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Starting a J-1 Exchange Visitor Program Gloria Law, Immigration Consultant 510.761-8821 firstname.lastname@example.orgLisa Harris, Associate Director of Student Services, Palo Alto University 650.433-3851 email@example.com NAFSA Region XII Conference October 25, 2012
What is the J-1 Visa? “The purpose of the Exchange Visitor program is to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges.” Mutual Cultural and Exchange Act of 1961
J-1 Categories Academic Programs Public Programs Student Alien Physician Non-degree Au Pair Degree Camp Counselor Research Scholar Intern Short Term Scholar Student, (High School) Professor Work/Travel Specialist Teacher Trainee Trainee
TOPICS to be covered: Why apply for J program (students/scholars)? Issues to Consider DS-3036 Application Steps Pre-requisites Selection of Exchange Visitors Program Costs/Management Health Insurance Pre-Arrival and Orientation Getting Help
Why have J Scholars? Assists schools/institutions in inviting faculty and researchers from abroad which in turn fosters research relationships in the current global economy. Allows payment of international faculty for their research/teaching. J-2s (J-1 dependents) are eligible for broad work permission by application to USCIS.
Why have J students? To establish exchange agreements with other institutions abroad which fosters reciprocal study abroad programs Easier development of non-degree programs. More flexibility in defining full-time status. J students can work on campus, and under academic training (18 months maximum) Some foreign governments prefer their students to visit U.S. in J status
What is the two year home residencyrequirement? Requires J-1 visa holder, at the end of his/her J program to not return to the U.S. using an H-1B, L-1 visa or LPR for two years Is applied at the visa officer’s discretion If person is funded by his/her government If area of study/research is on Skills List If marked incorrectly, can be challenged
J-1 Time limitations – Duration of Status J-1 Scholars Five year Maximum 24 month bar Short-term scholars may not extend stay beyond 6 months nor change status inside the U.S. through USCIS if subject to the 2 year home residence requirement. J-1 Students J-1 students get duration of status. However, a J- 1 student may not change his status to J-1 scholar until the student has been out of J status for at least 12 months.
Some Issues to Consider J regulations require at least five J visitors per year. The five visitors can be an aggregate of visitors in any of your approved categories. Reciprocity – How do you plan to meet the reciprocity requirement? Will your students attend universities, companies, institutions from which you accept J-1 visitors?
Issues to Consider (cont.) The J regulations are very different from F so in-depth training will be needed. http://www.nafsa.org/Attend_Events/Training/Wo rkshops/J-1_Advising_for_Beginners/ You may need to hire new staff. Dept of State requires a J program report be submitted to them annually.
Annual Report The annual report is prepared by the RO in SEVIS and includes: a statistical summary of Forms DS-2019 usage, a numerical count of exchange visitor participation, and a written evaluation of the program, including new initiatives, effectiveness, reciprocity, activities, cross-cultural programs, etc.
GETTING READY TO APPLY
The DS-3036 - Application Process Review SEVIS J User Manual Prepare pre-requisite wording and supporting documents Complete DS-3036 in SEVIS online Print out DS-3036 before submitting
The DS-3036 - Application Process Mail the relevant documents with the signed and notarized printed copy of the Form DS- 3036. Include a copy of the Pay.gov confirmation page showing the payment of the fee. You must mail the materials within 30 calendar days of submitting the electronic Form DS- 3036. Do not fill in your form online until you know you have every item ready to mail in.
Program applicant prerequisites To be eligible for J program designation an organization must demonstrate: Ability to comply with EVP/DoS regulations Ability to provide full funding and personnel to manage the J-1 program Be ready to start implementing program immediately upon approval of program. The DS-3036 Manual has complete listing of pre-requisites
Pre-Requisites (cont.) To complete the sections in SEVIS on Page 3 you will need to prepare statements regarding the following categories. (SEVIS will only accept 500 characters so you will likely send attached documentation to a printed version of your application): The six categories required are: Process of selection of Exchange Visitors Program Costs/Fees and Deposits/Refunds Program Funding and Financial Support Health Care Insurance (22 CFR 62.14) Pre-arrival and Orientation information (22 CFR 62.10.(b) and 22 CFR 62.10(e)
Method for selecting your visitors J Students Regular admission procedures applied to all students or special criteria for a program you are creating? How will you gauge English proficiency? TOEFL? Other test? J Scholars Invited by Faculty? English proficiency can be determined by department chair. However must be ready to defend your institution’s reasoning as to why the scholar will be successful in their academic objective.
Program Costs/Management Costs of managing program must NOT be passed onto J visitors. Costs must be handled by the institution. DS-3036 will ask for a full description of what costs/fees will be charged to the participants.
Program Management There is a need to assign at least an Responsible Officer (RO) which is like the PDSO in the F management. It is strongly suggested that you also have an Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) as a back up or possibly the day to day work staff person.
Health Care Insurance (22 CFR 62.14) Regulations specifically define the minimum amount of health care the J-1 and all J-2s must show proof of or purchase. School does not necessarily need to pay for this coverage. J-1/J-2 coverage must include Repatriation and Medical Evacuation which are often not included in regular health plans. Riders can be purchased from many insurance companies.
Pre-Arrival and Orientation Information (22 CFR62.110(b) and (c) It will be necessary to create either in paper format or on-line (preferably both) an explanation of pre-arrival, orientation and cross-cultural activities planned for the Exchange Visitor and his or her immediate family members on J status. See J-1 User Manual for details.
Be careful and thorough! Carefully reading the DS-3036 manual is critical in getting this process right!
Getting Help Find a school or institution that has a J program similar in scope, size and goals and: Speak to colleagues about their programs management. Ask if you can review their DS-3036 materials.
Getting Help There are attorneys, particularly those who are members of NAFSA who can be hired to help you in the process. Get a recommendation from a colleague.
One other option - IIE Institute of International Exchange Will serve as J sponsor and issue DS-2019s You need to provide visitor information Each DS-2019 costs $1,500 ($750 for IIE members) Membership fee based on size/type of institution ($500 - $900) http://www.iie.org/en/What-We-Do/International-Education-Services/Visa- Sponsorship