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International Scholars

UIU welcomes International Scholars to the Fayette Campus. Here you will find additional information for prospective scholars and those who have already been accepted to teach in Fayette, Iowa.

Prospective Scholars

Use the links below to find more information about how J-1 scholars can maintain their immigration status. This information is not definitive. If more information is needed, please email or call the International Student Advisor to set up an appointment.

What is the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program?

The Exchange Visitor program run by the U.S. Department of State is meant to facilitate and “promote mutual understandings between the people of the United States and other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges.”

UIU is approved to sponsor J-1 exchange visitors in the following categories:

Professor: “An individual primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting at post-secondary accredited educational institutions, museums, libraries, or similar types of institutions” [22 C.F.R. 62.4(e)]. A professor may also conduct research provided the sponsor approves such activity. J-1 professors are allowed to remain in this status for a maximum of five years.

Research Scholar: “An individual primarily conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions” [22 C.F.R. 62.4(f)]. A research scholar may also teach or lecture provided the sponsor approves such activity. J-1 research scholars are allowed to remain in this status for a maximum of five years.

Short-Term Scholar: “A professor, research scholar, specialist, or a person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the United States on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills at research institutions, museum, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions” [22 CFR 514.4(b)]. The maximum length of stay for a short-term scholar is six months.

Previous Time Spent in J-1 Status

The U.S. Department of State has additional regulations regarding the amount of time that must be spent outside of the U.S. before being eligible for these three exchange visitor categories if the individual is currently or previously was in the U.S. on a J-1 visa. Copies of the current DS-2019 and/or previous DS-2019s of an applicant must be supplied to the International Scholar Advisor so as to determine eligibility for the J-1 professor or scholar categories.

Required Immigration Documents

This document is issued by the international student advisor at UIU or a UIU partner organization and gives J-1 students status while in the U.S. The personal information (name, date of birth) should always be accurate and match the information in the passport. The program information (major, start date, end date, degree level) should accurately reflect the student’s official status at UIU. J-1 students should contact the International Student Advisor if their DS-2019 needs to be updated.

The passport should be valid for at least 6 months into the future at all times. If your passport will expire in 6 months or less, contact your country’s embassy to request a new passport.

The visa is a document allowing entry into the U.S. Always monitor the end date of the visa. The visa can be expired as long as the J-1 student stays in the U.S. and maintain a valid DS-2019 and passport. If the visa is expired and a J-1 student leaves the U.S., a new visa must be obtained before reentry. Travel to Canada, Mexico and “adjacent islands” in the Caribbean can be an exception to this rule. J-1 students interested in automatic revalidation should speak to the International Student Advisor.

The I-94 is the record of entry, immigration status and length of status for the J-1 exchange visitor. The I-94 should indicate J-1 D/S meaning J-1 “Duration of Status”. A paper copy can be printed from


All scholars must make an appointment with the International Scholar Advisor within 3 business days of arrival in Fayette for an orientation appointment. The orientation session is mandatory for all scholars. The scholar should bring to the appointment the DS-2019, passport, visa, and a printed copy of the I-94 information for the J-1 scholar as well as any dependents.

Change of Address

All J-1 scholars must notify the U.S. Department of Homeland Security of any address change within 10 days of the change. This requirement applies to moves between apartments off-campus, moves from on-campus housing to off-campus, room changes and residence hall changes. J-1 scholars should complete the Change of Address form to notify the International Student Advisor of the change.

Travel While In J-1 Status

Travel within the U.S.
J-1 scholars should carry their original DS-2019, passport, visa, and a print-out of the I-94 anytime they leave the immediate Fayette area.

Travel outside of the U.S.
The original DS-2019, passport, visa, and a print-out of the I-94 must be carried when traveling outside of the U.S. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of reentry to the U.S. The visa must be valid upon date of reentry and indicate the appropriate number of entries. Additionally, J-1 scholars must have a valid travel signature on the bottom of the DS-2019. A travel signature is valid for one year from the date of the signature and indicates to CBP that the student is currently maintaining J-1 status. Failure to obtain a travel signature prior to travel or having an expired travel signature upon reentry to the U.S. may result in secondary questioning by CBP or even denial of entry to the U.S. A new I-94 will be issued upon reentry to the U.S.

Program Extension

J-1 scholars are issued DS-2019s with a specific end date indicating the length of their program. If additional time is needed or desired, J-1 scholars must complete the scholar program extension packet and return to the International Scholar Advisor at least one month prior to the end date currently listed on the DS-2019.

212(e) Two-Year Home Residency Requirement

J-1 scholars who fall under one of the following categories are subject to the 212(e) two-year home residency requirement.

  1. The exchange visitor received financing, directly or indirectly, by the U.S. government or a foreign government for the purpose of the exchange.
  2. The exchange visitor came to develop or exercise skills that are in a field which the exchange visitor’s home government requested be included on the State Department Exchange Visitor skills list.

Even if the major or funding source changes, the J-1 scholar will still be subject to the 212(e) requirement. If the J-1 is subject to the 212(e) requirement, the J-2 dependents are also subject to the requirement.

