How to Host a J-1 Exchange Visitor

 

J-1 Categories

Professor

  • An individual who will primarily teach, lecture, observe, or consult; may also conduct research
  • Duration of stay in the U.S. is for a minimum of 3 weeks and a maximum of 5 years
  • Extensions are granted for the current program up to its maximum length
  • After completion of a program, participants are barred for 2 years from beginning a new J-1 Professor/Research Scholar program

Research Scholar

  • An individual who will primarily conduct research, observe, or consult in connection with a research project; may also teach or lecture
  • Duration of stay in the U.S. is for a minimum of 3 weeks and a maximum of 5 years
  • Extensions are granted for the current program up to its maximum length
  • After completion of a program, participants are barred for 2 years from beginning a new J-1 Research Scholar/Professor program

Short-Term Scholar

  • A professor, research scholar, or 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
  • Duration of stay in the U.S. - no minimum stay and a maximum of 6 months
  • Extensions are granted for the current program up to its maximum length

 

J-1 Eligibility

The terms of employment eligibility for J-1 Exchange Visitors are very specific.  The U.S. Department of State approves candidates based on the specific appointment responsibilities, salary, duties, and dates listed on the initial application.  J-1 Exchange Visitors are not authorized to participate in a different program or change employment without authorization from the Center for International Studies. These restrictions include working for a different department within St. Cloud State University, changing position duties, or changing pay rates.  If there is a change in the research or employment of exchange visitors, the sponsoring department should notify the Center for International Studies immediately.

A criterion for selection of eligible candidates should be determined by the sponsoring department and is dependent on the position’s responsibilities. Supporting documents may include:

  • Name and contact information of at least 3 references
  • Proof of an Undergraduate and/or terminal degree (required)
  • Demonstrated ability to actively participate in student services and maintain an active record of relevant scholarship
  • Proof of active professional designation, (if applicable)
  • Cover letter and CV/Resume outlining:
    • Details of education and relevant work experience
    • Company name, location, title/position held, years of employment and responsibilities
    • Teaching experience/applied research/significant experience
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Sample of written work (current/published research)
  • Copy of transcripts from all schools attended

 

J-1 Compensation

St. Cloud State University is required to verify that each candidate has sufficient funds to cover their costs for the duration of their stay in the United States.  This documentation will also be required at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate when the Exchange Visitor applies for their J-1 visa.

Acceptable proof of funds:

  • SCSU Hire
    • If the sponsoring department will provide a salary or stipend, they must contact Human Resources for information regarding the details of posting a position; a copy of the contract must be submitted to the Center for International Studies.
  • Private Sponsor
    • If the Exchange Visitor’s host institution or government will pay their salary or stipend, an affidavit of support is necessary and must detail what is/is not covered.
  • Personal Funds
    • If the Exchange Visitor intends on providing their own funds to cover their costs, they must provide bank statements in their name showing the required balance amount.

All supporting funding must:

  • Be dated within the past 6 months
  • Be translated into English
  • Clearly show currency in US Dollars
  • Be from liquid assets

 

J-1 Health Insurance

All J-1 Exchange Visitors and dependents must have adequate health insurance in effect during the period of time they are in the United States.  St. Cloud State University is enrolled in a policy through United Healthcare.  The sponsoring department can determine the cost of the insurance coverage by contacting the Center for International Studies with the intended start/end dates.  The health insurance premium is to be paid upon the Exchange Visitor’s arrival on campus.

*  All J-1 Exchange Visitors and dependents must purchase St. Cloud State University’s health insurance policy.

** A third party is not allowed to make payments to the Business Services office towards the Exchange Visitor’s health insurance.

 

Sponsoring Department Responsibilities

The sponsoring department is responsible for:

  • Designating a primary person for the following categories:
    • College/School Dean
      • Ensures that the program is suitable to the Exchange Visitor’s background, needs and experience
      • Ensures the Exchange Visitor possesses sufficient proficiency in the English language to participate in their program
      • Provides an official letter of invitation outlining expectations, funding, etc. for the position
      • Authorizes the request for the issuance of the DS-2019 from the Center for International Studies
    • Faculty Mentor 
      • Ensures that all academic responsibilities and objectives are met by Exchange Visitors during their time at St. Cloud State University
      • Ensures appropriate supervision and evaluation of the Exchange Visitor
      • Ensures that teaching duties are outlined well in advance, including arrangements for ordering books for courses (if applicable)
      • Ensures that research goals are agreed upon by outlining the objectives and interests of the sponsoring department.
      • Ensures that the Exchange Visitor’s research can be carried out and completed within the time limits of the visit (if applicable)
    • Administrative/Logistical Liaison
      • Serves as the primary contact for the Exchange Visitor. The primary contact will help answer questions and correspond with the Exchange Visitor before and during their time at St. Cloud State University
      • Consults with the Center for International Studies to ensure that the Exchange Visitor has proper documentation to meet US visa and immigration requirements
      • Assists in gathering the required documentation from the applicant
      • Responsible for introducing the Exchange Visitor to other members of the sponsoring department, providing a briefing on the university and resources and activities available on and off campus
  • Gathering supporting documents, information, approvals/signatures and submitting the Request for J-1 Exchange Visitor form to the Center for International Studies (click here for information on how to Invite a J-1 Exchange Visitor)
  • Ensuring all documents are sent to the candidate in order to apply for the J-1 visa
  • Ensuring that Exchange Visitors will have adequate and appropriate office space, office keys, telephone, computer and/or printer
  • Assisting the Exchange Visitor in obtaining adequate housing and meal options (see Housing and Meal Options)
  • Providing information and making arrangements for airport arrival assistance (see Transportation)
  • Providing cultural and professional exchange opportunities for Exchange Visitors and ensuring that they receive invitations to appropriate social and cultural functions
  • Assisting Exchange Visitors in obtaining the necessary accounts set-up and access (see Getting Settled at SCSU)

