International Students and Scholars

328 O'Dowd Hall
586 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)
(248) 370-3358
Fax: (248) 370-3351
isso@oakland.edu

International Scholars

Welcome to the Oakland University community!

The international Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) provides support to all incoming and continuing J-1 scholars at Oakland University. As a scholar, you can enter the United States on your DS-2019 and in J immigration status. 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 for up to five years.
Pre-arrival
Please follow the steps below to ensure your arrival goes smoothly:
  • When you receive your DS-2019, please review it carefully for accuracy. Contact the ISSO at isso@oakland.edu immediately if you find an error on your DS-2019.
  • Pay the SEVIS Fee prior to your visa interview. You must present the receipt as proof of payment when you apply for the visa.
  • To schedule your visa interview, contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate and schedule an appointment for a J-1 visa.
  • If you will arrive more than 30 days after the start date listed on your DS-2019, the start date must be amended. Please inform your departmental contact person at OU and the ISSO of your delay so an amended DS-2019 can be issued to you.
  • Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) is the closest airport to campus, and about 45 miles from Oakland University. Upon your arrival, you can either use ground transportation (Metro Cabs and Metro Cars) or a ride-sharing app (Uber and Lyft) on your smartphone to arrive at your destination.
  • Please try not to arrive in the United States in the middle of the night when you will find most services closed. It will make your journey more difficult.
  • When selecting housing in Rochester or the surrounding areas, take time to research available accommodations. The ISSO has a list of available off-campus apartments; however, it is not exhaustive, and we do not endorse any of the options over the others. Your department or faculty sponsor may also have suggestions regarding housing.

Maintaining
your J-1
Visa Status

As a J-1 scholar you need to ensure that you comply with the rules and regulations of your visa status. This section contains tools and information to help you do that.

As you settle in at Oakland University, it is important for you to activate your Oakland University email. The ISSO will use your OU email to communicate with you if we have something important to tell you, or if you are in violation of any United States immigration regulation. Please make sure you regularly monitor your OU email.

If your DS-2019 has not been issued by OU, you will need to work with the organization that issued the DS-2019 to make changes, extend or update your DS-2019. However, the information below is still relevant for you as you think about maintaining your status.

  • Check in at the ISSO: As a newly arrived scholar, it is important that you check in with the ISSO as soon as possible after arrival. You should provide the following documents: passport, DS-2019, United States residential address, and United States phone number. You can provide a temporary address during check-in. When you move to a permanent residential address, you must report to us within 10 days of the change by filling out this Change of Address Form.
  • Valid Passport: It is your responsibility to keep your passport up to date. Your passport should always have at least 6 months of eligibility. If you need to renew it, make sure to start the process at least 6 months before it expires. Your home country embassy or consulate can advise on your passport renewal process. Some require that the application be requested in person, while others handle the request by mail. We encourage you to always keep a copy of your passport and visa.
  • Valid DS-2019: It is your responsibility to make sure that your DS-2019 is valid and that it has the correct program dates. If your DS-2019 doesn’t allow you enough time to finish your J Program, fill out the J-1 Scholar Extension Form and we will process your request and issue you a new DS-2019.
  • Valid Travel Documents: Before leaving the United States, you need to make sure that you have a valid travel signature on your DS-2019. If your visa will be out of date by the time of re-entry into the United States, make plans to renew your visa abroad. You must also travel with a valid passport.
  • Dependents: The J-2 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by a consular official at a United States embassy or consulate for spouses and dependents (unmarried children under the age of 21) of J-1 exchange visitors who accompany or later join the J-1 holder in the United States.
    • To obtain the J-2 DS-2019 documents for your spouse and/or dependents under 21 years, please complete the J-2 Dependent Application Form and provide proof of dependent funding. Afterwards, schedule an appointment with an ISSO adviser.
    • Immigration regulations require all J-2 dependents to be covered by health insurance while participating in the exchange visitor program.
    • J-2 minor children are eligible to enroll in full-time studies at elementary or secondary schools (K-12).
    • J-2 children lose their J-2 status once they marry or reach 21 years of age. If the J-2 child wants to remain in the United States, they should apply for independent status prior to the end of their J-2 status.
    • J-2 visa holders may study while in the United States without being required to apply for an F-1 visa. J-2 visa holders may enroll in academic programs as a degree-seeking student or non-degree seeking. They may also enroll either full-time or part-time.
    • In most cases, J-2 visa holders are eligible to apply for work authorization through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The application takes approximately three months to process. Please note that the ISSO does not assist with J-2s applying for an EAD card. For more information on the employment authorization, please visit the J-2 Dependent Employment Authorization Document.
    • A J-2’s status is dependent on the J-1. If the J-1 leaves the United States permanently, the J-2’s visa status also ends.
  • Health Insurance: J-1 scholars are required to purchase the UnitedHealthcare plan while completing their stay at Oakland University. We will accept alternative coverage for J-2 dependents, if the scholar wishes to enroll dependents in another plan. All J-2 (dependents) are always required by United States federal law to carry health insurance. For more information, please visit the health insurance page.
  • Transfer In: If you plan to transfer from another United States institution to Oakland University, you need to fill out the Transfer In Form and you need to notify the ISSO. When we receive your new offer letter, we will update your record in SEVIS and issue you a DS-2019.
  • Transfer Out: To request a transfer out to another institution, you should submit our Transfer Out Form. 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.
  • Departure: When you finish your program and prepare to depart the United States, you must fill out the J-1 Visiting Scholar Departure Form. J-1 scholars and J-2 dependents have a grace period of 30 days to remain inside the United States after the end date of the DS-2019. During the grace period, J-1 scholars and dependents may not enter the United States, including after traveling to Canada.


