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
J-1 Short-Term Scholar
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL J-1 SCHOLARS, PROFESSORS, SPECIALISTS, AND STUDENT INTERNS
There are a few basic requirements for all J-1 Exchange Visitors:
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)*
|Expense||Per Month||Annual Total|
|Housing (1 or 2 Bedroom Apartment)||$600 - $800||$7200 - $9600|
|Utilities (Electricity, Gas, Water)||$115 - $250||$1380 - $3000|
|Phone/ Cell Phone||$30 - $60||$360 - $720|
|Health Insurance||$60 - $106||$720 - $1272|
|Groceries||$300 - $400||$3600 - $4800|
|Miscellaneous (Bus, Clothing, etc.)||$95 - $150||$1140 - $1800|
|TOTALS||$1200 - $1,766||$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:
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, or upon their arrival at Syracuse University, they may purchase a comprehensive insurance plan especially designed for Syracuse University’s international students and scholars. The insurance plan, provided by HTH Worldwide Insurance Services, may be purchased through the University’s broker, Haylor Freyer & Coon. For more information, please visit the Health Insurance page.