Inviting J-1 Scholars
STOP: Before inviting or hiring an international scholar, you must first contact Faculty Records to secure an appointed position for your prospective visitor or employee.
After an appointed position has been approved by Faculty Records, you should review the following information provided below and follow the instructions for submitting documentation. If you require further assistance after thoroughly reading through the information below please contact the International Office.
Inviting J-1 Exchange Scholars
The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is an excellent way for departments to invite international scholars to come to Texas State to teach, conduct research or study. The purpose of this program is “to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of education and cultural exchanges.” To invite an international scholar, the sponsoring individual/department must first secure an appointment through Faculty Records. The sponsoring individual/department is responsible for providing campus privileges (such as office space, use of the library, computer labs, parking, etc.). In addition, arrangements such as housing and transportation should be taken into consideration when inviting someone from abroad. After the appointment has been approved, the sponsoring individual/department should contact the International Office to assist with the immigration paperwork process.
The U.S. State Department has authorized an organization in Austin called Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC) to administer the J-1 Exchange Visitor program for Texas State. TIEC charges a fee of $295 to provide this service. This is a one-time fee and may be paid by the sponsor or scholar. TIEC, which is a vendor in SAP, will forward an invoice to the sponsoring department or they can bill the scholar who may pay by check, money order, or credit card. The International Office acts as intermediary between the sponsor and TIEC to facilitate the process and assist the sponsor with meeting Program requirements such as providing orientation and cultural activities for the scholar.
Review the documents for futher information:
Categories of Exchange Visitor
There are 10 categories of Exchange Visitor however TIEC is authorized to issue a DS-2019 for the categories of Professor, Research Scholar, Short-term Scholar (Max: 6 months), Student Intern, Non-degree Student, and Bachelor’s, Master’s, or Doctoral Student. Here are the categories in which you can consider inviting exchange visitors:
Short-term Scholar/ Professor/ Researcher Categories
These categories refer to individuals who are in the U.S. as visiting researchers or professors under the auspices of the US Department of State and a Designated Program Sponsor. They are eligible to receive payment from the organization listed on Form DS-2019 as the source of funds and/or the Designated Program Sponsor for a period of validity as stated on the DS-2019. Under limited circumstances, J-1s may receive compensation from other institutions provided prior written authorization from the RO of their Designated Program has been secured. The DS-2019 authorizes the above stated employment. An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card is not required.
Caution: this category should only be used for those scholars who are coming for a short period and have no plans to continue beyond the 6-month limit.
A short-term scholar is a professor, research scholar, specialist, or a person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the United States on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills at research institutions, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions.
In addition to the language of the regulation itself, this may also be helpful when determining whether the short-term category is appropriate for the planned activities of the Exchange Visitor:
- "Educators, scientists, research fellows, writers, museum administrators, librarians, and similar persons of recognized expertise are examples of participants appropriate for this category."
- "The goal of short-term scholar exchanges is to increase the velocity of the interchange of knowledge and skills and collaborative research efforts between foreign and American scholars. This may be accomplished by providing foreign scholars the opportunity to share ideas with their American colleagues, participate in educational and professional programs, confer on common problems and projects, and thereby promote improved professional relationships and communications."
- "...this category is intended only as a vehicle for short-term collaboration and interchange..."
The maximum duration of stay as a Short-Term Scholar is 6 months. A short-term scholar may extend his or her stay up to the six-month maximum or transfer to another program within that period, but extensions beyond 6 months are not permitted. Short-term scholars are not subject to the three-week minimum length of program requirement to which most other Exchange Visitors are subject. And so, their stay can be anywhere from one day to six months. Participation in the short-term scholar category does not trigger the 12-month or 24-month bar restrictions; therefore this category would be ideal for a scholar who would like to be able to return on an annual basis to the U.S. without restriction.
*Professor or Research Scholar
A professor is defined as: An individual primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting at post-secondary accredited educational institutions, museums, libraries, or similar types of institutions. A professor may also conduct research, unless disallowed by the sponsor.
