professor/Research Scholar category


ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL J-1 SCHOLARS, PROFESSORS, SPECIALISTS, AND STUDENT INTERNS

There are a few basic requirements for all J-1 Exchange Visitors:

  1. Intent to pursue appropriate activity (such as research, teaching, or training)
  2. Intent to return to home country (as determined by consular officer)
  3. Sufficient funding for program – minimum $1200/month for independently-funded scholars, professors, specialists, and student interns
  4. Appropriate background for program activity (i.e. the J-1 Visitor meets appropriate degree requirements)
  5. Adequate English proficiency (for scholars, professors, and specialists, adequate language proficiency is determined by the host department or by Syracuse University [the Slutzker Center suggests the TOEFL or IELTS exam or at least a review of written and oral skills], but for student interns, TOEFL, IELTS, or similar English proficiency evaluation is required)


REQUIRED FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Host departments must verify that the J-1 applicant and any accompanying dependents will have sufficient funding for the entire length of stay. The minimum amount of financial support for a J-1 Scholar, Professor, Specialist, or Intern is $1200 per month, plus $500 per month for each accompanying J-2 dependent spouse or child. J-1 Scholars, Professors, Specialists, and Interns may be paid by Syracuse University or have independent financial support. If the department will pay the J-1 applicant a salary, then the amount of financial support should be noted in the appointment letter. If the J-1 applicant will not be paid by the department, then the scholar must submit evidence of financial support in the form of a bank statement or a sponsor letter.

Estimated Costs of Living (Based on Living Expenses for one person)*

  • Housing (1 or 2 Bedroom Apartment)
    • Per Month: $600 - $800
    • Annual Total: $7200 - $9600
  • Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Water)
    • Per Month: $115 - $250
    • Annual Total: $1380 - $3000
  • Phone/ Cell Phone
    • Per Month: $30 - $60
    • Annual Total: $360 - $720
  • Health Insurance
    • Per Month: $60 - $106
    • Annual Total: $720 - $1272
  • Groceries
    • Per Month: $300 - $400
    • Annual Total: $3600 - $4800
  • Miscellaneous (Bus, Clothing, etc.)
    • Per Month: $95 - $150
    • Annual Total: $1140 - $1800
  • Total
    • Per Month: $1200-$1766
    • Annual Total: $14,400-$21,192

* The estimated costs of living increase with each added dependent. Estimated cost for each J-2 Dependent is $500 per month, equaling $6000 per year in additional costs per dependent (spouse or children).

SEVIS FEE & VISA FEES

Prospective J-1 Scholars, Professors, Specialists, and Student Interns are required to pay certain fees, described below, in order to obtain their J-1 visas and enter the United States. Either the scholar or the department may pay these fees.

SEVIS Fee: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security charges all new J-1 Scholars and Professors a $180 fee to cover the costs of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a central database that manages information related to visitors’ immigration status while in the United States. The Slutzker Center, when sending the DS-2019 form, will provide prospective J-1 visitors with instructions on how to pay the SEVIS fee.

Visa Fees: In addition to the SEVIS fee, the prospective J-1 must pay certain visa fees. Please see the Department of State web site for more information on fee amounts: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1263.html. In addition, if the visa is issued, the scholar may have to pay a further visa issuance reciprocity fee, if applicable. Prospective J-1 scholars can consult the following web site to determine if they must pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and the fee amount: http://travel.state.gov/visa/fees/fees_3272.html. J-1 scholars should consult the web site of the particular embassy or consulate where they plan to apply for their J-1 visa for information on how to pay their visa fees: http://www.usembassy.gov/.

Please note: Canadian citizens must pay the SEVIS fee, but are not required to obtain a J-1 visa stamp.

HEALTH/MEDICAL INSURANCE REQUIREMENT

Federal regulations require J-1 visa holders to maintain the following minimum level of health insurance for themselves and any J-2 dependents for the duration of their stay in the United States:

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

J-1 visa holders must provide proof of health insurance for themselves and any family members when they first arrive and report to the Slutzker Center, and again if they later apply for an extension of their J-1 status. J-1 visa holders may purchase any plan that provides the minimum level of coverage listed above.

