J-1 Information for Colleges and Departments

In order to invite international scholars to conduct research or teach at SDSU, certain procedures must be followed to ensure that immigration matters are handled appropriately. Below please find the resources needed for requesting new international scholars.

For questions, contact [email protected].

J-1 Exchange Visitor Program

In order to participate in the J-1 Program, prospective international scholars must be sponsored by an SDSU department. Once a department has agreed to sponsor the scholar, they will need to work with the department's college immigration representative to gather the appropriate documentation in order to obtain authorization from the Office of Faculty Advancement to participate in SDSU's J-1 Program. The following J-1 visa categories are available for prospective scholars: Research Scholar, Professor, Short-Term Scholar, and Student Intern. 

Research Scholars/Professors

The primary purpose of the Research Scholar and Professor categories is to engage in research, teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project. The minimum program duration is 3 weeks and the maximum is 5 years.

J-1 scholars are ineligible to begin a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor program if they were physically present in any J status for all or part of the 12 months before the J-1 Research Scholar or Professor program is set to begin. This rule is called the 12-Month Bar. Exceptions to this rule exist for J-1 scholar transfers and those who have been present in J status in the Short-Term Scholar category.

Research Scholars and Professors are subject to a 24-Month Bar on repeat participation. This means that if the scholar wishes to return to the U.S. and participate in another J-1 Research Scholar or Professor program, they must wait 24 months prior to starting the new program. 

Short-Term Scholar

The primary purpose of the Short-Term Scholar category is to lecture, observe, consult, and to participate in seminars, workshops, conferences, professional meetings, or similar types of educational and professional activities. The minimum program duration is 1 day and the maximum is 6 months. Extensions beyond 6 months is prohibited.

Student Intern

The primary purpose of the Student Intern category is to enhance the skills and expertise of exchange visitors in their academic or occupational fields through participation in structured and guided work-based internship programs and to improve participants' knowledge of American techniques, methodologies, and technology. Note that this category is for those who are foreign students who are currently enrolled full-time and pursuing studies at a degree- or certificate-granting post-secondary academic institution or graduated from such an institution no more than 12 months prior to their exchange visitor program start date. The maximum program duration is 12 months. Extensions beyond 12 months is prohibited. 

Unlike the other J-1 scholar categories, this category requires that the faculty mentor/supervisor complete a DS-7002 Training and Internship Placement Plan prior to the issuance of the DS-2019. An evaluation must be completed by the faculty mentor at the end of the internship program. If the internship program is more than 6 months, 2 evaluations must be completed--a mid-point and a final evaluation.

Draft DS-7002 Training/Internship Placement Plan 
J-1 Student Intern Evaluation Form

Special Information for All Categories

Certain J-1 scholars and their family members may be subject to the Two-Year Home Country Residence Requirement (Two-Year Home Rule). Unlike the 12- and 24-Month Bars, the Two-Year Home Rule is specific to the individual and not the J-1 category. If a scholar is subject to this rule. they must return to their home country or country of permanent resident for at least 2 years after completing their program before they can change or adjust to a certain nonimmigrant (H, L, K) or immigrant status. A J-1 scholar will know if they are subject to this Two-Year Home Rule once they attend their visa appointment.

The Department of State has established specific requirements that scholars must follow, specifically in regards to:

Minimum Financial Support
Minimum Health Insurance Coverage
English Language Proficiency

At SDSU, the minimum degree requirement for a Research Scholar, Professor, and Short-Term Scholar is a Bachelor's degree or higher. Student Interns may be in a Bachelor's program at the time of their internship. For more information see the J-1 Scholar Categories section above.


If the scholar is currently in the US as a J-1 scholar at a different institution, the scholar may be allowed to transfer to SDSU. The J-1 Initial Request process should be followed. In addition, the J-1 scholar must work with their current US institution to complete the following form:

J-1 Scholar Transfer-In Request Form


If the J-1 scholar wishes to transfer to another U.S. institution, please have the scholar's new institution contact Faculty Advancement to arrange for the SEVIS record to be transferred.