A research scholar is defined as: An individual primarily conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions. The research scholar may also teach or lecture, unless disallowed by the sponsor.
Academic credentials: Professors and Research Scholars are expected to have appropriate academic or similar credentials. Sponsors are bound by the requirement that they "screen and select prospective Exchange Visitors to ensure that they are eligible for program participation," and that they ensure that the "program is suitable to the Exchange Visitor's background, needs, and experience."
Five-year maximum, three-week minimum participation: A professor or research scholar may be authorized to participate in the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program for the length of time necessary to complete his or her program, provided such time does not exceed five years. The minimum program duration for a Professor or Research Scholar is three weeks. The five-year period is not an aggregate of five years. It is a continuous five-year period given to a participant on a "use or lose" basis. The five-year period begins on the program begin date. It is not possible to extend an Exchange Visitor Professor or Research Scholar's participation beyond five years. In addition to the general eligibility rules, participation in the Professor or Research Scholar categories is subject to the following additional conditions unique to participation in those categories:
- The prospective Exchange Visitor cannot be a candidate for a tenure track position
- Prior participation in any J category may subject the prospective Exchange Visitor to a "12-month bar"
- Prior participation in the Professor or Research Scholar category may subject the prospective Exchange Visitor to a "24-month bar" on repeat participation
In general, a change of category is not permitted. At the discretion of the U.S. Department of State, an exchange visitor may be permitted to change categories (i.e. change from a J-1 Research Scholar to J-1 Student). A change of category must be consistent with and related to the participant's original objective. Sometimes, a change in category is considered a change of objective and is not permitted. If the exchange visitor applies for a change in category and it is rejected by the U.S. Department of State, the exchange visitor is expected to leave the country within 30 days of receiving the notice or within 30 days of the expiration date of the exchange visitor's current DS-2019, whichever is later. An approved application for change of category should be received by the J-1 exchange visitor before the exchange visitor begins activities in the new category. The exchange visitor is considered to be in legal status while the application is under consideration by the U.S. Department of State.
• The International Office will provide Exchange Visitors with arrival information to help them know what to do and where to go upon arrival in the U.S., including contact information for TIEC (name and telephone number of the RO/ARO) and other points of contact
• The sponsor should arrange health insurance for Exchange Visitors if they are eligible to receive health insurance through Texas State, or make sure that they will arrange it in their home country. All J-1 Exchange Visitors are required by law to have health insurance for themselves and accompanying family members in J-2 Dependent status.
We cannot wait for your arrival to Texas State University after securing your visa. Give yourself plenty of time to arrange for flight tickets. Learn more about transportation information from local airports to Texas State University here.
J-1 Exchange Visitors and any J-2 Dependents must report to the International Office as soon as they arrive in the United States, and bring the following:
1. The DS-2019
2. The passport with J visa
3. The I-94 Arrival/Departure Record (small white card stapled in the passport by the Immigration Officer at the port of entry)
4. Proof of health insurance
5. Health Insurance Statement Form for J Visa Holders
The International Office will forward a copy of these documents to TIEC. TIEC must validate the visitor’s program participation in SEVIS within 30 days after the program start date. To do this, TIEC must have these documents as well as a U.S. address for the exchange visitor in a timely manner. Failure to validate the visitor’s record within 30 days of the program start date listed in SEVIS will result in automatic cancellation of the record.
Federal law requires that J-1 Exchange Visitors be provided with an orientation that upon arrival. The International Office will provide Exchange Visitors and accompanying family members with an orientation that focuses on immigration and cultural issues and includes, but is not limited to:
Life and customs in the United States.
Local community resources, public transportation, medical centers, recreational centers, and banks.
Available health care, emergency assistance.
The International Office will provide this orientation:
To be eligible to participate in the J-1 Exchange Visitor program in the United States, Exchange Visitors are required by law to obtain and maintain appropriate medical insurance throughout the duration of their program.