J-1 Scholar Application, Extensions & Transfer

APPLICATION STEPS TO HOST A J-1 SCHOLAR/PROFESSOR

Step 1: Instructions for the J-1 Applicant

The J-1 Applicant should complete Sections 1, 2, and 3 of the J-1 Scholar Application Packet and sign the statement at the end of Section 3.

In addition to Sections 1, 2, and 3 of this form, the J-1 Applicant should submit the following materials to his/her host department:

  • A copy/scan of the J-1 Applicant’s main passport information page (and the main passport page for each J-2 dependent family member who will accompany the J-1 to the US).
  • If the Scholar will be supported by personal funding or by funding from an institute or organization other than Syracuse University, the Scholar must include any necessary financial documentation (award letter, bank statement, salary letter, etc.) and indicate the sources of funding in Section 2. The amount should be at least $1200/month for the J-1 Applicant and $500/month for each dependent J-2 spouse or child(ren).


Step 2: Instructions for the Department

After receiving all documents from the J-1 Applicant, the department should complete Section 4 and submit the entire J-1 Scholar Application Packet (Sections 1,2,3, and 4) along with any accompanying financial documentation and passport copies to the Slutzker Center for International Services.

Departments must also include a copy of an appointment letter for any incoming J-1 Scholar or Professor. The appointment letter is required for both paid and unpaid visiting scholars and professors.

Please submit all of the requested information. The Slutzker Center must have these materials in order to process your request for your prospective J-1 Applicant’s immigration documents.

Note to Applicants and Departments: Syracuse University will not provide J-1 sponsorship longer than one year at a time for independently-funded scholars; independently-funded must seek an annual extension of their J-1 sponsorship for continuance of their program.

Step 3: Slutzker Center for International Services

After receiving all documents from the J-1 Applicant and Department as well as the proof of finances, the Slutzker Center for International Services will process the DS-2019 Forms for the J-1 Scholar or Professor and for all J-2 Dependents in the US Citizenship and Immigration Services SEVIS Database (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System).

Along with the DS-2019(s), the Slutzker Center for International Services will prepare a packet for the J-1 Applicant which will include a cover letter with information about: the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, paying the SEVIS fee, obtaining the J-1 Visa, travel to the United States, and general information about Syracuse University and the city of Syracuse, New York. The department will be asked to send this information along with the department’s appointment letter to the J-1 Applicant (likewise, the Slutzker Center can ship items if provided with an express mail account).

Processing Time: Allow at least 1 week for the Slutzker Center to process and prepare all supporting documents. Overall processing time for the scholar to obtain a J-1 visa and arrive in the US is a minimum of at least 8 weeks (more if there are delays due to Technology Alert List or background checks).

J-1 EXTENSIONS

  • Timing: Departments and Scholars should notify Slutzker Center 1-2 months before the end date indicated on the J-1 DS-2019 in order to process an extension on time.
  • All extensions must be completed in the SEVIS system before the end date on your DS-2019.
  • Maximum period of participation in a J-Program: 
    • J-1 Professor or Research Scholar: Continuous five-year period on a “use or lose” basis
    • J-1 Specialist or Student Intern: One year
    • J-1 Short-term Scholar: Six months
Extensions of stay may be possible if the J-1 Exchange Visitor has not exceeded the time allowed under his/her J-1 status. To process an extension, both the department and the J-1 Exchange Visitor will need to complete the J-1 Extension form and submit it with an updated appointment letter to the Slutzker Center for International Services. The J-1 Extension form and  the J-1 Student Intern Evaluation forms are available on the Slutzker Center website in the Forms Section.

30-day Grace Period: Exchange visitors can also remain in the U.S. for an additional 30 days beyond the expiration date on the DS-2019 provided they are in legal status. The 30-day grace period is meant to allow the J-visa holder time for travel and preparation for departure. The exchange visitor may not work during this period.

