Am I required to pay
the I-901 SEVIS fee and how do I pay it?
The Department of Homeland Security requires a fee of $180 for
all new J-1 program applicants to cover the costs of the operation of the SEVIS
program. If you are issued a new DS-2019 for “beginning a new program” you are
required to pay I-901 SEVIS fee. Transfer, extension, or other updates to your
original DS-2019 do not require you to pay SEVIS fee. You can read more
information at What to
Expect When Traveling and
go to the official website for SEVIS fee information and payment
and pay the SEVIS I-901 fee online PRIOR to your visa appointment. For “Program Number” enter the Oakland
University’s # P-1-03157 You should print a copy of the receipt and carry it to
visa interview and when traveling to U.S.
A visiting professor must have proof
that s/he paid this fee to the U.S. government before s/he visits a U.S.
consulate to apply for a J-1 visa or enter the U.S. If the visiting professor
is already in the U.S. and will apply for a change of status to J-1, s/he must
also pay the SEVIS fee before submitting his/her change of status application
How long will it take to
receive my DS-2019?
Once ISSO receives a complete request, it can take up to two weeks from receipt
of complete request for a DS-2019 to be issued. ISSO will send you email
and tracking number once your packet is mailed out.
I am a new J-1 scholar,
and I just arrived! What should I do now?
Check in with your academic host department first. The departmental
contact person will give you instructions on how to check in with our
order to maintain legal J-1 status, a J-1 scholar or professor must schedule
one on one mandatory orientation at the International Students and Scholars
Office (ISSO) by either calling 248-370-3358 or visiting 157 North Foundation
Hall. You must bring with you your DS-2019 form, passport with visa, I-94 card and any of your
J-2 dependents immigration documents as well.
I moved. How do I
report my change of address?
If you move you must fill out a Change of Address Form and
submit it to the ISSO within 10 business days.
How can my
spouse/child under 21 join me in the U.S. as my J-2 dependent?
To obtain J-2 DS-2019 documents for your spouse and/or minor
children under 21 years, please download and complete the appropriate request form
for J-2 Dependent Application and schedule an appointment with the ISSO
How do I invite family
members to visit?
Only your spouse and
unmarried children (under the age of 21) are eligible to be your J-2
dependents. Family members who are NOT children (under 21) or spouse of the
J-1 exchange visitor should apply for a B-1/B-2 visitor visa which allows
eligibility to visit the United States temporarily for tourism or business
purposes. Family members from certain countries may be eligible to travel to
the U.S. for visits of up to 90 days without a B-1/B-2 visa through the U.S.
Department of State Visa Waiver Program. It is recommended that you
give your family members a letter of invitation to document the purpose of
their visit. Refer to All
Purpose Letter Request Form for an invitation
letter template and submit it to the ISSO. B-2s are not eligible to work or study during
their time in the United States. ISSS cannot advise on the B-2
application process or issue invitation letters for your visitors. Visit
the website of the consulate where your visitors will apply for their visas for
information about the application process and requirements.
What can my J-2
dependents do in the United States?
J-2s can study (part-time or full-time). If they wish to work, they must
apply to USCIS for employment
authorization; they can set up an appointment with ISSS to learn about that
How does my J-2
dependent apply for U.S. work authorization?
J-2 dependents are eligible to apply for permission to work from
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) through a Form I-765 Application
for Employment Authorization. A J-2 dependent may begin employment only after
receiving the approved Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS. For
further guidance, refer to J-2 Request for Work
I'm planning on
traveling outside the United States. What do I need to do to re-enter?
If you are planning to travel outside the U.S., you should check
that your DS-2019 will not be expiring soon, and that the DS-2019 has a travel
signature dated less than a year from your planned date of re-entry to the U.S.
If you need to obtain a new travel signature, you should submit your DS-2019 to
the ISSO and allow 1 business days for your document to be processed. You should also make sure your passport
is valid more than six months into the future on your re-entry date, and that
your J-1 visa will still be valid for your re-entry.
How can I renew my J
The U.S. visa (stamp or sticker in your passport) is a travel
document which allows entry to the United States with a valid DS-2019. You only
need to have a valid J visa when you are re-entering the U.S.; you may remain
in the U.S. with your valid DS-2019. If you plan to travel and re-enter the
U.S. from abroad after your visa has expired, you need to apply for a new visa
before you re-enter. You can only apply for the visa outside the country at a U.S.
Consulate. Please read the detailed information on our website about travel and visa application for further details.
What should I do if I
need more time than my DS-2019 allows to finish my J program?
You may be eligible for an extension of your Form DS-2019 if you
have not reached the maximum duration of your J category and have not applied
for and received a waiver of the 2 year rule. Please fill out the J-1 Scholar and Professor
extension from and schedule an appointment with the ISSO
How can I
move/transfer my J-1 status to a new academic institution?
To request a transfer, you should submit our Transfer Out form for J-1
Scholars following the
instructions on the form and schedule an appointment with an ISSO advisor. On
your transfer release date, your SEVIS database record will be moved from
Oakland University to your new institution. After that, your new school will be
able to prepare an updated, “transfer” DS-2019 reflecting your new sponsorship.
Once your SEVIS record has been transferred, you will no longer be affiliated
with our institution from an immigration perspective, so you should no longer
work here unless given authorization from your new sponsor.
What should I do if
I'm finishing my J-1 program and getting ready to depart Oakland University?
