International Student and Scholar Services


Becoming a Visiting Scholar

St. Cloud State University welcomes international scholars as a key element in its mission to bring the world to its students and to prepare its students for the world.

Guide for becoming a J-1 exchange visitor at St. Cloud State University

Our Process

If you are interested in teaching or doing research at St. Cloud State University, you must first find an academic department that will support your work.

  • Contact the appropriate school/college at St. Cloud State University.
  • Once an arrangement is made, confirm with the department the dates, purpose and funding for your position.
  • Complete the application process with the academic department.
  • Your St. Cloud State University host department will submit the request for your immigration paperwork (DS-2019) from the Center for International Studies.
  • The host department will then mail all immigration paperwork to you so you may apply for your J-1 visa and make travel arrangements.
  • Upon your arrival at St. Cloud State University, check-in with your sponsoring department and set up a meeting within the first week with the Center for International Studies.

Maintaining legal status for J-1 exchange visitors

As a J-1 exchange visitor, you must meet certain obligations to maintain legal immigration status.

Maintaining status is necessary to receive the benefits of J-1 status in the future, such as applying for a change of status, if needed. 

Failure to maintain your non-immigrant status can result in serious problems with immigration and could lead to deportation.

Maintaining legal J-1 immigration status


  • Attend the mandatory immigration check-in and orientation at the Center for International Studies and present the following:
    • DS-2019.
    • Passport.
    • Print-out of your I-94 status.
    • Visa.
  • Have a valid DS-2019.
  • Have a valid passport, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months into the future.
  • Conduct employment only as indicated on your DS-2019.
  • Upon arrival, pay for and maintain the required health insurance coverage.
  • Update your current and permanent address information with the Center for International Studies within 10 days of moving.
  • File U.S. federal and Minnesota tax returns.
  • Obtain a travel signature from the Center for International Studies before traveling outside of United States.
  • Inform the Center for International Studies upon completion of your program at St. Cloud State University.
  • Depart the United States within the 30-day grace period.

Occasional lectures and consultations

J-1 exchange visitors may participate in occasional lectures and short-term consultations as long as they are approved in advance and in writing by the Center for International Studies.

  • An addendum request must be received by the Center for International Studies at least 10 business days before the activity. The Center will confirm approval to the department and the visitor by email.
  • Any lectures and consultations must:
    • Be directly related to the objectives of your J-1 program.
    • Be incidental to your primary program activities.
    • Not delay the completion date of your J-1 program.
  • Failure to obtain advance authorization may have negative implications on your immigration status.

Travel information for J-1 exchange visitors

Documents required

Travel procedures to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean Islands

  • A valid U.S. entry visa is not required if you travel to a contiguous territory (Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean Islands excluding Cuba) for less than 30 days.
  • If a person in J-1 status enters the U.S. from the contiguous territories within 30 days, the entry visa is considered to be automatically extended to the date of re-entry provided the entry visa has not been canceled or voided.  This is called automatic visa revalidation. If you plan to use this procedure, do not surrender your valid I-94 card to immigration officials when leaving the United States.
  • Note: Citizens of Iran, Sudan, Syria and Cuba are NOT eligible for automatic visa revalidation. Also the automatic visa revalidation provision excludes aliens who applied for a U.S. entry visa in Canada or Mexico and whose visa application was denied.
  • Certain individuals require an entry visa before entering Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands. Please contact the appropriate consulate for information.

Travel procedures to all other countries

  • To travel to any other country you should have a valid, unexpired J-1 entry visa in your passport (Canadians excluded).
  • If you do not, you must apply for a visa at a U.S. embassy abroad. You should also have a letter from your department confirming your employment. Please let the Center for International Studies know that you are planning to travel at least a week in advance so that we can endorse your DS-2019 for travel.

Obtaining or renewing a J-1 visa in your home country

  • Check with the appropriate U.S. embassy for general information about visa services.
  • Follow the procedure you used when you obtained your previous visa(s) to enter the United States. Bring a current proof of financial support.
  • The required documents vary by country so please ask for a list of required documents at the U.S. Embassy in your home country before you leave the U.S.
  • Due to security background checks, the processing of your visa may take a considerable amount of time.

Obtaining or renewing a J-1 Visa in Canada or Mexico

  • If you want to apply to obtain or renew your J-1 visa in Canada or Mexico rather than in your home country, you must make an appointment 2-3 weeks in advance. Schedule online at:
  • If your visa is denied, you will not be able to re-enter the U.S. under automatic visa revalidation.

Lost or stolen documents

Replacement of passport

  • Contact your consulate in the U.S. and file a report with St. Cloud Police Department, 320-345-4444.

Replacement of Employment Authorization Document (J-2 Dependent)

  • Include:
    1. A completed I-765 requesting “replacement of employment authorization document (EAD).”
    2. A $380 check or money order payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
    3. A copy of DS-2019 endorsed for optional practical training in the last 30 days.
    4. Copies of passport (biographical pages and expiration date) and I-94 card (front and back).
    5. Two photographs as per U.S.C.I.S. instructions.
    6. Copies of any previous employment authorization documents.
  • Mail all to:
    PO Box 21281
    Phoenix, AZ 85036
  • It may take up to three months to receive a new card.

Replacement of DS-2019

  • Meet with an adviser in the Center for International Studies to have a new DS-2019 prepared.

Replacement of J-1 visa

  • U.S. entry visas cannot be replaced in the United States. You will have to request a new entry visa from a U.S. Consulate abroad the next time you leave the United States.