12 - 24
Month
Bars

The 12- and 24-month bar rule affects J-1 exchange visitors who have been in the United States on a J-1 visa previously and wish to return on the same visa. The bar rules prohibit repeat participation in the “Research Scholar” or “Professor” categories only. Depending on what your previous J category was, you may be subject to a 12-month bar, a 24-month bar or have no bar at all. If you are coming to the United States in a J category that is NOT “Research Scholar” or “Professor” (such as “Short-Term Scholar or “Student Intern”), you are transferring your current J-1 program from another U.S. institution to continue your academic/research activities at Oakland University, or you have never been in the United States on J status, these bars will not apply to you.

12-Month Bar on Participation

Individuals who have been in the United States for more than six months within the previous 12 months on any J visa status are not eligible to enter the United States as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor for a 12-month period afterwards. The 12-month bar applies to both the J-1 principal and any J-2 dependents. The 12-month bar does not prevent individuals from returning to the United States in any other visa status or in some other J categories such as Short-Term Scholar or Student.


24-Month Bar on Participation

Any individual who participates in an Exchange Visitor program in the Professor or Research Scholar categories is subject to a 24-month bar on “repeat participation” in those categories. Scholars subject to the bar may not return to the United States as a J-1 scholar in the Professor or Research Scholar categories for the 24-month period. This bar also applies to J-2 dependents. The 24-month bar does not prevent individuals from returning to the United States in any other visa status.

Note: The 12- and 24-month bar are NOT the same as the two-year home residence requirement (212e). These are two completely different regulations.

The two-year rule (212e) may apply to visitors in any J category. The 24-month bar only applies to J visa holders who enter the United States in the Research Scholar or Professor categories or as a J-2 dependent of a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar. More information about 212e.

Department
Sponsors
Information for Department Sponsors

The exchange of professors and research scholars promotes the exchange of ideas, research, mutual enrichment and linkages between research and academic institutions in the United States and foreign countries.


