Inviting a J–1 Scholar
Procedures to sponsor an international to come to the UMN on a J-1 visa
(Short-Term Scholar, Research Scholar and Professor categories ONLY)
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Step 1 (two to four months prior to the scholar’s expected start date)
The UMN hosting department requests a DS-2019 Form from ISSS.
The DS-2019 is the J legal document a scholar needs for the J visa application process, for entry into the U.S., and for maintaining legal immigration status once they arrive in the U.S.
The department downloads and completes the application, "Department Request for New DS-2019 for Scholar.” Please follow the Instructions carefully.
The department submits a hard copy of the completed application to ISSS. This begins the process of producing a DS-2019 for the scholar. We will not process applications more than four months before the start date of the J-1 activity at the UMN, or applications submitted less than two months before the start date. However, if you feel an exception should be made, please contact Kathrin Hahn at 612-626-7100.
See Transfer of J Scholars if the scholar is currently on a J visa at another U.S. institution.
See Change of Status if the scholar is currently in the U.S. on a different visa type.
Step 2 (two to three weeks for processing)
ISSS prepares the DS-2019. It will take two to three weeks to process the request. If the application is not complete, processing time will take longer. ISSS will notify the department via email when the document(s) is ready to be picked up.
Step 3 (as soon as possible)
The department picks up the DS-2019 at ISSS, reviews it, and sends it to the scholar. *Scholars must have the original DS-2019 to apply for their visa and enter the U.S. They should not use a copy.* For coordinate campuses, ISSS will contact the department for a FedEx account number and the department’s mailing address. The department then sends the document(s) to the scholar. It is recommended to send the original DS-2019 via Fed-Ex or another private carrier to help ensure timely delivery.
Step 4 (takes an average of one to three months)
The scholar receives the DS-2019 Form from the department, pays the SEVIS Fee and goes to the U.S. Consulate/Embassy in their home country to apply for the J-1 entry visa stamp.
The scholar needs to bring:
- Proof of Funding/Support (i.e.: UMN Department Offer Letter, Bank Statement, Official Grant Award, etc.)
- UMN Department Letter of Invitation
- Receipt of payment of SEVIS Fee (SEVIS I-901 Fee)
- The scholar should contact the U.S. Consulate/Embassy where they will apply, for further application requirements
NOTE: The length of time for the J-1 visa stamp to be processed can vary greatly depending on what the current processing times are at the U.S. Consulate/Embassy where the scholar will apply. This can affect their arrival date and when they can begin their program at the UMN. The wait time can range anywhere between one week to three months or more. Scholars should contact the U.S. Consulate/Embassy where they will apply to inquire about current visa processing times.
The scholar receives a J-1 entry visa stamp on their passport and makes travel arrangements to enter the U.S.
At the U.S. border, the scholar shows the customs officer:
- Passport with J-1 visa
- Letter of Invitation from UMN hosting department
- Proof of funding/support
- Arrival/Departure Card (I-94) which is handed to the scholar on their flight to the United States
- China Center letter of welcome (for Chinese scholars only)
Step 6 (to be done within 25 days of the DS-2019 Begin Date)
Immigration regulations require ISSS to report to the government database (SEVIS) the scholar’s arrival at the UMN. Therefore, to maintain J legal status, scholars MUST report to ISSS within 25 days of the start date shown on their DS-2019 form to complete their mandatory Scholar Check-In. If a scholar is delayed and cannot meet the reporting requirement, the UMN hosting department should contact ISSS and request an amended DS-2019 document (DS-2019 form showing new program dates).
When scholars report to ISSS, they need to bring all of their visa documents to ISSS, so that we may photocopy them and create a file.
If the scholar will not receive employment-based University insurance, they will also need to go to the Office of Student Health Benefits to purchase the mandatory insurance for themselves and their eligible J-2 dependents.
Step 8 (3 days after ISSS Scholar Check-In)
If the scholar will be paid by the U of MN, they should apply for a Social Security Number about 3 days after their ISSS Scholar Check-In. After obtaining an SSN, or if the scholar already has an SSN from previous employment, they are required to present their visa documents to Central Payroll.
Forms and Instructions for UMN Departments to invite J-1 scholars
(Including scholars who are already in the US and are transferring to the UMN from other institutions - to learn more about the transfer process, please see more details . .....)