Congratulations on your invitation to Montclair State University. We look forward to welcoming you to our campus.
After you receive your invitation letter from the Office of International Engagement the next step is the visa process. Please note we don’t start the visa process earlier than 6 months before you scheduled start date. To come to the United States as a Visiting Scholar you will need to apply for a J-1 Visa and to start this process you will need a document called a DS2019 which confirms that Montclair State University will be your program sponsor. Find out more about the J-1 visa. Once you receive your DS2019 you will need to pay the SEVIS I-901 Fee ($180), pay a visa fee, and schedule an interview at the closest US consulate. The order of these steps and how you complete them sometimes varies by U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please consult the instructions available on the embassy or consulate website where you will apply. Find out about estimated visa processing times.
To apply for a DS2019 you will need the following documents –
- Copy of your current passport page with photo and passport holder information for you and any accompanying dependents.
- Documentation evidencing financial support for the duration of your stay in the U.S. You will need to show that you have financial resources of at least $1,900 per month for yourself and $6,000 per year for an accompanying spouse and $4,000 per year per dependent child (under 18). These funds must be liquid assets. If you are receiving funding from your home country, university or an external organization you must provide a letter from the organization detailing the support. All documents must be in English.
- Prior DS2019’s documents if you have been in the US on J-1 status in the past.
It is important before you apply for a J-1 visa that you are aware of some of the restrictions and limitations this visa category might impose if you are interested in returning to the U.S. in the J-1 category or considering applying for a working visa or immigrating to the U.S.
Two-Year Bar on Repeat Participation
J-1 Visa Holders in the Research and Professor categories are subject to a two-year bar on repeat participation in the same category. This means that you have to wait for two years after your DS-2019’s end date to return to the U.S. as a J-1 Research Scholar/Professor. This does not affect your ability to return to the U.S. in other visa categories.
12-Month Bar after Repeat Participation
You are not eligible to begin a J-1 exchange program as a Professor or Research Scholar if you were physically present in any J status (including J-2) for “all or part of” the “twelve month period immediately preceding” except in cases of:
- J-1 transfer from another university
- Presence in J status of less than 6 months
- Presence in J status as a Short-Term Scholar
Two-Year Home Residence Requirement – 212(e)
In some cases, the J-1 visa carries with it a two-year home residence requirement which obliges visa holders and their J-2 dependents to return to their home countries for two years before being eligible to apply for an immigrant visa or a non-immigrant H or L visa. The requirement also makes J-1 visa holders and their J-2 dependents ineligible to change to any other visa status within the United States if they are subject to it.
Not all J-1 visa holders are subject to this requirement. The requirement applies to those individuals in one of the following situations:
- J-1 visa holders who are funded by the United States government, their own governments, or international organizations during part or all of their stay in the United States are subject to the requirement.
- J-1 visa holders whose skills are needed in their home countries, as registered on the Exchange Visitor Skills List, are subject to the requirement.
- J-1 visa holders who are graduates of foreign medical schools participating in internships, residencies, or clinical training programs in the United States sponsored by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) are subject to the requirement.
Visiting scholars are required by the U.S. State Department to purchase medical insurance for themselves and any accompanying dependents. The insurance must meet the following minimum requirements:
According to 22 CFR 62.14, all J-1 and J-2 Exchange Visitors are required to have and maintain health insurance that meets Department of State’s requirements. A summary of these insurance requirements is as follows:
- Major medical benefits must be at least $100,000 for each accident or illness.
- Repatriation of remains benefit must be at least $25,000.
- Medical evacuation benefit must be at least $50,000.
- The deductible for each accident or illness may not exceed $500.
- Policy may not unreasonably exclude coverage for perils inherent to the activities of the exchange program.
Visiting scholars may bring their dependents. Dependents who are minors should be accompanied by another adult. Dependents will receive a J-2 visa. Accompanying spouses on a J-2 visa are permitted to work in the U.S. but must apply for an Employment Authorization Document. Accompanying children on a J-2 visa can attend school.
Montclair State offers no long-term housing for Visiting Scholars. The host department may request a short-term stay for the scholar in the Guest House, but accommodation is subject to availability, and in no case will it extend beyond two weeks. Children are not permitted in the Guest House. It is the visiting scholar’s responsibility to find off-campus accommodation with the assistance of the faculty host. International Engagement cannot arrange housing for visiting scholars.
Visiting scholar expectations
Visiting scholars should interact significantly with the campus community. In addition to successfully completing the proposed research or teaching assignment, a visiting scholar will be expected to
- Deliver at least one public presentation at a departmental or college level.
- Comply with all university regulations.
- Deliver presentations, meet with classes or student groups that share common characteristics or interests, participate as a guest speaker within the scholar’s disciplines, or in courses related to language and culture.
- Regularly be present on campus and meet with your faculty mentor.
- Actively pursue opportunities to learn about U.S. culture.
- Submit a report on achievements, presentations and research efforts to the faculty host and the Office of International Engagement prior to your departure.
Visiting scholars are responsible for complying with U.S. federal laws and regulations governing the J-visa.
- Upon your arrival on campus, you must check in with the Office of International Engagement.
- Report your change of address to your scholar advisor within 10 days.
- Depart the U.S. within the 30 days after the end of the program.
- Apply for an extension before the expiration of the program.
- Maintain required health and accident insurance.
- Keep your passport valid at all times.
- Carry your original documents when traveling outside of New Jersey.