NOTE: You are not eligible for extension if you have obtained a waiver or recommendation of waiver of the two-year home residency requirement.

J-1 TRANSFER TO ANOTHER PROGRAM AS A J-1

An exchange visitor can transfer to another program sponsor (i.e. transfer to another University) if: 
  • the purpose of the program remains the same (same general subject area)
  • the visitor will remain in the same category (i.e. Professor will remain a Professor)
  • the visitor has not reached the maximum stay limit (5 years for Research Scholar/Professor; 1 year for Specialist; 1 year for Student Intern; 6 months for Short-term Scholar)
  • the visitor has not obtained a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement


In order to transfer, written release is needed from the current J-1 sponsor. To process the transfer, the J-1 scholar and the new host institution’s J-1 advisor must complete the J-1 Scholar Transfer-Out form which is available on the Slutzker Center website in the Forms Section and submit it to the Slutzker Center.

NOTE: You are not eligible for transfer if you have obtained a waiver or recommendation of waiver of the two-year home residency requirement.

 

J-1 Student Intern Application

J-1 Student Intern Program

Program Administration

Departments planning to host J-1 Interns are responsible for developing the internship plan, evaluating intern participation, and supporting the intern through faculty mentorship and other assistance, such as locating suitable accommodations. The Slutzker Center, designated by the University and the U.S. Department of State as administrators of the University’s J-1 program, will assist departments and interns in producing the immigration paperwork (form DS-2019) required for the intern’s visa, admittance to the U.S., and maintenance of valid immigration status.

Program Requirements and Prohibitions

  • The Department of State has established the following requirements and prohibitions for participation in the J-1 Intern program:
  • The internship must consist of a minimum of 32 hours per week of internship activity, no more than 20 percent of which consists of clerical work.
  • The internship must fulfill the educational objectives for the intern’s current degree program at his/her home institution. It must expose the participant to U.S. techniques, methodologies, and technology; and it must expand up on the intern’s existing knowledge and skills and not duplicate the student intern’s prior experience.
  • A student intern may be paid or unpaid. To be employed, however, the student intern must receive approval from his/her home institution’s dean or academic advisor.
  • The internship must not place the intern in any position that involves any of the following: unskilled or casual labor; child care or elder care; aviation; clinical positions or any other kind of work involving patient care or contact, including therapy, medication, or other clinical or medical care (e.g., sports or physical therapy, psychological counseling, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, social work, speech therapy, or early childhood education); or any “position, occupation, or business that could bring the Exchange Visitor Program or the Department [of State] into notoriety or disrepute.” [22 CFR § 62.23(i)(7)(iii)]
  • The internship cannot serve to fill a labor need. It must exist solely to assist the student intern in achieving the objectives of his or her participation in a student internship program. The internship must consist of work-based learning, rather than ordinary employment or unskilled labor.
  • The internship cannot displace American workers, whether full- or part-time, temporary or permanent.
  • If in the field of agriculture, the internship must meet all requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act.

Financial Support Required

Host departments must verify that the student intern and any accompanying dependents will have sufficient funding for the entire length of stay. The minimum amount of financial support for an intern is $1200 per month, plus $500 per month for each accompanying J-2 dependent spouse or child. The internship may be paid or unpaid. If the department will pay the intern a salary or stipend, then the amount of financial support should be noted in the letter of invitation. If the internship will be unpaid, then the intern must submit evidence of financial support in the form of a bank statement or a sponsor letter.