Once the J-1 scholar and their dependents (if applicable) arrive, they must meet with their college or department contact to report their arrival and to provide copies of the necessary immigration documents. 

Any changes to a J-1 program, must be discussed with Faculty Advancement prior to the change. If there is a change in the program end date (post-arrival), funding, dependents, additional sites of activity, etc., please complete the J-1 Amendment Request Form. If the J-1 scholar changes their US home address, they must inform Faculty Advancement within 10 days of the move.
If the J-1 scholar and/or J-2 dependents are traveling internationally during their program, they must inform Faculty Advancement at least 2 weeks prior to travel. A valid travel signature is required on the DS-2019 forms. As such, the scholar should contact Faculty Advancement to schedule an appointment to obtain the appropriate signature.

A J-1 scholar's program is considered completed once the end date is reached on the DS-2019 form. However, there may be instances where the J-1 scholar completes their program objectives earlier than expected. If this is the case, the scholar is expected to end their J-1 status by returning to their home country.

There is a grace period for J-1 scholars and their dependents. The J visa status allows for a 30 day grace period from the end of the J-1 program. Note that this 30 day grace period only allows for tourist activities within the U.S. and for preparations for returning to the J-1's home country. J-1 scholars are not allowed to continue working or be paid by SDSU during this grace period. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility is dependent upon various factors. Generally, the J-1 scholar program is the most common visa for visiting academic faculty and graduate students enrolled at a university outside of the U.S. The minimum requirements for those who wish to participate in a J-1 program include:

Note, if the prospective J-1 has held a J visa before, they may or may not be eligible to participate in a J-1 program at SDSU. Email [email protected] if you would like to discuss the matter in detail.

Your first step would be to contact your college’s designated immigration representative. This individual will be able to initiate the process and guide you through the required steps. As the faculty mentor/supervisor, you will need to sign a J-1 Agreement and attest to the prospective scholar’s English language ability. If you will be providing funding, you will need to write a short letter or memo indicating that you will be fully or partially supporting the scholar while at SDSU.  For further information, please contact your college’s designated immigration representative.

Due to our internal process and the time it takes for visa appointments/interviews at the U.S. embassy/consulate, it is highly recommended that the J-1 Initial Request forms be submitted to faculty advancement at least 2-3 months ahead of the scholar’s proposed start date. The earliest that the request may be submitted is 6 months in advance. Requests submitted less than 2 months in advance may result in a delay in the prospective scholar’s start date.

No. All fees associated with the J-1 program are paid for by the scholar. These fees include the SEVIS fee, visa application fee, and the cost of health insurance. Faculty Advancement does not charge any fees for processing J-1 requests.

Yes, the scholar may provide their own funding. Funding may include personal funds, funding from their employer, or scholarship funds from third party organizations. The J-1 scholar will need to provide evidence of their financial support documentation when they request the J-1 from Faculty Advancement.

Contact your college’s J-1 immigration representative. If you are an immigration representative contact Faculty Advancement.

If it is a significant delay, more than 2 weeks, the DS-2019 should be updated. Contact Faculty Advancement to request for the DS-2019 to be amended. Note that the amended DS-2019 does not need to be sent to the scholar, as they may use their initial DS-2019 to enter the US. Once the J-1 scholar has arrived to the U.S., you will need to provide them with the amended form.

Work with the J-1 scholar and the faculty mentor/supervisor to ensure that all parties agree to the extension and the new end date. Once that is decided, the J-1 scholar will need to provide proof of additional financial support. You will then need to submit the J-1 Amendment/Extension Request Form and supporting documentation to Faculty Advancement so that they can process the extension.

Maybe. J-1 scholars are able to transfer to different institutions as long as they are eligible. Eligibility factors include whether the person is in good standing, if they are in a category that is transferrable, and if they are not close to their maximum time in their current J-1 category. The current institution will need to complete the J-1 Transfer-In Request Form and submit it to Faculty Advancement. Note that the J-1 Initial Request Process must still be completed.