WHAT IS A J-1 SCHOLAR?
The J-1 is a non-immigrant status that allows academic institutions to bring international scholars and students to the US to participate in research, teaching and study in support of the objectives of public diplomacy and mutual educational and cultural exchange.
UW–Madison is approved by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to serve as a J-1 sponsor for international scholars and students to participate in research, teaching and degree programs at UW–Madison. International Student Services (ISS) at UW–Madison handles any student related J-1 programs. International Faculty & Staff Services (IFSS) handles all scholar and non-student related J-1 programs.
The J-1 scholar categories most prevalent at UW–Madison are Research Scholar, Professor, Short-term Scholar, Specialist, and Student. All decisions relating the employee’s J-1 program must be made by the department including choosing the category, the dates of the program, and the duties. Sponsors are required to “ensure that the activities in which exchange visitors are engaged are consistent with the category and activity listed on their Forms DS-2019.” 22 CFR § 62.10(d)(1)
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WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
To be eligible for J-1 scholar status, you:
- Must hold a completed undergraduate degree
- Must have enough money for all living expenses, including additional financial support for any accompanying family members either from UW–Madison or any other sources.
- Must maintain health insurance for sicknesses or accidents when you are in J-1 status. Failure to maintain health insurance coverage will jeopardize your J-1 status. You must have University health insurance, purchase Student Health Insurance Program (SHIP) insurance or have insurance that has been pre-approved by the University.
- Must be invited or hosted by a UW–Madison faculty or staff member
- Must collaborate with a UW faculty or staff member
- Work must benefit the UW
- Work must be performed on campus
- Must be in a terminal teaching or research position (not tenure track or annually renewable)
WHO IS NOT ELIGIBLE?
The J-1 is not appropriate for:
- Tenure track positions or permanent annually renewable appointments
- Anyone who intends to provide clinical care or work
- Independent work
- Performing work for a faculty member’s start up company other similar entity
UW–Madison cannot sponsor employees of affiliated entities. Exceptions are made when the individual is an employee of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) working in a UW–Madison faculty HHMI Investigator’s laboratory.
J-1s may enter the U.S. up to 30-days before the start date of their J-1 program and may remain in the U.S. for up to 30-days after their J-1 program, if the I-94, arrival departure record given to them by Customs and Border Protection when they enter the US is marked D/S for duration of status.
J-1s cannot work or “volunteer” to work during the grace period.
Initiate the J-1 request at least three (3) months before the scholar’s anticipated start date. The timeline includes the department and IFSS processing time as well as the visa stamping process at a US consulate and any potential delays.
Initiate the J-1 extension request at least one (1) month before the scholar’s current DS-2019 expiration date.
Initiate the J-1 shorten request at least two (2) weeks before the scholar’s resignation date or revised appointment end date.
Transfer a J-1 Program to UW–Madison
Initiate the J-1 transfer in request at least one (1) month before the scholar’s start date at UW–Madison. The start date at UW–Madison must be on or before the scholar’s current DS-2019 end date.
Transfer the UW–Madison Program to another J-1 Sponsor
Initiate the J-1 transfer out request at least one (1) month before the scholar’s end date at UW–Madison.
12/24 MONTH BARS ON REPEAT PARTICIPATION
Please check the following chart if the prospective J-1 has been in a previous J-1 category and wishes to become a Research Scholar or Professor. The chart lists the bars that the J-1 would be subject to if they were in one of the categories and for the durations listed.
|Previous Category||6 months of less||More than 6 months|
|J-1 Research Scholar & Professor||24 months||24 months|
|J-2 Dependent of Research Scholar/Professor||24 months||24 months|
|J-1 Short Term Scholar||No Bar||N/A|
|J-1 Student Non – Degree||No Bar||12 months|
|J-1 Student||No Bar||12 months|
|J-1 Specialist||No Bar||12 months|
|J-2 Dependent of all categories except Short Term||No Bar||12 months|
The J-1 non-immigrant process is completed in-house by IFSS. IFSS has been granted the authority by the Department of State (DOS) to create the DS-2019, the J-1 immigration document. This process is a 3-way partnership between IFSS, the hiring department, and the scholar.
The hiring department is encouraged to contact IFSS with any questions about the J-1 process and to discuss procedures.
IFSS uses Terra Dotta System (TDS) for all J-1 requests. If you do not have TDS access, please contact your Dean’s office. The Dean’s office will find a TDS user in your hiring department who can help you or the Dean’s office will ask IFSS to grant you access if you meet the eligibility requirements.
All J-1s must meet UW–Madison’s financial requirements and English proficiency requirements.
UW-Madison’s application for J-1 internship (private sector) designation is moving toward a decision at U.S. Department of State. Until UW–Madison receives a decision on this application, campus units who wish to bring students without a bachelor’s degree to Madison should contact IFSS. IFSS is working with an external vendor to assist with sponsorship. The campus units are required to pay for the costs associated with sponsorship. UW–Madison intends to create internal supporting services for certain J-1 student intern applications in time for summer 2023 internships. The external vendor may still be needed in some cases. Please reach out to Jennifer Taylor if you have additional questions.