Incoming J-1 Scholars
- Guidelines for International Visitors
- Guidelines for CSULA Sponsors
- SEVIS Fee
- Visa Application
- Health Insurance
- Mandatory Check-In
J-1 Exchange Visitor-General Information
The Exchange Visitor Program was established by U.S. government to facilitate the visitors from other countries to come to U.S. to participate in Educational and Cultural programs. The objective of the program is to increase mutual understanding between the citizens of the U.S. and the Exchange Visitorsí countries. The visitors may participate in studies, research, teaching, or receive training. Universities, research institutes and organizations can be recognized by the U.S. Department of State as Exchange Visitor Program Sponsors.
The International Office administers the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program for California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA). J-1 Visas are non-immigrant visa only. Please consult the J-1 Scholars site on this website for information about immigrant visa services. Contact the International Office at 323-343-3170, or email Amy Wang at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Below is a summary of acceptable activities and program durations for J-1 Visa holders.
|Visa Types||Description of Proper Use|
|J-1 Research Scholar|
|J-1 Short-Term Scholar|
|J-1 Student (Degree Seeking or Non-Degree)|
Individuals attending CSULA as regular university students should consult the University Student section for J-1 student regulatory requirements.
If you are interested in applying for a Visiting Scholar/Researcher/Student (non-degree or intern) appointment through the J-1 Visa program, you must complete an application and gain approval for sponsorship from a sponsoring mentor, Department/Division/School, and College at CSULA. All applications that receive sponsorship support from the academic unit are reviewed by the International Office and must receive final approval by the Dean of the College of Extended Studies and International Programs.
To become a J-1 Exchange Visitor at CSULA, you must follow these steps:
Step 1: Research the CSULA faculty specialty list
http://www.calstatela.edu/univ/ppa/journalist/guide.php and find an appropriate faculty member to be your mentor/sponsor. It is appropriate to first contact the faculty member to ensure he/she is willing and able to assist you during your time at CSULA.
You should introduce yourself, provide your academic background and the purpose of your participation as a J-1 visiting scholar. The details of the visit/research should be discussed in advance so that both parties have an expectation of what each otherís roles will be and what to expect from this experience.
Step 2: Once you have found a CSULA faculty member who is willing to mentor/sponsor you, complete the Request to be an Exchange Visitor (J-1 Visa) form and submit it to the CSULA faculty member for review and consultation. Again, details of the visit/research must be discussed so that each otherís expectations will be met during the program.
Please be aware that most departments will not provide office space to exchange visitors. As part of your exchange program, you will be allowed to obtain a campus ID card, use of library services and a CSULA email account that will allow you access to on-campus computer labs.
The request package must include the following documents:
- Why you chose CSULA as the campus for your program/research.
- Describe your research activities and work at CSULA.
- What you hope to achieve from your time/program at CSULA?
- If you plan to perform your research at locations other than CSULA, please list all possible locations.
Step 3: If, after reviewing the request, the CSULA faculty member agrees to be the mentor/sponsor, the request will be forwarded to the academic unitís Department Chair and College Dean for recommendation. If both the Department Chair and College Dean support the request, it will be submitted to the International Office for consideration.
Step 4: The International Office will evaluate the request and make the appropriate recommendation to the Dean of College of Extended Studies and International Programs (CESIP). The Dean will make the final decision to approve or deny the request.
Step 5: Upon an approval for the request, the International Office will issue the DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor J-1 Status). The Welcome Package, including the DS-2019, will be forwarded to the mentoring faculty member to be mailed to you.
Due to the time for locating and communicating with a CSULA faculty member, obtaining the proper recommendations and approval, it is highly recommended that this process be started with no less than 4 months prior to the expected program start date.
Applicants for a Visiting Scholar/Researcher/Student appointment through the J-1 Visa program must have a faculty or administrator who agrees to serve as their mentor. In addition, the mentor must receive the endorsement of her/his Department/Division/School and College Dean in order to serve as the sponsoring mentor. All applications that receive sponsorship support from the academic unit are reviewed by the International Office, and must receive final approval by the Dean of the College of Extended Studies and International Programs.
The following steps will be followed in the consideration of applications for a J-1 Visiting Scholar/Research/Student Visa appointment.
Step 1: You should consider whether or not the potential visiting scholar has research interests that are in line with your current work. If there is no similarity of research interests, there is probably no "match" regarding a given international scholar who may be making an inquiry. In such a case, it is your responsibility to respond in writing to the individual who has made the inquiry, declining his/her request for a mentor/sponsor.
If you decide that there is a "match", then you should continue correspondence to determine details of the visit/research to ensure each party understands the otherís expectations and needs.
