Instructions for Departments
Requesting J-1 Scholars
Please submit the complete application plus supporting documentation well in
advance of the time the scholar is to arrive. Those scholars from countries
which restrict travel often need a couple of months to obtain a passport and
visa. Scholars in the U.S. who need to apply for a change of status to J-1 need to apply 4 to 6 months in advance. Therefore, we suggest that the application be submitted six months in
advance of the arrival date. Normal processing time for applications is usually
five days, subject to receipt of required supporting documentation.
The following lists both U.S. Government
and Columbia University restrictions on those in J-1 status.
- Tenure or tenure-track - Government
regulations do not allow J-1 status for tenured or tenure track positions.
- Bachelor's degree - Government
regulations require that all those in J-1 research scholar, professor, or
short-term scholar category hold a bachelor's degree or the equivalent.
- 5-year time limit - Those
in the J-1 research scholar or professor category may remain in the U.S. for
up to five years.
- The 24-month bar - Those who complete a J-1 or J-2 program, regardless
of the duration of their program, are barred for two years from beginning
a new J-1 research scholar/professor program. This bar does not apply to those
who are in the J-1 short term scholar category (limited to a maximum stay
of six months).
- The 12-month bar - An individual is not eligible for the J-1 category
of professor or research scholar if he or she has been physically present
in the United States in J-1 or J-2 status for all or part of the twelve month
period immediately preceding the date of program commencement as stated on
his or her Form DS-2019, unless
- The participant is transferring
to the sponsor's program and has not exceeded the maximum allowed time
of five years
- The participant's presence in the United States was of less than six months duration; or
- The participant's presence in the United States was pursuant to a short-term scholar exchange activity.
- A change of J-1 "category" is generally not allowed by
the Exchange Visitor Program.
- The J-1 scholar must enter
the U.S. and complete an immigration registration with the ISSO no later than
30 days after the start date on the DS-2019. If the scholar will arrive
later, the ISSO must be informed in writing during this 30-day period in order
to notify the Department of State of the delay. Failure to complete a timely
immigration registration will cause the Department of State to cancel the
J immigration record. All new J-1 scholars must bring to the ISSO the passport,
I-94 card and DS-2019 to complete this mandatory immigration registration.
Columbia University Restrictions:
- Collaborative research -
Anyone participating in collaborative research must have a Columbia appointment
and not be a Visiting Scholar/Scientist. By definition, an undergraduate cannot
be collaborating in research.
- Post-doctoral Positions - All
post-doctoral positions must be funded either by Columbia University salary
or by an outside organization. No other funding sources, such as personal
or family funds, are allowed. Post-doctoral positions have a time limit of
- Affirmative Action - If
employment is full-time, affirmative action approval must be granted before
the DS-2019 is issued, except in the case of post-doctoral research scientists
in departments other than Physics and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
Visiting Scholars/Visiting Scientists have separate eligibility requirements.
See the information on Visiting
Scholar/Scientist Designation for details.
The following documents must be
submitted to this office in order for an DS-2019 Visa Certificate to be issued
to the requested J-1 scholar. All scholars requesting J-1 status, and any accompanying
dependents requesting J-2 status, must obtain a DS-2019 form.
For extension of J-1 status:
for J-1 Visa Certificate. An application must be completed on-line by
a Columbia departmental employee. Employees must have pre-approved access
to do this.
of Understanding and Promise to Comply with Medical Insurance Coverage Requirements
for J-1 Exchange Visitors.
- If the person requesting J-1 status
is currently in the United States in J-1 status or has been in J-1 status
within the last two years but is now outside of the United States, submit
a copy of all previously issued DS-2019 forms.
- If the person requesting J-1 status
will hold a University appointment, submit a copy of the University offer
of employment signed by the chair of department stating the dates, title,
and salary of the appointment. If a person receives any funding from Columbia
University and will be in J-1 status, the person must have a University appointment.
The University does not allow those with a Visiting Scholar/Scientist designation
to receive any Columbia University funding.
- Funding documents showing the minimum amount per month as set by the Provost's
Office each year. Please call the ISSO for future year's living expense guidelines.
Tthe J-1 holder must show at least $2,800/month for
the J-1 and $1,000/month for an accompanying spouse plus $500/month for each
accompanying child. These amounts are expected to increase each year. All
documents should be submitted in English and should be less than three months
- Photocopy of passport identification page
- For Visiting Scholars/Scientists, a copy of the CV.
- For Visiting Scholars/Scientists,
a $300 fee is charged for filing this application. This can be paid by including
the department's account number in the online application or by having the
scholar submit the online Visiting Scholar Fee payment form at https://lexington.columbia.edu/isso/content/visiting-scholar-administration-fee-online-payment-form.
- Send the Two Year Home Residency Requirement to the J-1 scholar. The scholar must be notified that there may be a requirement to return home for two years after completion of the J-1 program.
- Send the Health
Insurance in the United States to the J-1 scholar if the University is
not providing health insurance as part of the benefits of employment.
- The J-1 Termination
Form should be sent to this office once the J-1 holder terminates her/his
Eligibility for a J-1 extension and the required documentation needed to facilitate an extension will depend on the scholarís J-1 category, title and Columbia University and other factors. Please seek guidance directly from the ISSO for specific extension requests.
Last reviewed: 25 March 2015 Last modified: 25 March 2015
Columbia University International Students and Scholars Office