Definitions of J Categories and Limits of Stay in the United States
The University is authorized to host J Exchange visitors in the following 4 categories and is awaiting approval for 1 new subcategory: professor, research scholar, short-term scholar, student and intern.
Professor: An individual who is primarily teaching/lecturing, observing or consulting at the University. A professor may also conduct research. Minimum period of stay is 3 weeks. The limit of stay is 5 years.
Research Scholar: An individual who is primarily conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project at the University. A research scholar may also teach or lecture. Minimum period of stay is 3 weeks. The limit of stay is 5 years.
Short-term Scholar: A professor, research scholars or person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the United States on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills at the University. There is no minimum period of stay. Extension can be made within the 6 months, however the total length of stay cannot exceed 6 months.
Student: An individual who is pursuiing a full course of study in the United States at a secondary accredited educational institution. The limit of stay varies according to the full course of study being pursued.
Intern: This subcategory of Student is intended for an individual who is enrolled and pursuing full-time studies at a post secondary educational institution outside the United States and for whom participation in an internship program will “fulfill the educational objectives for their current degree program at their home institution”. The limit of stay is 12 months per educational level.
How to Apply for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa
What is the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa?
The J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa is a visa that is issued to students who wish to come to the U.S. to participate in a short-term educational exchange program (one or two semesters). The exchange program may be sponsored by the U.S. government, an educational institution abroad or the government of another participating country. J-1 students must maintain a permanent residence abroad to which they intend to return upon completion of their studies in the U.S.
Where should I apply for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa?
You should apply for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa at the American consulate in your home country.
What documents do I need in order to apply for the J-1Exchange Visitor Visa?
In order to be able to apply for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa, you must first be accepted by Hunter College and request the form DS-2019. After you receive the form DS-2019, you must pay a SEVIS fee at www.FMJfee.com. The SEVIS fee will be used to maintain your immigration file. The next step is to go to the U.S. consulate in your home country with your form DS-2019 and fill out a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa application. Make sure that you also take with you the receipt for your online SEVIS payment, the Hunter College acceptance letter, your passport and financial documentation that shows sufficient income for your studies and living expenses in the U.S. Additionally, you will be required to have a health insurance policy for the duration of your stay in the U.S.
How long will it take the U.S. consulate to process my J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa request?
The length of time that the U.S. consulate in your country takes to process your J-1 visa request depends on the availability of visa interviews. To schedule an interview log onto usembassy.state.gov. We encourage you to begin the process as soon as you get your DS-2019 form from the International Students Office at Hunter College.
How do I get a social security number and a work permit upon receipt of a Student Exchange Visitor J-1 Status?
J-1 students receive a social security number upon arrival in the U.S. They are also allowed to work on-campus (see Getting a Job- FAQ page) as soon as they arrive in the US. However, no explicit work permit will accompany the visa itself. Off-campus work authorizations (Academic Training or Economic Hardship Employment) may be approved and will be issued to only J-1 students who intend to graduate from Hunter College. These students may hold such employment for up to 18 months after their graduation from Hunter College. For more information and answers to other questions about work authorization for J-1 students, please consult the FAQ page.
I intend to arrive in the US with my spouse and/ or children, what status will they be given and how should they obtain it?
Your spouse and children will be given a J-2 Exchange Visitor Visa. In order to get the J-2, your family (dependents) must come with you to the consulate when you apply for your J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa. They will be required to fill out a visa application and be able to prove their relationship to you with proper documentation. Your responsibility will be to show that you have sufficient funds to support them while they live with you in the U.S.
Where can I obtain additional information about the process of applying for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa?
For additional information log onto http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types1267.html or contact the State Department's Visa Office. Always feel free to contact the International Students Office at Hunter. Yet another option is to consult an education-abroad adviser at the US consulate in your home country.