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Current scholar

A page within International Education & Engagement

All scholars will need to check-in at IEE’s Front Desk prior to meeting their J-1 International Scholar Advisor.

Appointments can be made by emailing IEE’s front desk.

Scholars are encouraged to meet with their J-1 International Scholar Advisor regarding questions/concerns in the following areas:

  • Temporary travel outside of the U.S. – obtain a travel signature
  • Employment Authorization
  • Program Extensions
  • General Information
  • Adapting to U.S. Culture
  • Obtaining a J-2 Dependent form DS-2019


Depending upon your funding and skills, you may become subject to the Two Year Home Residency Requirement by entering the U.S. in J-1 status. This means that you may be required to spend at least two years in your home country before coming back to the U.S. to work in H1-B or L status. You would not be eligible to receive a green card until you have spent two years back home and you would not be eligible to change your status in the U.S. to another non-immigrant status. Some Exchange Visitors may be granted a waiver for the Two Year Home Residency, but this is timely and costly. For waiver information visit -


An individual is not eligible to begin an exchange program as a Professor or Research Scholar based on a DS-2019 issued to begin a new program” if she/he was physically present in any J status (including J-2 status) for “all of part of” the “twelve month period immediately preceding the program start date of program on his/her form DS-2019. This bar has 3 exceptions: J-1 transfers, time spent as a J-1 short-term scholar, and prior physical presence in J status which was of less than 6 months duration.


An individual who participates in the J Exchange Visitor Program as a Professor or Research Scholar becomes subject to a Two-Year Bar on “repeat participation” in those particular categories after participating in his or her program for any length of time (one day to five years). The U.S. State Department of State has taken the position that the Two-Year Bar will also apply to J-2 dependents of the J-1 Professors or Research Scholars if the J-2 subsequently wishes to return as a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar. This is a separate requirement from the Two Year Home Residency Requirement. 

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  1. Maintain accurate Important Documents. Your official government documents must be accurate and valid at all times – see list of documents below
  2. All J-1 Scholars and their J-2 dependents must be covered by UWL’s Student Assurance Services (SAS) Student/Scholar Health Insurance policy from the date of their arrival in the U.S. No waivers will be granted. All J-1 scholars and their J-2 dependents that are on a UWL DS-2019 must purchase and maintain the SAS International Student/Scholar Health insurance for the duration of their J program.
  3. Report to IEE for J-1 scholar check-in and orientation within 20 days of your DS-2019 start date. You will need to report your local address at this check-in.
  4. Engage in appropriate activities. You must participate in the specific program or purpose for which your department invited you. Other activities (including enrolling in classes) must be approved by your faculty supervisor and by your J-1 scholar advisor. Full-time enrollment is not allowed and any part-time enrollment cannot interfere in any way with your J-1 program.
  5. Work only with appropriate authorization. You are only authorized to engage in employment which is listed on your DS-2019 form. Employment must be part of your original purpose as a J-1 scholar at UWL.
  6. Maintain current information on your DS-2019 form. If any information on your DS-2019 changes, you will need to meet with your J-1 scholar advisor. Refer to OIE’s website for information about the advisor walk-in hours and appointments. Information requiring updates include change to actual physical address in the U.S., mailing address, telephone number and email address. Scholar must report any changes within 10 days to the International Scholar Coordinator in IEE.
  7. Have and maintain your funding. You are required to have and maintain enough funding to cover the minimum expenses as outlined in your DS-2019 for yourself and any J-2 dependents for the duration of your J program. IEE’s minimum cost of living is low. Scholars’ and their family’s actual expenses can vary quite a bit depending on lifestyle choices and events. It is strongly advised that you plan your finances accordingly to have access to more funding than the minimum stated on your DS-2019.
  8. Request IEE authorization if you intend to transfer your J program to another institution in the United States.
  9. End of program. Your J SEVIS record will automatically complete after the end date on your DS-2019. If you complete your program as expected, please email your J-1 scholar advisor at least two weeks prior to your program end date and include the date you plan to depart from the U.S. However, if you will be unable or do not intend to return home within the allotted Grace Period, you must discuss your plans with your J-1 scholar advisor to ensure you maintain legal status in the U.S. Additionally, if you complete or end your program more than 30 days prior to the end date on your DS-2019, you must notify your advisor in IEE.
  10. Comply with the 30 day grace period. As a J-1 visa holder, you are given a 30 day grace period after the end date on your DS-2019 to prepare for departure and/or travel within the U.S. Once you depart the U.S. during this grace period, you are not able to re-enter in J-1 status.
  11. Notify IEE when travelling outside of the U.S. and upon your return. Obtain necessary travel signatures for yourself and dependents and submit a copy of yourI-94 record within 10 days of returning.
  12. Report J-2 Spouse and/or Dependents travel outside of the U.S. – dependents who will be returning to the U.S. will also need to obtain a travel signature.

