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Scholars

SERVICES AND
INFORMATION
SCHOLAR
TRAVEL GUIDELINES
SEVIS
FREQUENTLY ASKED
QUESTIONS

The Exchange Visitor Program of the U.S. State Department  and Oakland University invite and host international researchers and visiting professors, referred to as scholars. As a scholar, you can enter the United States on J immigration status that allows you to apply for a J visa at a U.S. consulate is called DS-2019. 
There are two types of scholars:
  • Short-Term Scholar – The maximum length of stay at OU is six months or less. There is no possibility of extension beyond six months for individuals who enter the United States on this category.
  • Research Scholar/Professor – The maximum length of stay at OU is three years with an extension up to five years.

Scholars are invited by specific faculty members in academic departments at Oakland University. The faculty member initiates the documentation to invite a scholar through the ISSO. Adequate funding for the scholar and accompanying dependents is required before visa documents are dispatched to the scholar. Such funding could be from a variety of sources that include the government, U.S. or foreign university, or personal funds of the scholar. Currently, the level of funding needed for a scholar is $1,225 per month with an additional $542 per month for accompanying spouse and $410 per month for each child.

Note: J immigration status also is granted to students who study in the United States. Scholars who intend to pursue a degree objective at Oakland University should not enter the United States on a scholar category. A change between scholar and student category is not possible within the United States.

A scholar is obligated to abide by the Exchange Visitor Program regulations of the U.S. State Department and the J category immigration and naturalization regulations. All advice related to the program and immigration status is available to the scholar through the responsible officers at the ISSO.

To maintain program and immigration status, a scholar must:
  • possess a valid passport from their home country;
  • have a valid DS-2019 and engage only in activities specified on the DS-2019;
  • have health insurance coverage at minimal levels (also for all dependents, spouse or children) required by the U.S. State Department;
  • file for timely extension and transfers; and
  • not engage in any unauthorized employment.

State Department

The ISSO provides scholars the resources for quality research and work experience including social experiences. We coordinate and administer programs that serve international students, faculty and visitors to the Oakland community.

DS-2019 and J-1 program

Your DS-2019 can take up to two weeks from receipt of completed request to be issued. We will email you a tracking number once your packet is mailed out. You may enter the United States up to 30 days before the start date listed on your DS-2019.

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 your DS-2019 doesn’t allow you enough time to finish your J program, fill out the J-1 Scholar and Professor extension form and schedule an appointment with an ISSO adviser.

Two-Year Home Residency Requirement

J-1 exchange visitors 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 upon completion of their stay at a U.S. institution before being eligible for certain immigration benefits. This requirement is to ensure the program contributes to a mutual benefit for the home country of the scholar and the United States and enables true exchange of knowledge and skills. 

Transfer between institutions

To request a transfer, you should submit our Transfer Out form for J-1 Scholars and schedule an appointment with an ISSO adviser. 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.




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If you are planning to travel outside the U.S., make sure you have these things in order to re-enter the United States. Please consult the International Student Advisors in the ISSO for further information. J-1 scholars must be mindful of visa concerns when planning any international travel.
  • A valid passport.
  • DS-2019 recently endorsed with a signature from the ISSO on the “Travel Validation” in the right bottom.
  • It is your responsibility to determine if the country you plan to visit requires a valid visa for you to enter.
  • Valid visa stamp in passport. Check the expiration date. If expired, you must renew at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy.
WARNING
  • ANY time you leave the U.S., there is no guarantee you will be allowed to return.
  • If you have applied for an extension of stay or change of status, these procedures must be completed before travelling outside the U.S.
Travel Outside USA - With an Expired VISA

If your F-1 visa is expired, you may not need to obtain a new visa if you plan a short trip (less than 30 days) to another country in North America. This is called Automatic Revalidation of an expired visa. The following conditions apply:
  • Your trip must be limited to Canada, Mexico or an adjacent island.
  • Your trip must be less than 30 days in length.
  • To re-enter the USA you must have:
    • a passport that is valid six months into the future
    • an updated I-20 or validated DS-2019 within the past six months
    • expired F-1 or J-1 visa or proof of a visa change of status to F-1 or J-1
WARNING
  • If you apply for a new U.S. visa during your stay outside the country, you are NOT eligible for Automatic Revalidation. 
  • If you have applied for an extension of stay or change of status, these procedures must be completed before traveling outside the U.S.
  • If you are a citizen of Iran, Syria, Sudan, North Korea or Cuba, you are not eligible for Automatic Revalidation of an expired visa.

Travel Inside the USA

Whenever you are within the U.S., you are required to have your passport (with visa stamp), and DS-2019 with you. 


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Every F-1 and J-1 student or scholar who wishes to enter the U.S. is issued a DS-2019 with a unique Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) identification number.

Prior to arriving at Oakland University, you must pay the SEVIS fee.

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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 adviser.

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.

What is the 12-Month Bar?
12-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 months preceding the start of the exchange program.

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/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.

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.

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