Step 2: You will be charged with gathering the required documentation on the visiting scholar. This includes all of the following documents from the scholar:
Step 3: Upon receipt of the required documents from the scholar, you must complete and sign the follow documents:
All documents listed in Steps 2 and 3 will be forwarded to your Department Chair and College Dean for recommendation.
Step 4: If both the Chair and Dean recommend the request, the request package is then forwarded to the Director of the International Office. The International Office will review the package for completeness and determine whether additional documents are required. The request is then forwarded to the Dean of the College of Extended Studies and International Programs for consideration.
Step 5: If the request is approved, the International Office will issue the DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor J-1 Status). The Welcome Package, including the DS-2019, will be forwarded to you as the mentoring faculty member. You will be responsible for mailing the Welcome Package to the scholar.
This process may be time consuming, particularly if it is necessary to correspond back and forth with a potential visiting international scholar. We, therefore, recommend that the request be initiated at least four months prior to the visiting scholar's desired date of arrival.
- Inform the International Office of any specific commitments made to the J-1 visitor. Note that the University provides J-1 visitors with a University computer account and Library privileges, and they are eligible to purchase a University identification card. Departments are not required to provide office space, telephone, or computer equipment. It is important for the Department to inform the International Office of any commitments made in order to avoid confusion or disappointment once the visitor arrives at CSULA. These resources will be provided to the J-1 visiting scholars who will be hired as a non-tenure track lecturer.
- Coordinate with the International Office to ensure that the Visiting Scholar/Researcher/Student Visa applicantís application materials are reviewed by the proposed faculty sponsor and vetted by the appropriate Department and Deanís Office administrators.
- Inform the International Office of the visitorís expected arrival date, and provide updates if the arrival date changes from the date listed on the DS-2019.
- Ensure that the J-1 visitor checks in with the International Office upon arrival at CSULA.
- If the J-1 visitor plans to receive employee benefits at CSULA, ensure that the proper paperwork is completed either through Human Resource Management or through University Auxiliary Services.
SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) is a federal government database that maintains and tracks information on F-1 and J-1 visa students and scholars.
Upon receipt of the DS-2019, you must visit the website https://www.fmjfee.com/index.jhtml to pay the SEVIS fee prior to submitting your visa application to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. All financial support submitted must be an original.
This fee is paid to the U.S. government to support the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. It is in addition to the visa application fee paid to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
You should schedule an interview with the U.S. Department of State as soon as possible to ensure you have an appointment with sufficient time to process your visa application. For information about visa process, please visit www.travel.state.gov.
You should review page 2 of the DS-2019, following the instructions at the top of that page, and present the form and proof of payment for the SEVIS fee to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for your J-1 Exchange Visitor visa. The Consular Officer will return the DS-2019 to you.
If there is a delay with your visa application and you cannot enter the U.S. within 25 days of the program start date on the DS-2019 (#3), you MUST notify our office as the starting date of your program must be deferred and a new DS-2019 may be needed.
All J-1 Exchange Visitors and J-2 dependents are required by the U.S. Department of State to have valid medical insurance during their program in the U.S. Failure to have such coverage is cause for terminating your J-1 program.
The benefit requirements are as follows:
- Be issued by a US-owned company that is headquartered and operating in the United States;
- Deductible does not exceed $100 per illness or injury;
- Medical benefit is at least $100,000 per condition and the co-payment does not exceed 25%;
- Includes a benefit of $10,000 for medical evacuation and $7,500 for repatriation;
- Not require more than a six-month treatment-free period prior to coverage and must not require more than a six-month waiting period.
You may receive more information about the health insurance requirements at the U.S. Department of State: http://exchanges.state.gov/education/jexchanges/.
CSULA has contracted with two insurance companies to provide policies for CSULA participants in the J visa category. Enrollment forms and policy brochures are provided in the exchange visitorís Welcome Packet. They will also be available during the initial interview with the J-1 Scholar Advisor.
It is your responsibility to purchase the required insurance coverage for yourself and your dependents.
Unfortunately, CSULA does not have established housing available for Scholars. We do have on-campus housing for enrolled students. You can submit an application to request a room. Please be aware that placement is made only as space is available, and you may be roomed with a University student. For more information, you may contact the University Housing Services.
For off-campus housing options, Please check our Housing Resources.
As a newly admitted CSULA J-1 Exchange Visitor, your arrival must be updated in SEVIS. This process is called ďvalidationĒ and must be completed within 30 days of your arrival into the U.S. In order to do this, you are required to check-in with the International Office upon arrival to CSULA. Failure to validate your arrival will result in automatic termination of your J-1 status in SEVIS.
You are required to bring the following original documents (include dependents, if any):
- CSULA DS-2019;
- I-94 card; and
J-1 scholars and non-degree students must schedule an appointment to see the J-1 Scholar Advisor at (323) 343-3170.