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 with your immigration status 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 complete the check in, your mandatory orientation session will be schedule. 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.
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. IPS will place a hold on your account until your provide health insurance confirmation for the duration of your program.
- Update your current and permanent address information on Banweb (and also email IPS) within 10 days of moving.
- Your spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible to be in the United States with you during the duration of your program, as J-2 dependents. Dependents must also maintain their legal status (maintaining health insurance requirement, not engaging in unauthorized employment). Visit this page for further information on how a J-2 dependent can be legally employed in the US, and other pertinent information.
- If you wish to bring a dependent to the USA (after you are already here), you must submit the properly filled out Certification of Finances form (you must show the amount you originally needed to be admitted to Michigan Tech, PLUS an additional $4,000 for your spouse and/or $2,500 per child to cover their living expenses), Dependent Request form, and copies of passports of your dependents, along with your original DS-2019, to IPS by filling this Google form. IPS will process a new J-2 DS-2019 for each of your dependents (this will be different from your original DS-2019, that will still be valid for you) and contact you once it's ready. It is your responsibility to send this new J-2 DS-2019 to your dependent in your home country, who would then proceed to book an interview at the local US embassy/consulate. Please review this page for additional info.
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 check out the slider saying Travel and Re-Entry on the F-1 Students 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.
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.
Still unsure? You can refer to this flowchart.
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.
Time spent in the United States as a J-1 Exchange Visitor or J-2 Dependent affects when you are eligible to re-enter the US as a research scholar or professor at a later date. If you have previously been here as a research scholar or professor, it also affects when you can come back to the US. Periods when researchers or professors are not eligible to enter the country are called 12-month and 24-month bars. You can find more information on the US Gov website.
- 12-month bar: The 12-month bar prohibits Exchange Visitors from starting a new program in the Research Scholar or Professor categories if they were in the US for more than six months in any J status (including J-2 dependent) during all or part of the 12-month period immediately before the start date of their new program. If any part of a J-status exchange visitor’s presence in the US was within that 12-month period, then their entire (previous) program duration would be counted towards the number of days.
- 24-month bar: If you have participated in the Exchange Visitor Program as a Professor or Research Scholar, you are subject to a 24-month bar. You must wait two years to repeat your participation in either of those categories.
- If you enter the US under another J-1 category, including Short-Term Scholar, Specialist, or Student Intern, the bar does not apply to you.
- The bar also does not affect people who are transferring to another institution to continue their current J-1 programs.
You may transfer from one program sponsor to another if the purpose is to complete the academic objective approved when you were admitted. The transfer process requires coordination between both the responsible officer who administrates your current program, and the responsible officer of your new J-1 program.
To transfer IN to Michigan Tech:
- Inform your university’s J-1 responsible officer that you intend to transfer here.
- Complete the J-1 Visiting Scholar Transfer In Request form and send it to Michigan Tech's International Programs and Services (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Remain at your current institution until the effective date of the transfer.
- Report to IPS when you arrive. Attendance, required by federal law, must start within 30 days after your transfer date.
- Get your new DS-2019 from IPS.
To transfer OUT from Michigan Tech:
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 responsibility 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.