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.

Government Restrictions:

Columbia University Restrictions:

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.

  1. Application 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.

  2. Acknowledgment of Understanding and Promise to Comply with Medical Insurance Coverage Requirements for J-1 Exchange Visitors.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 old.

  6. Photocopy of passport identification page

  7. For Visiting Scholars/Scientists, a copy of the CV.

  8. 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
  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The J-1 Termination Form should be sent to this office once the J-1 holder terminates her/his position.
For extension of J-1 status:

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