Your hosting department will be your point of contact to provide assistance during your time at Michigan Tech. International Program and Services (IPS), will support your department during your stay. The purpose of the J‐1 Exchange Visitor Program is to foster the mutual exchange of ideas between Americans and foreign nationals and to stimulate international collaborative teaching and research efforts. The exchange of research scholars and professors promotes interchange, mutual enrichment and linkages between research and educational institutions in the United States and those of other countries. If you have any questions about the J‐1 Program, please feel free to contact your hosting department.
- All incoming non-student exchange visitors must report their arrival to IPS and complete the mandatory physical check-in. Call (906-487-2160) or email IPS (email@example.com) to make an appointment within the first week of arrival.
- For the physical check-in please bring your passport (with visa), DS‐2019, and your local address. If you have brought dependents with you, please bring all of their documents as well. Once you have completed the mandatory orientation, your SEVIS record will be validated within three days.
- If you fail to report to IPS, your SEVIS record will automatically be invalidated by the SEVIS system. This means that you will not be allowed to continue your program at the University and must return home.
- Print and carry your arrival record, the Form I‐94, through https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home. The I‐94 form is the most important document indicating your lawful entry to the U.S. and is required for your legal stay in this country.
Maintaining Legal J-1 Status
In order to maintain a valid and legal J-1 status, please ensure the following:
- Attend full duration of the program (refer to program start and end dates on the DS‐2019).
- Have a valid DS‐2019 with accurate program dates and signature of the DSO/ARO.
- Make sure that the date of expiry on your passport is AT LEAST 6 months in the future.
- Engage in authorized employment only.
- File timely and appropriate extension request, if your program is extended.
- Report early departure from your program to IPS. If you decide to depart the United States more than 30 days prior to the completion date of your program (as indicated on your DS‐2019), you MUST notify your department AND IPS. Correctly recording your program completion date is important because it can affect the date on which you can return to the United States on a new J‐1 program, or in another visa status.
- Maintain required health insurance coverage.
- Update your current and permanent address information on Banweb (and also email IPS) within 10 days of moving.
Health Insurance Requirement
The US Department of State regulations require all J‐1 Exchange Visitors to have medical
evacuation and repatriation insurance for themselves and any accompanying J‐2 dependents
for the entire duration of the J-1 program (as indicated on the DS‐2019). Fulfilling
this requirement is essential not only because medical treatment in the United States
is very expensive, but also because you and your family members are considered to
be in violation of J‐1/J‐2 status if you do not have sufficient insurance. IPS is not able to provide J‐1 program benefits
such as work authorization, travel signatures and extensions to anyone who is not
maintaining valid status. It is your responsibility to notify IPS of dependents who
are currently in the United States or who arrive subsequently and present evidence
of appropriate insurance coverage for them.
For more information about how to purchase a health insurance or other concerns about health insurance, please visit Student Health Insurance.
Travelling within the US: Every time you travel outside of Houghton or Hancock, make sure to carry your passport (with the visa stamped page), DS-2019, and I-94.
Travelling outside the US: If you need to travel outside the US temporarily, you need to carry with you the following documents to facilitate your re-entry: (1) valid passport (date of expiry must be at least 6 months away from the date you are entering the USA) with the visa stamped page (Canadian nationals are exempt from visa requirements); (2) DS-2019 with a travel signature that is not older than 6 months from date of your re-entry in the USA. If you are traveling to a country that is not your country of citizenship or permanent residence, please consult that country’s consulate to determine if you require an entry visa. Here is a list of foreign consulates in the United States.
For further information, please see the Travel Information page.
Visiting scholars, post‐doctoral researchers and international faculty in J‐1 visa status are permitted to work as described on the Form DS‐2019 and may accept additional employment as authorized by the sponsor. Unauthorized employment may result in the loss of valid J‐1 status. Please consult IPS regarding accepting employment, any changes in your official title, salary or department to be certain that you are authorized to engage in such employment under your current J‐1 status.
Employment for J-2 dependents: J‐2 dependents may apply for employment authorization through U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) after arriving in the United States. Applications require a fee and take approximately 90 days to be processed by USCIS. For application procedures, please visit or contact IPS. For more information, refer to Rules for J-2 Dependents.
If you are in the U.S. for even for one day in J-1/J-2 status, you will have tax filing responsibilities during the tax filing season (January through April). If you did not have any tax obligations you are still required to complete and mail Form 8843. For more information, visit this page.
Two Year Foreign Residency Requirement [212(e)]
The 2-year home residency requirement is termed "212(e)" and it applies to some J-1
Exchange Visitors (EV). If you are subject to this requirement, it should be mentioned
on your visa or at the bottom of your DS-2019.
For more information, refer to the Home Residency Requirement webpage.
Upon completion of your program, you and your J‐2 dependents are allowed a 30‐day grace period to depart the United States. It is critical that you depart the United States on time, prior to the end of your grace period. You are not authorized to work during the grace period.
Program Extension and Change of Status
Scholars on a J-1 visa may request an extension on their visa up to the maximum permitted time limit (depending on their respective J-1 category). This extension needs to be authorized by the concerned host department, and some personnel from the host department needs to fill out the DS-2019 Program Extension Request (Google form). Documents required to fill this form include:
- A letter from the department indicating the proposed start date (old unchanged) and end date (new), along with verification of financial support ($14,000/year minimum)
- A signed approval form from the department head
For more information, please see this page.
For approved extensions, the department may change the end date for the postdoc using a Status Change Form that is available from Human Resources. It is the responsbility of HR to verify that the postdoctoral scholar has not exceeded the six year limit (total).
If a post-doc does not qualify for an extension, they may pursue changing to an H1-B visa at Michigan Tech with Immigration and Visa Services in HR.