If you are ending your participation at Oakland University
please fill out the J-1 Visiting Scholar Notice
of Departure form.
You may schedule an appointment to meet with an ISSO advisor if you have
questions about your current or future visa status but it is not required.
I am currently abroad,
and I just received my DS-2019. What should I do to prepare for my
arrival to the United States?
Please refer to the ISSO website for more information at www.oakland.edu/isso. Please make sure to
read information about paying the SEVIS (I-901) fee, applying for your visa,
and arriving to the United States. Please pay special attention to the
information regarding the health insurance requirement. You will need to
purchase your health insurance through ISSO in order to begin your J-1 program
upon your arrival unless your department will be covering your insurance.
You may enter the United States up to thirty days before the start date listed
on your DS-2019.
I have already received
my DS-2019, but I will need to delay my arrival now. What should I do?
If you will arrive more than two weeks after the start date listed on your
DS-2019, the start date must be amended. Please inform your departmental
contact person of your delay, so an amended DS-2019 can be issued if
necessary. If you have already paid the SEVIS fee and obtained a visa,
you should not need to do so again simply because the DS-2019 dates were
I received a DS-2019 for
my dependent, but the start date has already passed. Can my dependent
still use that document to enter the United States?
Yes. The DS-2019 dates reflect the J-1 program. The J-2s can travel
in and out of the United States for the duration of the J-1 program, as long as
the J-1 program is still active.
How can I extend my J-1
As long as you will continue within the same program objective, have adequate
funding to support your stay and have time remaining in your J category, an
extension may be possible. Initiate the extension process with your
academic host department. Please have them fill out J-1
Scholar and Professor Extension form. It can take up to two weeks for
an extended DS-2019 to be issued.
Which documents should I
bring with me when traveling abroad during my J-1 program?
When you return to the United States, you will be asked for your passport,
valid J-1 visa, and valid DS-2019 with travel signature. It is also
advisable to carry your SEVIS fee receipt. To request a travel signature, drop
off your DS-2019 at the ISSO front desk, please allow two business for travel
My J-1 entry visa will
expire next month, but my DS-2019 will still be valid for another year.
Do I need to go home to renew my entry visa now?
No. You are allowed to remain in the country with an expired U.S. entry
visa, as long as the rest of your documents (passport, I-94, DS-2019) are still
valid. However, you do need a valid J-1 visa to enter the United States;
therefore, the next time you go abroad, you will need to apply for a new entry
visa before returning to the United States. We always recommend that you
apply for a visa in your home country.
What is the Twelve-Month Bar?
Twelve-Month Bar: A foreign national is ineligible to participate in a
professor/research scholar exchange program if he or she has held any J
nonimmigrant status within the 12-month period immediately preceding the start
of the exchange program. This Twelve-Month Bar applies to J-2 dependents as
well as principal non-immigrants. The following three exceptions exist:
1) J-1 transfers to Oakland University without any gap; 2) Prior presence in J
status in the U.S. was of less than 6 months duration; 3) Presence in J status
as a Short-Term Scholar.
What is the 24-Month Bar?
24-Month Bar (also known as the Two-Year Bar): An individual who participates in the
Exchange Visitor Program as a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar becomes subject
to the 24-Month Bar on "repeat participation" in those particular
categories after completing his or her program even if the program lasts less
than five years. DOS has taken the position that the 24-Month Bar will also
apply to J-2 dependents of J-1 Professors or Research Scholars if the J-2
subsequently wishes to return as a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar.
What is the Two-Year Home Residency Requirement 212(e)?
Not to be confused with the “Two-Year Bar”,
the Two-Year Home Residency Requirement (as set out in Section 212(e) of the Immigration
and Nationality Act) requires J-1 exchange visitors who are subject to the two-year
home country residence requirement to "reside and be physically
present" in their "home" country for an aggregate of two years
before being eligible for certain immigration benefits. Under
specific circumstances, J-1 and J-2 status holders may incur a two-year home physical presence requirement. If one is subject to the rule,
this means that he/she is not eligible to change to H, L or Permanent Residency
(PR) classification without first returning to the home country for a total of
2 years. A waiver of this requirement can be applied for and obtained in specific
circumstances. If the two year rule applies, changing status from J to another
non-immigrant classification (such as F-1) in the United States is prohibited.
Two year rule does NOT prohibit one from returning to the U.S. in any
classification besides H, L, or PR.
Who is subject to the Two-Year Home Residency Requirement?
A J-1 Exchange Visitor may be subject to the
two-year home residence requirement for one or more of the following reasons:
List- The education, skill, or training that you are pursuing in the United
States appears on the Exchange Visitor Skills List for your home country; 2)
Government funding- You received funding from the United States government,
your home government, or an international organization, specifically in
connection with participation in the Exchange Visitor Program; or 3) Foreign
How does the Two-Year Residency Requirement Affect J exchange
If the Two-Year Home Residency Requirement is
notated on a visitor’s DS-2019, s/he is: 1) Ineligible for an immigrant visa or
for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident (immigrant/green card)
status; 2) Ineligible for an H visa (temporary workers and dependents), an L
visa (intracompany transferees and dependents), or a K visa (fiancé and
dependents);; 3) Ineligible to change his/her nonimmigrant status within the United
States from J to any other nonimmigrant category except A (diplomatic), G
(international organization), or U (victims of qualifying criminal activity)
I have more questions.
How can I meet with an advisor?
Please call the ISSO to schedule
an appointment or come in during walk-in hours.