Office of International Programs

Steps to J-1


The J-1 Exchange Visitor status facilitates scholars, researchers and professors to come to the United States for temporary periods for the purpose of educational exchange. Any international visitor who has sufficient academic training to benefit from an academic or professional program at a U.S. college or university may be eligible for this status. Exchange Visitors can be invited for a period of a few weeks up to five years.

Please note: J-1 visa status is not an appropriate fit for tenured or tenure-track positions.

Flow of the J-1 Visa Process:

  1. OIP/ISSFS sends needed documents to the hosting unit for creation of Form DS-2019 for J-1 Visa. 
  2. UT Tyler department/college sends an initial inquiry or a request for the J-1 process documents to Office of International Programs (OIP), International Students and Scholar Services (ISSFS) ( to invite a J-1 Exchange Visitor (EV).
      • J-1 (Exchange Visitor) Request Memo document (to be completed by the hosting unit and signed by the college dean).
      • Template of Invitation Letter (to be completed and signed by the hosting professor).
      • Sponsoring Department Info. for creating Form DS-2019.
      • Exchange Visitor Info. for creating Form DS-2019.
      • J-Program Introduction (for hosting unit to provide to the Exchange Visitor.
  3. OIP/ISSFS receives the signed J-1 Request Memo, signed Invitation Letter, filled in and signed Sponsoring Department info., as well as Exchange Visitor info. for creating the Form DS-2019.
  4. OIP/ISSFS contacts the EV via email, requesting the required documentation to begin processing for DS-2019. These documents will include:
      • A copy of valid passport.
      • A statement for the purpose of visit.
      • A letter from visitor’s institution supporting the visit.
      • A financial support letter from visitor’s home institution stating the amount of pay and the length of time that the payment will be received.
      • If financial support is from personal funds, then a copy of bank statement showing adequate fund.
  5. Upon receiving all required documentation, OIP/ISSFS creates a SEVIS record and issues a Form DS-2019 for the J-1 EV (and accompanying dependents if approved).
  6. OIP/ISSFS obtains project number from the hosting unit for shipping charges, and securely ships the following documents to the J-1 EV:
      • Welcome Letter signed by RO/ARO.
      • Invitation Letter signed by the hosting professor.
      • Visa application information.
      • Health insurance information.
      • Travel and housing information.
  7. The J-1 EV is notified via email the tracking number of the packet shipped so that he/she can track the delivery until it has reached its destination.
  8.  The J-1 EV is also instructed to inform OIP/ISSFS and the hosting professor the date of their Visa interview appointment, the outcome of the interview and their travel itinerary.
  9. OIP/ISSFS informs the hosting unit any updates regarding the delivery of the documents shipped, and provides guidance regarding housing, banking, transportation and other needs to prepare for the arrival of the J-1 EV.
  10.  After the J-1 EV has arrived, and checked in with OIP/ISSFS (within three business days), the following support is provided by OIP/ISSFS: 
      • A welcome bag with useful information about the resources on campus and in the community.
      • Assistance with filling out forms and securing the required health insurance.
  11. OIP/ISSFS validates J-1 EV in SEVIS within 10 days after arrival at UT Tyler, and provides orientation to J-visitor(s).
  12. OIP/ISSFS provided necessary guidance and forms to the hosting department to assist the J-1. EV in obtaining an employee UT EID for access to computing services and Library.
  13. OIP/ISSFS keeps continuous communication/contact with J-1 EV (and dependents), monitoring the J-program activities during the duration of the program, assisting hosting department/ J-1 EV for their needs.
  14. The minimum monthly amount for financial support (from all sources), for the EV, and spouse and each child that may accompany them: 

J-1 Scholar

$1,500 per month for the duration of the program

J-2 Spouse

$500 per month for the duration of the program

Each J-2 Child      

$500 per month for the duration of the program


Visa Process: 

To obtain a J-1 visa, the Exchange Visitor must show the United States consulate the following:

  1. A Form DS-2019 produced in SEVIS by OIP/ ISSFS.
  2. A passport valid for at least six months past the last day of J-program.
  3. Evidence of intention to stay in the United States for a temporary time and solely for the purpose of pursuing the program objective.
  4.  Financial ability to cover the cost of living in the United States.
  5. Proof of SEVIS fee payment.

Health Insurance Requirement:

U.S. Department of State regulations require all J-1 Exchange Visitors to have medical insurance for themselves and any accompanying J-2 family members for the duration of their program.

Willful violation of the insurance requirement is a violation of J-1 status and can result in the termination of the Exchange Visitor’s J-1 program in accordance with immigration regulations.

J Program Regulation [22 CFR 62.14].

As of May 15, 2015, J Program participants and their dependents are required to have medical insurance coverage with the following minimum benefits:

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness.
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000.
  • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000.
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.