  • To successfully obtain a J-1 visa, visiting scholar/professor paperwork for DS-2019 must be completed at least 45 days prior to the scholar’s program start date.
  • Short-Term Scholars are for programs 6 months or less. Short-Term Scholars cannot extend their program beyond 6 months.
  • Research Scholars are for programs over 6 months and up to 5 years.
  • Visiting Scholars/Professors must show funding for at least $1,225 per month, and additional funding for each dependent. Funding can be from Oakland University, a third party, or a scholar’s personal funds.
  • If the scholar is looking for a more permanent status within the United States, it is the responsibility of the J-1 applicant to waive any 212(e) requirements with their home country government.
  • J-1 Professor and Research Scholars must:
    • Not be a candidate for a tenure track position.
    • Not have participated in and completed a professor or research scholar program within the last 24 months preceding the beginning date of their new program’s commencement.
    • Not have participated in a J Visa program for all or part of the 12-month period immediately preceding the start date of a professor or research scholar program, unless they meet one of the following exceptions:
      • The participant is currently in a professor or research scholar program and is transferring to another institution in the United States to continue their current J-1 program.
      • The participant’s prior physical presence in the United States on a J Visa program was less than 6 months in duration.
      • The prior participation was as a short-term scholar. 

Research Scholar

This category is for a foreign national who enters the United States for the primary purpose of conducting research, observing or consulting in connection with research projects at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited academic institutions, or similar types of institutions. A research scholar may also teach or lecture, unless disallowed by the sponsor. The research scholar or professor’s appointment to a position shall be temporary, even if the position itself is permanent. Incidental lectures or short-term consultations are permitted with the approval of the responsible officer so long as they are directly related to the objectives of the participant’s program, and do not delay the exchange program’s completion date.


Professor

The professor category is for a foreign national who enters the United States for the primary purpose of teaching, lecturing, observing or consulting at accredited post-secondary academic institutions, museums, libraries or similar types of institutions. A professor may also conduct research, unless disallowed by the sponsoring organization.

Fulbright

Since it began in 1946, over 400,000 people from all backgrounds—recent graduates, students, teachers, scientists and researchers, artists, and more—have participated in the Fulbright program. Oakland University has, over the past years, hosted incoming Fulbright scholars and students as well as sent its own faculty and students overseas through this program.

U.S. Faculty and Staff program

DEADLINE IS SEPTEMBER 15, 2021 FOR 2022-2023 PROGRAMS.

Programs for U.S. citizen faculty and staff vary from a few weeks to a year. The CIES web site includes more information and the application. Anyone contemplating an absence should communicate with and or seek approval from his or her dean or supervisor.

Award Database

Register for webinars geared toward potential applicants and particular programs or regions of the world.


Non-U.S. Visiting Scholar Program

This program provides grants to conduct post-doctoral research at U.S. institutions. Program lengths vary from 3 months to a year. Visiting scholars cannot be dual U.S. nationals or hold a U.S. green card. The CIES site directs non-U.S. scholars back to the U.S. embassy in their country or their Fulbright commission. The potential visiting scholar must initiate and complete the application.

https://exchanges.state.gov/non-us/program/fulbright-visiting-scholar-program

https://cies.org/

Potential visiting scholars ideally will identify an OU faculty collaborator before or during the application process. The applicant may ask the OU faculty collaborator to provide a letter from the dean or department Chair during the application process (see sample text below). 

Dear Scholar Name,

It gives us great pleasure to invite you to (Department Name) as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar for a period of x months beginning on (Date) at Oakland University. During your stay, we would like you to collaborate with us on (add detailed text here)

We understand that you are seeking funding from or will be funded by the Fulbright Program and that OU will not provide any financial support during your stay.  We can provide you with office space (it may be shared) and library privileges at the OU main campus. 

It is understood that at the end of your appointment as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar you will return to your permanent position.

Your main faculty collaborator (Name) will introduce you to the department and to resources on campus.

Immediately upon your arrival, you will need to register with the Exchange Visitor Program of the United States State Department and the Office of Global Engagement at Oakland University, where you may obtain a university ID card and information about associated campus privileges.

It will be our pleasure and privilege to have you visit our University.  We are looking forward to a productive and collaborative year.

Provost Office: If the Fulbright is awarded, the OU faculty collaborator will then (ideally 1 month prior to arrival) complete the J-1 Scholar Form. This form will be routed and result in a letter of appointment needed to obtain an OU ID card.

