J-1 status

The J-1 Program is administered by the U.S. State Department, and the University of Illinois is one of many institutions which have been authorized to act as J-1 sponsors. J-1 visa status is unique. Many kinds of activities are possible for J-1 participants, and each institution has its own specific type of J-1 program.

J-1 Professor, Research Scholar or Short Term Scholar  

Exchange visitor status allows individuals to stay up to five years for research and/or teaching (six-month limit for short-term scholars). Employment is not required, but the visitor's activities are restricted to his/her academic field. A change of sponsoring departments must be approved by ISSS. Change to another status is possible only if the J-1 is not subject to the two-year home residence requirement**or has obtained a waiver thereof. A J-1 can transfer to another institution's J-l program within the five-year period to continue same objective. J status cannot be used for tenured or tenure-track positions. There are many restrictions on repeating visits in the Professor or Research Scholar categories.  J-1 status is usually easy to obtain, but some restrictions apply. Only one document required -- form DS-2019.

** Any exchange visitor who receives direct or indirect government funding or whose country and field of study appear on the Exchange Visitor Skills List is subject to this requirement. A copy of this list is on file in the ISSS office.

Your host department will contact you for information so that our office can prepare a DS-2019 for you. This will be sent to you if you are abroad, so you can apply for a J visa. If you are already in the U.S., you may be able to stay and apply for a change of status through the Immigration Service.

Soon after your arrival, you will register with the office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). Our office oversees your J-1 program, and we are here to provide you with information, advice, and assistance with many matters realting to immigration, such as extensions, changes of status, and travel. We assist you J-2 dependents with travel and work permission needs and distribute insurance information for visitors with J-1/J-2 status.
The following items may be of interest for J-1 scholars: 

J-1 Insurance Requirements (See page 11 of J-1 scholar program handbook below.)
J-1 List of Insurance Companies 
J-2 Work Permission Instructions 

ISSS has a J-1 scholar program handbook.  You are required to read this booklet.

The spouse or minor child of a J-1 may obtain J-2 status.   The J-2 may obtain work permission (an Employment Authorization Document) from the Immigration Service.

NOTE: This information pertains to J-1 scholars, professors and certain non degree students. If you will be coming to the U of I as a J-1 student, please check the student section of this website. 

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