Estimated Costs of Living (Based on Living Expenses for one person)*

Estimated Costs of Living (Based on Living Expenses for one person)*

  • Housing (1 or 2 Bedroom Apartment)
    • Per Month: $600 - $800
    • Annual Total: $7200 - $9600
  • Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Water)
    • Per Month: $115 - $250
    • Annual Total: $1380 - $3000
  • Phone/ Cell Phone
    • Per Month: $30 - $60
    • Annual Total: $360 - $720
  • Health Insurance
    • Per Month: $60 - $106
    • Annual Total: $720 - $1272
  • Groceries
    • Per Month: $300 - $400
    • Annual Total: $3600 - $4800
  • Miscellaneous (Bus, Clothing, etc.)
    • Per Month: $95 - $150
    • Annual Total: $1140 - $1800
  • Total
    • Per Month: $1200-$1766
    • Annual Total: $14,400-$21,192

SEVIS Fee and Visa Fees

Prospective J-1 interns are required to pay certain fees, described below, in order to obtain their J-1 visas and enter the United States. Either the intern or the department may pay these fees.

SEVIS Fee: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security charges all new J-1 interns a $180 fee to cover the costs of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), a central database that manages information related to visitors’ immigration status while in the United States. The Slutzker Center, when sending the DS-2019 form, will provide prospective J-1 visitors with instructions on how to pay the SEVIS fee.

Visa Fees: In addition to the SEVIS fee, the prospective intern must pay certain visa fees. Please see the Department of State web site for more information on fee amounts: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1263.html. In addition, if the visa is issued, the intern may have to pay a further visa issuance reciprocity fee, if applicable. Prospective interns can consult the following web site to determine if they must pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and the fee amount: http://travel.state.gov/visa/fees/fees_3272.html. Interns should consult the web site of the particular embassy or consulate where they plan to apply for their J-1 visa for information on how to pay their visa fees: http://www.usembassy.gov/.

Health/Medical Insurance

Federal regulations require J-1 interns to maintain the following minimum level of health insurance for themselves and any J-2 dependents for the duration of their stay in the United States:

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

Interns must provide proof of health insurance for themselves and any family members when they first arrive and report to the Slutzker Center, and again if they later apply for an extension of their J-1 status. The interns may purchase any plan that provides the minimum level of coverage listed above.

Mandatory Evaluation of J-1 Interns

Department of State regulations require that an evaluation be completed for each J-1 Student Intern at the end of his/her internship. Those internships which last longer than 6 months also require at least one additional mid-program evaluation, to be undertaken at the mid-point of the program. The J-1 Student Intern Evaluation Form is available on the Slutzker Center website under the Forms section.

APPLICATION STEPS

Step 1: Instructions for the Student Intern Applicant

The J-1 Student Intern Applicant should complete Sections 1, 2, and 3 of the J-1 Student Intern Packet and sign the statement at the end of Section 3. Once the J-1 Student Intern Applicant has completed Sections 1, 2 and 3, he/she should submit the form and supporting documents directly to the Syracuse University department which will host him/her.

In addition to Sections 1, 2, and 3 of this form, the J-1 Student Intern Applicant should submit the following materials to his/her host department:
A copy/scan of the J-1 Student Intern Applicant’s main passport information page.

A letter from an English language instructor at the intern's institution or an English language school verifying that the intern has sufficient language skills to “function on a day-to-day basis in the internship environment.” Alternatively, the intern can provide evidence of passing a recognized language test, such as the TOEFL or IELTS. The minimum TOEFL score required on the written test is 550 and on the internet-based test (iBT) is 80. The minimum IELTS score is 6.5.

If the intern will be paid by Syracuse University, then the intern must submit a letter from the dean or academic advisor from his/her home institution which authorizes the employment.

If the intern who will not be paid by Syracuse University, the J-1 Student Intern Applicant must submit proof of adequate financial support and provide copies to the Slutzker Center. The amount should be at least $1200/month for the J-1 Student Intern Applicant and $500/month for each for a dependent J-2 spouse or child(ren).


Step 2: Instructions for the Department

After receiving all documents from the J-1 Applicant, the department should complete Section 4 and submit the entire J-1 Student Intern Packet (Sections 1, 2, 3, and 4) along with any accompanying financial documentation and passport copies to the Slutzker Center for International Services.


In addition to this form, departments are required to provide the following materials:

An invitation letter on department letterhead, inviting the J-1 Student Intern to come to SU as visiting student intern.