 

Social Security Numbers (SSN)

In order to qualify for a Social Security Number (SSN) you must be physically present in the U.S. and in a visa classification that permits employment. Although there are many classifications that permit work, and thus eligible for a SSN, this document addresses nonimmigrants on an “F” student visa and Exchange Visitors on a “J” student or scholar visa

Housing and Meal Options

Housing

The sponsoring department should make every effort to ensure adequate housing is set-up prior to the Exchange Visitor’s arrival in the United States.   It is important to contact the Exchange Visitor to determine if they would like to rent an apartment on campus or an apartment/home off campus.

If the Exchange Visitor chooses to reside on campus, they will stay at Coborn Plaza.  The Administrative/Logistical Liaison should contact Residential Life for pricing and availability and reserve a room according to the Exchange Visitor’s needs.  Apartments in Coborn Plaza are furnished with furniture, kitchen appliances and washer/dryer, but do not include any linens, toiletries or kitchen utensils (pots, pans, plates, silverware, etc).  Upon early request, a starter package which includes many of the necessary items can be borrowed from the Center for International Studies.

If the Exchange Visitor chooses to reside off campus, it is recommended that the Administrative/Logistical Liaison helps the Exchange Visitor find appropriate housing closely approximated to the university.

Meal Plans

The sponsoring department should discuss the meal plan options with the Exchange Visitor to determine if they would prefer to prepare their own meals or purchase a meal plan through the university. If the Exchange Visitor would like to purchase a meal plan, pricing is as follows (see Dining Services):

  • Option A = 20 meals at Garvey Commons = $123.55
  • Option B = 20 meals at Garvey Commons + $100.00 Munch Money* = $218.13
  • Option C = 50 meals at Garvey Commons + $100.00 Munch Money* = $318.75

*Munch Money is added to the Exchange Visitor’s Huskycard and can be used at any Sodexo dining location on campus.

 

Transportation

Airport Arrival

The sponsoring department should be sure that Exchange Visitors are met at the airport or that shuttle reservations are made in advance.

  • Lakes Express – reservations can be made online 
    • Cost is $25 per person, one-way
  • Executive Express – reservations can be made online
    • Cost is $48 per person, one-way

*In the event that a representative from the sponsoring department is not able to greet the Exchange Visitor at the airport, every effort should be made to have someone greet them upon their arrival in St. Cloud.

 

Minnesota Driver’s License

In order to drive a vehicle in the state of Minnesota, Exchange Visitors need to apply for a Minnesota drivers license.

For more information: click here

 

Public Transportation

If the Exchange Visitor needs transportation off-campus, Metro Bus provides free unlimited-ride bus service throughout St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids, Sartell and Waite Park.

For more information: click here

 

Getting Settled at SCSU

In order to help prepare Exchange Visitors for easy transition into St. Cloud State University, the sponsoring department should make arrangements for:

 

ID Number

If the Exchange Visitor will be paid by St. Cloud State University, then their ID number will be processed by Human Resources

If the Exchange Visitor will not be paid by St. Cloud State University, then their ID number will be processed by Records and Registration

 

Health Insurance Charges

Once an ID number has been processed, the Center for International Studies must be notified so the appropriate charges are applied to the Exchange Visitor’s account.

 

HuskyNet Account

In order to set-up the Exchange Visitors’ HuskyNet account, the sponsoring department will need to submit the following to HuskyNet Account & Services for assignment:

  • ID Number
  • Start/end dates of program
  • Department/School assignment

Library Borrowing Privileges

In order to set-up the Exchange Visitors' lirabry borrowing privileges, the sponsoring department will need to submit the following to SCSU Library Privileges for Visiting Scholars:

  • Department/School/Office assignment
  • Contact person
  • Husynet email address of contact person
  • Name of visiting scholar
  • Visiting Scholar's SCSU Tech ID
  • Visiting Scholar's email address
  • Visiting Scholar's visit start date/end date

 

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