If a J-1 scholar is subject to 212(e), the J-1 scholar must “reside and be physically present” in the home country for a total of two years before being eligible for certain immigration benefits again.

During the two-year period in which the J-1 scholar is subject to the 212(e) requirement, the J-1 scholar cannot:

  1. Obtain an immigrant visa or adjust their status to lawful permanent resident.
  2. Obtain an H visa, L visa, or a K visa.
  3. Change nonimmigrant status within the U.S. from J to any other nonimmigrant category except for  A (diplomatic), G (international organization), or U (victims of qualifying criminal activity.

Assistance regarding the 212(e) requirement as well as the waiver application process can be provided by the International Scholar Advisor.


J-1 scholars may request to have their spouse and children join them in the U.S. as dependents in J-2 status. Before DS-2019s can be issued for dependents, the J-1 scholar must demonstrate that sufficient funds are available to cover the dependent expenses. The cost for each additional dependent is US$5,600. The copy of each dependent’s passport must also be submitted to the International Scholar Advisor before any immigration documents will be issued. If interested in bringing a dependent, please complete the I-20/DS-2019 Request Form.

Transfer of Program & Departures

A transfer of program for J-1 scholars from UIU to another program sponsor is possible. However, any time spent in J-1 status at UIU will be deducted from the maximum time allowed for the program. Written notification from the host UIU department must be submitted to the International Scholar Advisor in addition to the Request to Transfer Program form.

All scholars have a 30-day grace period beginning the day after the end date listed on the DS-2019. During the 30-day grace period, the scholar cannot work or “volunteer” in the position held at UIU. If the scholar will complete the program prior to the end date listed on the DS-2019, the scholar must submit written notification to the International Scholar Advisor so that the SEVIS record can be updated.

Departments: How to Invite a Visitor

Departments should contact the International Scholar Advisor if interested in inviting an international professor, researcher or scholar to UIU. If the J-1 program is the most appropriate option, the department will be directed to complete the J-1 Exchange Visitor Department Application.

UIU J-1 exchange visitors must be provided with accommodations and health insurance. This means that departments must be willing to provide approximately $1200 in financial support. However, it may be possible to make arrangements in coordination with the Office of International Admissions. Please contact us to explore the possibility for joint-coordination.

The J-1 exchange visitor must also complete the J-1 Exchange Visitor Application. This form and the J-1 Exchange Visitor Department Application must be returned to the International Scholar Advisor.

The International Scholar Advisor will prepare the DS-2019 and mail to the J-1 exchange visitor. Notifications regarding the immigration status of the visitor will be provided to the department. Additional information regarding the health insurance plan, visa application process, and travel arrangements will be provided by the International Scholar Advisor.

Accepted Scholars

Now that you’ve been accepted to teach or conduct research at UIU, you’ll want to be aware of the following items. This list is designed to help you prepare for your work and travel to UIU. Many of the resources outlined on the Admitted Student Resources will also be of interest for scholars.

Step 1: Health insurance

All international UIU scholars must have the university health insurance. All international scholars will automatically be enrolled in the UIU health insurance plan.

Step 2: Verify housing arrangements with the Office of International Admissions.

Step 3: Pay the SEVIS Fee

The SEVIS fee is required by the U.S. government as a means to pay for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS maintains records on all J-1 visitors to the U.S.

The SEVIS fee is $180 for all J-1 exchange visitors. For more information regarding the SEVIS fee, please visit the Student and Exchange Visitor Program.

Step 4: Apply for a visa.

Each scholar should review the visa requirements and appointment process for the U.S. embassy or consulate that is located closest to them as each embassy can have slightly different requirements for the J-1 visa depending on the country in which it is located. For the basic requirements for the J-1 visa, please visit the U.S. State Department.

Step 5: Complete the Pick-up/Arrival Form.

If you would like us to arrange transportation from Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) to UIU, fill out the Pick-up/Arrival Form. The Pick-up/Arrival Form must be submitted at least 10 days in advance of your intended arrival date to guarantee transportation.

Step 6: Set up your UIU email account

Step 7: Optional meal plan

If you would like to purchase a meal plan for UIU’s cafeteria, please review the plans available through Campus Dining.

Step 8: Entering the U.S.

When entering the U.S., scholars should carry their immigration documents and acceptance packet in a carry-on bag such as a purse or book bag for easy access when going through immigration.

**Due to the involvement of an international student on a terminated SEVIS record in the Boston Marathon bombing, all international students are now being required to go to secondary questioning when going through U.S. customs and immigration. It is not clear at this time whether J-1 scholars will be required to do this as well. To ensure that you make your connecting flight, allow for 3 or more hours to pass through U.S. customs and immigration.

Step 9: Attend orientation

Contact the Office of International Admissions to schedule your mandatory orientation appointment. You should have the orientation within 3 days of your arrival in Fayette. Please bring your DS-2019, passport, visa, and I-94 print-out (and all of those documents for any dependents that you may have) to your appointment.