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Visiting Scholar Process

Purpose of J-1 Exchange Visitor (EV) Program

The J-1 Exchange Visitor (EV) program promotes mutual understanding between the United States and other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange. The EV program provides foreign nationals with valuable opportunities to experience the U.S., thereby developing lasting and meaningful relationships. For more information visit:


Institutional Requirements. The department must extend an academic appointment to the prospective J-1 exchange visitor. The academic appointment may be a courtesy appointment or a paid position.

Regulatory Requirement. A prospective exchange Professor, Short-Term Scholar, or Research Scholar is expected to have completed at least a bachelor's degree with appropriate experience in the field in which research or teaching is to be conducted. A J-1 Professor or Research Scholar cannot hold tenure or be placed in a position "on a tenure track."

Pre-Arrival Information

Certifying Your EV Program

By signing the DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor) you obligate yourself to all terms and conditions stated on page two of the form. Do the following:

Check for Errors:  Notify ISSS if there are any errors on your DS-2019 before you apply for the visa. If there is time we will mail an amended DS-2019 form.
Read the Regulations on page two of your DS-2019 form. If you understand and agree to the conditions then sign, date, indicate your location in the Exchange Visitor Certification block on the bottom of page 1. The J-2 spouse/dependent should sign the J-2 form under Signature of Applicant unless the J-2 dependent is under the age of 14, in which case the J-1 parent must sign.

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
J-1 EV and dependent records are housed in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Each scholar and dependent is given a unique SEVIS ID. SEVIS is an internet-based system that provides tracking and monitoring functionality. SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit electronic information, report, and access accurate and current information throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the United States.

Applying for the J Visa

Review the Department of State website ( for detailed information about applying for J-1 visa. There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order and how you completed them vary by U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Consult the instructions on U.S. Embassy or Consulate website:

  1. Pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee ($180). After fee payment print yourself a receipt. The SEVIS fee does not need to be paid for J-2 dependents or visa renewals.
    1. Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (Form DS-160), upload a photo, and pay DS-160 application fee.
    2. Schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the nearest U.S. Consulate or embassy,

Note: Canadian citizens do not need to apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy. Canadians will need to present SEVIS fee payment receipt, valid passport, DS-2019 form, and UCSC appointment letter to a CBP official at the port of entry to request permission to enter the U.S. in J-1 status.

Entering the United States

J-1/J-2 exchange visitors may enter the U.S. up to 30 days before the program begin date listed in section three of the DS-2019 form. Present a valid passport, J-1/J-2 visa, and DS-2019 to a CBP official at the port of entry (POE) to request permission to enter the U.S. The scholar should also have ready the SEVIS Fee receipt and SJSU appointment letter as supporting documentation. If admitted, the CBP officer will stamp your passport. It is good practice to check the admission stamp for “J-1 D/S” notation to indicate you are being admitted in J-1 status. You will be given information about retrieving an electronic I-94 admission record.

Program Delays and Cancellations

Delay of Program:  If you are not able to arrive to begin your program by the intended start date or need to change the program start date, please notify your sponsor and ISSS immediately at ISSS will confirm with the sponsoring department before making any changes to the program start and end date. If the program start date is amended, a new DS-2019 will be issued. If there is not enough time for the DS-2019 to be delivered to you before your trip to the U.S., travel with the original DS-2019 and appointment letter. You will receive the new DS-2019 from your department after your arrival.

Cancellation of Program:  If you are unable to obtain a visa or participate in the program please notify the sponsoring department and ISSS immediately. ISSS will cancel the J-1 and any J-2 SEVIS records.

Additional J EV Program Information:

Contact Us

San José State University

One Washington Square
Student Union - CPGE
San Jose, CA 95192-0135

Office Hours

Monday-Friday 9am – 4:30pm

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