J-1 Scholar and Student Intern Eligibility and Requirements

Each visa category within the US immigration system has its own eligibility criteria, requirements, restrictions, and rules.  Departments wishing to invite a J-1 scholar or student intern to NC State should read over the below information to ensure the visitor and proposed program meet the all requirements prior to pursuing use of the J-1 visa for a potential visitor.

Category Requirements

Each J-1 category has its own eligibility criteria, requirements, and restrictions such as education requirement, maximum length of stay, etc.  Departments should ensure the potential J-1 meets the proposed category eligibility criteria and is willing to be accept the category’s restrictions prior to submitting a J-1 request to OIS.  It is not possible to change one’s category after entering the US so it is important to choose the category carefully initially.  More detailed information about each category is available on the J-1 Category page.

Short Term Scholar Research Scholar Professor Student Intern
Max Length of Stay 6 months 5 years 5 years 12 months
Education Requirement Completion of bachelor’s Completion of bachelor’s Completion of bachelor’s Current college student pursuing a degree abroad
Primary Purpose Lecture, observe, consult, participate in seminars, workshops, conferences, study tours, professional meetings Conduct research, observe, consult in connection with research Teach, lecture, observe, or consult Work or research based internship
Repeat Participation May not use back to back STS programs for same project as a way of avoiding the 24 month bar associated with the Research Scholar or Professor categories. Upon program completion, subject to 24 month bar on repeat participation in J-1 categories of Research Scholar or Professor Upon program completion, subject to 24 month bar on repeat participation in J-1 categories of Research Scholar or Professor May only be used once per degree level.
Restrictions May not be a candidate for a tenure or tenure track position May not be a candidate for a tenure or tenure track position May not be a candidate for a tenure or tenure track position May not be used for clinical activities including residencies in veterinary medicine, psychiatry, social work, etc.

 

Appointment/Position Type

All appointments held by J-1 scholars and student interns must be temporary in nature due to the J-1 program regulations.  The university has many different types of temporary appointments and positions.  J-1 scholars and student interns are eligible to hold temporary positions, postdoctoral associate positions, unpaid positions, and internship positions (student interns only).  J-1 scholars and student interns are not permitted to hold tenure or tenure track positions.  For more information on the position types for J-1 visitors and other foreign nationals, please visit OIS’s page on Position Types.

English Language Requirement

The J-1 Exchange Visitor program regulations require that the J-1 Exchange Visitor possess sufficient proficiency in the English language to successfully participate in his or her program and to function on a day-to-day basis. By completing this attestation, you are certifying that the Exchange Visitor possesses sufficient proficiency in the English language as required by the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program regulations.

Funding Requirement

The J-1 Exchange Visitor program regulations require that the J-1 Exchange Visitor possess adequate financial resources to participate in and complete his or her exchange visitor program and support any accompanying spouse and/or children. The current minimum monthly funding requirement to cover living expenses and health insurance is as follows:

  • $1500/month for the principle visitor;
  • $800/month for lawful spouse;
  • $500/month per child.

Funding must be properly documented when requesting an initial DS-2019 or extension, amendment, or transfer.  See below for funding documentation requirements.

  • Multiple funding sources are allowed and all funds must be declared.
  • The combined total of all funding sources must meet the minimum requirement for the principal visitor and any dependents for the requested length of the DS-2019.
  • Funding documents must be in US$, in English (if not in English, include an English translation performed by someone other than the principal visitor), on institutional letterhead, dated within the last 6 months, and indicate a specific amount of funding.
  • Scanned funding documents are acceptable. Original funding documents are not required.
  • For funding documents in which a range of funding is given (such as $1400 – $1800), OIS will use the lower amount of the range when calculating the funding.

Health Insurance

The J-1 Exchange Visitor program regulations require that the J-1 Exchange Visitor maintain minimum levels of health insurance for themselves and dependents for the duration of the DS-2019. Upon arrival to the U.S., J-1s are required to show proof of health insurance in their OIS check-in for themselves and any dependents for whom OIS has issued a DS-2019 (even if the dependent has not yet arrived).  Proof of insurance is also required any time a request is submitted to OIS (including travel signature, extension, amendment, transfer, etc.).  More information about minimum coverage levels and a list of providers can be found on the J-1 Health Insurance Page.

Full-time engagement in program (>30 hours/week)

The J-1 Exchange Visitor program regulations require that the J-1 Exchange Visitor maintain full-time engagement in their program.  This is defined by NC State as a minimum of 30 hours per week.  This does not mean an exchange visitor cannot take a vacation or stay home if sick.  However, exchange visitors should be averaging at least 30 hours of participation in their program each week.

Cross-Cultural Activities

The J-1 Exchange Visitor program regulations require that NC State as the J-1 Exchange Visitor Sponsor must offer or make available to exchange visitors and any accompanying dependents a variety of appropriate cross-cultural activities. In addition NC State as the J-1 Exchange Visitor Sponsor is also required encourage exchange visitors to participate voluntarily in activities that are for the purpose of sharing the language, culture, or history of their home country with Americans.