Refer to the international scholars page for information regarding arrival and housing in the United States.

Global Engagement: Scholars must check in with ISSO upon arrival. Email Dave Archbold for an appointment (archbold@oakland.edu) and a one-on-one orientation, which includes information on cultural events and connections to the community. Global Engagement provides general immigration advice, but it does not issue DS-2019s for Fulbright scholars. Fulbright issues its own DS-2019s and changes to the program or immigration documents must go through Fulbright. Global Engagement does not handle airport pick up or housing arrangements for scholars.

The OU faculty collaborator is the main point of contact for the visiting scholar and should engage with the scholar regularly throughout his or her stay at OU.


Scholar-in-Residence Program

DEADLINE OCTOBER 15, 2021 FOR  2022-23 PROGRAMS.

The Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence Program is an initiative that is specifically driven by the goals of U.S. institutions of higher education to enhance internationalization efforts on their campuses. Through this program, institutions host a scholar from outside of the United States for a semester or full academic year to teach courses, assist in curriculum development, guest lecture, develop study abroad/exchange partnerships and engage with the campus and the local community. The university applies for the grant and offers some form of cost share. See links below for more information and webinars.

https://cies.org/sir

https://apply.iie.org/portal/scholar_webinars

Provost Office: If the Fulbright is awarded, the OU faculty collaborator will then (ideally 1 month prior to arrival) complete the J-1 Scholar Form. This form will be routed and result in a letter of appointment needed to obtain an OU ID card.

Refer to the international scholars page for information regarding arrival and housing in the United States.

Global Engagement: Scholars must check in with ISSO upon arrival. Email Dave Archbold for an appointment (archbold@oakland.edu) and a one-on-one orientation, which includes information on cultural events and connections to the community. Global Engagement provides general immigration advice, but it does not issue DS-2019s for Fulbright scholars. Fulbright issues its own DS-2019s and changes to the program or immigration documents must go through Fulbright. Global Engagement does not handle airport pick up or housing arrangements for scholars.

The OU faculty collaborator is the main point of contact for the visiting scholar and should engage with the scholar regularly throughout his or her stay at OU.


U.S. Student Fulbright

The Honors College and Global Engagement support U.S. students who are interested in applying for a Fulbright. Information sessions are held every year. Contact Graeme Harper in the Honors College (gharper@oakland.edu) or Alex Zimmerman in Global Engagement (azimmerman@oakland.edu) if you are interested in applying.

Faculty play a critical role not only in helping students with their applications but in identifying students who may be a good fit for the Fulbright program early in their OU careers. Visit the U.S. Fulbright website to review eligibility requirements.

Students will find a range of opportunities here: https://us.fulbrightonline.org/


Non-U.S. Student Fulbright

This program enables graduate students, young professionals and artists from abroad to study and conduct research in the United States. These students are highly qualified and vetted by Fulbright. They are often coming for master’s degrees or to complete a doctoral degree. The Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) program is also an opportunity to host a Foreign Language TA for an academic year. Oakland provides in-state tuition to these students. Typically, Fulbright provides students with enough funds for tuition, living expenses, travel and health insurance.

The links below direct students to their country’s application process. Once they apply to Fulbright and are granted the scholarship, they apply to Oakland University. If you know of a Fulbright student who is applying to Oakland, please let ISSO (Dave Archbold, archbold@oakland.edu) and the Graduate school (Claire Rammel, rammel@oakland.edu) know. 

https://foreign.fulbrightonline.org/about/foreign-student-program

https://foreign.fulbrightonline.org/about/flta-program

Faculty can also be proactive and apply to host an FLTA in a particular needed language. Here is the link for more information: https://foreign.fulbrightonline.org/host-institutions/flta-program

The Office of Global Engagement provides housing recommendations, an orientation, information on cultural events, and helps to connect Fulbrighters with each other and with the community. Global Engagement provides general immigration advice, but it does not issue DS-2019s for Fulbright scholars.