Important Documents

  1. DS-2019: 
    1. The DS-2019 is a U.S. government document generated through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System in SEVIS. This is a legal document and must reflect accurate information. Changes in any of the categories listed below must be reported to IEE within 10 days of the change occurrence:
      • Name
      • Local U.S. address
      • Financial Resources
      • Addition or deletion of J-2 dependents

DS-2019 End Date and Grace Period

The DS-2019 lists program start and end dates under section 3. Scholars are allowed to participate in a specific program activity as reflected on their DS-2019 up to this end date. The end date reflects the duration of the program as provided by the host department. The end date may also be tied to the amount of funding available at the time it was created.

If a scholars completes the program activity prior to the end date, the DS-2019 will automatically expire on the date the scholar completes. The scholar and the supervising faculty are required to notify IEE in advance if the scholar will complete the program prior to the listed end date.

Scholars unable to complete their specific program activity by the end date must apply for an Extension of Status prior to the end date. For specific information and deadlines, refer to Program Extensions.

Scholars have an automatic 30 day grace period upon completion of their program. During this grace period, scholars must depart the U.S. or apply for a change of visa status.

  1. Passport: Passports must be kept valid at least six months into the future at all times.
  1. Visa: The J-1 visa is your “ticket” to apply for entry into the U.S. Your visa may expire while you are in the U.S. engaged in your J-1 scholar program. This is okay. You only need a new visa if you depart the U.S. and plan on return to the U.S. to continue your J-1 scholar program.
  1. I-94 Electronic Record:

The I-94 shows the date your arrived in the U.S., the visa type you entered with (class of Admission - this should be J-1) and the date when your authorized period of stay in the U.S. expires (admit until date). You can obtain an electronic copy of this record from

Make sure to obtain a copy after each entry into the U.S.

Travel Outside of the United States
A Travel Signature is required for Scholars planning to temporarily travel outside of the U.S. during the program period listed on their DS-2019. Scholars should meet with their advisor in International Education & Engagement (IEE) at least two weeks prior to their planned departure to obtain this signature. Upon return to the U.S., scholars need to submit an updated online I-94 record to IEE within 10 days. To access your I-94 record, go to:
J-2 dependents should be outside of the U.S. while the J-1 scholar is outside of the U.S. Dependents will also need to obtain a travel signature prior to leaving the U.S.
Restrictions on Travel Outside the U.S. More Than 30 Days:
In addition to the travel signature, Scholars planning to leave the U.S. for more than 30 days and then return to the U.S. within the program period listed on the DS-2019 and continue their program at UWL must submit documentation from their department verifying their time spent outside of the U.S. is directly related to their program’s objectives, including information regarding the nature of the research, the address, and the anticipated return date. This documentation must be submitted to IEE at least three weeks in advance of the proposed departure date. The scholar is required to receive approval from IEE in writing before traveling. International Scholar Health Insurance must be maintained during the absence. 

Scholars are only authorized to engage in employment which is listed on their DS-2019 form. Such employment must be part of the scholar’s original program at UWL.

Scholars obtaining employment not currently listed on their DS-2019 form must meet with their IEE advisor to receive employment authorization and an updated DS-2019 form which lists the new employment. Employment cannot begin until the scholar has received written notice of authorized employment and an updated DS-2019 form. Employment began prior to receiving written employment authorization along with an updated DS-2019 form is considered unauthorized employment and is a violation of  the scholar’s J visa.

Occasional Lectures or Consultations By J-1 Scholars

In certain instances, J-1 professors, research scholars, and short-term scholars, provided they have obtained pre-approved written authorization from IEE, may be able to accept reimbursement or payment for occasional lectures and consultations outside of their UWL department.

The term occasional embodies the concept of single event rather than an ongoing activity.


To ensure that “occasional lectures or short-term consultations” do not interfere with and are in keeping with the activities of the scholar’s J-1 program, they:

  • Must be directly related to the objectives of the J-1 Exchange Visitor’s program at UWL;
  • Must be incidental to the scholar’s primary program activities; and
  • Must not delay the completion the scholar’s  J-1 program

Required Documentation:

To obtain authorization for occasional lectures or consultations, you need to submit the following documents to the IEE:

  1. A letter from the inviting institution describing the terms and conditions of the offer to lecture or consult, including the duration, number of hours, field or subject, amount of compensation, and description of the activity.
  2. A letter from your UWL department:
  3. Confirming that the proposed activity is directly related to your principal activity, is incidental, and will not delay completion of your program at UWL
  4. Explaining how the proposed activity would enhance your exchange visitor program at UWL
  5. Recommending approval of the activity
  6. Copy of your most recent electronic Form I-94

Authorization to Work:

IEE will review your documentation and determine if you are eligible for incidental employment. If authorized, IEE will issue a letter authorizing the activity. This letter will serve as proof that you are allowed to receive payment for your activity. Keep a copy of this letter for your records.

A Note of Caution:

As a J-1 scholar, your options for occasional lectures or consultations are limited. Any type of employment without proper authorization is a serious violation of your status. Prior to beginning any type of employment, you must first consult your J-1 Scholar Advisor in the IEE, whose written approval is necessary in advance of any employment.

J-1 Scholars unable to complete their program by the end date listed on their DS-2019 may request a program extension. Program Extension requests must be made to IEE by the scholar’s host department. Scholars considering a program extension are advised to meet with their IEE advisor at least 10 weeks prior to their current program end date. Program extensions require new financial information to be submitted for the duration of the extension.