A Training/Internship Placement Plan (DS-7002) for each intern. A fillable version of this form is available at https://eforms.state.gov/Forms/ds7002.PDF. Please complete the DS-7002 form and sign under "Supervisor's Signature", but leave "Sponsor's Signature" and "Program Number" blank. The Slutzker Center will complete that portion of the DS-7002. The Slutzker Center will send the form to the J-1 Student Intern with the other visa support documents. The J-1 Student Intern will need this form when he/she applies for his/her visa.


Please submit all of the requested information. The Slutzker Center must have these materials in order to process your request for your prospective intern’s immigration documents.

Step 3: Slutzker Center for International Services

After receiving all documents from the J-1 Applicant and Department as well as the supporting documents, the Slutzker Center for International Services will process the DS-2019 Forms for the J-1 Student Intern and for all J-2 Dependents in the US Citizenship and Immigration Services SEVIS Database (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System).

Along with the DS-2019(s), the Slutzker Center for International Services will prepare a packet for the J-1 Student Intern Applicant which will include an invitation letter and information about: the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, paying the SEVIS fee, obtaining the J-1 Visa, travel to the United States, and general information Syracuse University and Syracuse, New York. The department will be asked to send this information along with the department’s appointment letter to the J-1 Applicant (likewise, the Slutzker Center can ship items if provided with an express mail account).

Processing Time - Plan 2 Months in Advance

After submission of the complete J-1 Student Intern Application, please allow at least 1 week for the Slutzker Center to process and prepare all supporting J-1 Visa documents.

Overall processing time for the student intern to obtain a J-1 visa and arrive in the US is a minimum of at least 8 weeks (more if there are delays due to Technology Alert List or background checks).

J-1 INTERN EXTENSIONS

  • Timing: Departments and Interns should notify Slutzker Center 1-2 months before the end date indicated on the J-1 DS-2019 in order to process an extension on time.
  • All extensions must be completed in the SEVIS system before the end date on your DS-2019.

Extensions of stay may be possible if the J-1 Student Intern has not exceeded the 1 year allowed under his/her J-1 status. To process an extension, both the department and the J-1 Student Intern will need to complete the J-1 Extension form and submit it with a J-1 Student Intern Evaluation and an updated appointment letter to the Slutzker Center for International Services. The J-1 Extension form and the J-1 Student Intern Evaluation form are available on the Slutzker Center website in the Forms Section.

30-day Grace Period: J-1 Student Interns can also remain in the U.S. for an additional 30 days beyond the expiration date on the DS-2019 provided they are in legal status. The 30-day grace period is meant to allow the J-visa holder time for travel and preparation for departure. The exchange visitor may not work during this period.

NOTE: You are not eligible for extension if you have obtained a waiver or recommendation of waiver of the two-year home residency requirement.

J-1 TRANSFER TO ANOTHER PROGRAM AS A J-1 STUDENT INTERN

An exchange visitor can transfer to another program sponsor (i.e. transfer to another University) if:

  • the purpose of the program remains the same (same general subject area)
  • the visitor will remain as a Student Intern
  • the visitor has not reached the maximum stay limit (1 year for Student Intern)
  • the visitor has not obtained a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement

In order to transfer, written release is needed from the current J-1 sponsor. To process the transfer, the J-1 Student Intern and the new host institution’s J-1 advisor must complete the J-1 Scholar Transfer-Out form which is available on the Slutzker Center website in the Forms Section and submit it to the Slutzker Center.

NOTE: You are not eligible for transfer if you have obtained a waiver or recommendation of waiver of the two-year home residency requirement.

A Training/Internship Placement Plan (DS-7002) for each intern. A fillable version of this form is available at http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/84240.pdf. Please complete the DS-7002 form and sign under "Supervisor's Signature", but leave "Sponsor's Signature" and "Program Number" blank. The Slutzker Center will complete that portion of the DS-7002. The Slutzker Center will send the form to the J-1 Student Intern with the other visa support documents. The J-1 Student Intern will need this form when he/she applies for his/her visa.