If the Exchange Visitor is benefits eligible at Texas State, he or she will only need medical evacuation and repatriation insurance.
Information about this additional insurance may be obtained below or at the International Office.
Health Insurance Requirements
Federal law requires that cross cultural activities be provided for J-1 Exchange Visitors. The International Office can make recommendations to the sponsor regarding these activities. These could consist of attendance at on or off campus events, outings, etc.
- Report any changes in the Exchange Visitor’s address to the International Office or TIEC within 10 days of a move.TIEC must update the address in SEVIS within 21 days.
- Report immediately to the International Office or TIEC any changes in the Exchange Visitor’s program, especially changes related to the source of funding, program length, and research content.
- Submit extension requests to the International Office or TIEC at least one month before the end date of the current DS-2019. Extension requests are not routinely approved by the DOS. The situation must be unique and exceptional. There are no extensions for Short-term Scholar.
- Submit “Out of Country” requests to the International Office or TIEC in advance if the Exchange Visitor will be outside the U.S. during his or her program
- Notify the International Office or TIEC immediately if the Exchange Visitor or any of his or her dependents leave the U.S. permanently before the program end date on the exchange visitor’s DS-2019.
- Inform the International Office or TIEC when Exchange Visitors complete their program and leave the U.S.
- When Exchange Visitors want to travel outside the U.S. they must first obtain a “travel signature” on their DS-2019 to facilitate re-entry. They should submit their original DS-2019 to the International Office or TIEC one month before the travel along with an email from their sponsor stating approval to travel, and an email from themselves answering the following questions
a. “How long will you be out of the country?”
b. “What is the purpose of your travel?”
What is a Social Security Number (SSN)?
A social security number is a permanent nine-digit identification number/card issued by the Social Security Administration. It is used primarily to identify participants in the Federal government's Social Security Program but because it is unique to each person the number is now used by many other public and private organizations.
Exchange Visitors in the research scholar, professor, and short-term scholar categories are eligible to apply for the SSN by right of their J-1 status.
J-1 scholars must first be present in the United States for at least 10 working days before they apply for a Social Security Number (SSN).
Required Documents for SSN Application for J-1 Scholars:
2. Proof of employment eligibility, such as an invitation letter from Department
3. I-94 Arrival/Departure record
4. Valid Passport
Getting to Social Security Administration Office:
Location:900 E Bugg Lane
San Marcos, Tx-78666
(Near the intersection of I-35 and Hwy 80)
J-1 Scholars are required to maintain their immigration status while in the U.S.
Review the following document for maintaining your status:
a. “How long will you be out of the country?”
b. “What is the purpose of your travel?”
The Exchange Visitor Program provides opportunities for internationals come to the United States for a variety of educational and cultural exchange purposes under the sponsorship of a school, an agency, or an organization that has been designated as an exchange visitor sponsor by the United States Department of State.
The Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC) in Austin is a designated sponsor for the exchange visitor program at Texas State University. The Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) for J-1 Exchange Visitors at Texas State is located at TIEC. The RO and ARO are the only people who have signing authority for the program. Therefore, any employment permission for J-1 Exchange Visitors at Texas State must be arranged by the International Office with the Officers in Austin. PLEASE do not work without authorization from the RO or ARO. Participation in unauthorized employment is in violation of the regulations, results in loss of your J-1 status and subjects the exchange visitor to termination from the program.
Prior to traveling outside the U.S. with the intent to return in your current program status requires the signature of the RO or ARO in Austin. If you plan to travel outside the United States please notify the IO at least three weeks before you plan to leave so we can recommend what type of documentation you may need and so that there will be enough time to obtain the signature or documentation. When you travel outside the United States and you plan to return to the United States during the time of your J-1 program, you must take a properly endorsed DS-2019 with you. Under some circumstances it will be necessary for you to obtain a new DS-2019. If your visa and your DS-2019 are valid, it is likely that you will only need a signature of the RO or ARO on the back of your current DS-2019. Please bring your current DS-2019, passport, and I-94 card with you when you come to our office.