International Center Program details
The J-1 Exchange visitor visa is the newest visa for visiting academic staff to Wabash College. It is relatively easy to process and visitors may be paid a salary. Please note that the purpose of this visa is for academic exchange and is NOT appropriate for permanent tenure track positions. Also, please note that scholars from some countries may be required to return home for two years after completion of their program. This is called the two-year home country residence requirement. Any scholar with either home country or U.S. government support will automatically become subject to this requirement. Additionally, scholars studying in fields listed as being of "critical" importance to their home country may also become subject to the two-year home residence requirement. If you have questions about this, please consult with the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE for more information.
Host Department Application Procedures
Maximum Time Limits:
- Professors and Researchers: Up to three years; extensions beyond three years may be arranged in exceptional circumstances.
- Short-term Scholars: Six months. Extensions can be made within the 6 months, but the length of the entire visit can not exceed 6 months. It is unlikely that visitors will be able to change their status to another immigration status from within the US.
- Specialists: One year, no extensions.
- IMPORTANT! Extensions MUST be made well in advance of the expiration of the scholar's stay.
Payments and Appointments:
- Professors and Researchers: May be paid a salary. They must be engaged in teaching or research and must have an academic appointment. All J-1 scholars are expected to hold advanced degrees and be well-established in their discipline. Foreign graduate students should not be appointed to academic positions. Any exceptions to this must be approved by the Dean of the College. Newly arrived Professors and Researchers must check in at the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE upon arrival.
- Short-term Scholars: May receive payment for services and/or reimbursement for their expenses. They are not required to receive an academic appointment, and thus are not required to check in at the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE upon arrival. Payment of any type except expense reimbursement will require an I-9 form (Employment Eligibility Verification) to be completed.
- Specialists: May be paid a salary. Visitor must be an expert in field of specialized knowledge, coming to U.S. to observe, consult or demonstrate. Intended for areas such as; mass media communications, environmental science, int'l educational exchange, museum exhibitions, labor law, public administration, and library science.
Financial Support Required:
Financial support must be verified for the entire length of stay. The minimum amount of financial support (net income) for a single person is $1,100 per month. For a married couple the amount is $1,650. Add $275 per month for each child. Also, $1,100 is required for initial settling-in expenses. These figures represent the bare minimum and are not appropriate for short-term visitors whose cost of housing will be higher than that of long-term visitors.
Other Important Regulations of J1 Status:
Health Insurance is Required
As a matter of U.S. law, J-1 students must secure medical insurance as follows for the duration of their J status:
At least $50,000 per accident or illness, with deductible of not more than $500; repatriation of remains, in the event of death, in the amount of $7,500; and expenses associated with medical evacuation to your home country or to your country of permanent residence in the amount of $10,000.
This insurance is not optional. It is required by law. Failure to secure this insurance could result in the immediate termination of your J-1 status.
However, this insurance is not required in order to obtain a J-1 visa or to receive J-1 status in the first instance upon admission to the U.S. It is required in order to keep the J-1 status conferred on you upon entry to this country.
The J-1 status medical insurance requirement includes every J-2 dependent with you in the U.S.: both you and each of your J-2 dependents must be covered by medical insurance as described.
Off-Campus Employment, Consulting, Lecturing:
Exchange Visitors (J-1 visa holders) are limited by government regulations to employment in their sponsoring department at Wabash. Occasional off-campus lecturing or consulting may be allowed if it contributes to the visitor's original objectives in coming to the US. An authorization letter must be obtained from the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE before such work can be undertaken. Substantial off-campus employment is not allowed, nor is employment on campus in fields outside your area of specialization. To request approval fo an "occasional lecturing or consulting opportunity, you will need to provide the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE with:
1. A copy of the invitation that includes location, date, title of event or lecture and
2. A statement from your supervisor, or department chair, that they support the activity and that is in accordance with the overall purpose of your visit here in the U.S.
On-Going Obligations of J1 Visitors:
1. Commencement of Program: New J-1 scholars will need to check in at the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE with their immigration documents within 30-days of arrival in the U.S.
2. Address Changes: You, and your dependent family members, must report changes of address to the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE within 10-days of making the change. This time-frame is a legal requirement, and is not arbitrarily selected by the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE. The address reported should be an actual physical address, not a department address. If mail cannot be received at your residence, a mailing address (P.O. Box) may be used, but the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE is required to maintain a record of your residential address as well. You can fill out the J-1 Scholar Change of Address or Work Site Form and mail it or drop it off at the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE if that is easier than emailing us.
3. Site of Activity Change: You, and your dependent family members, must report additions to, or changes in, work site (location at which work will be conducted) to the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE within 10-days of the change. If you will be working at another physical location, the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE must report the address of the activity site to SEVIS. Short trips of a few days do not need to be reported as changes in site of activity. You can fill out the J-1 Scholar Change of Address or Work Site Form and mail it or drop it off at the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE if that is easier than emailing us.
4. Changes in Legal Name: You, and your dependent family members, must report changes of legal name to the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE within 10-days of making the change. In addition, under SEVIS, the accuracy of names and biographic data on DS-2019 forms will be of CRITICAL importance. If your current DS-2019 form does not list your name or biographic information correctly, please notify the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE.
5. End of program participation: If you will be leaving Wabash more than 30-days before the end date specified on Form DS-2019, you must notify the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE by filling out the J-1 Scholar Early Arrival/Departure Form.
It is absolutely critical that you notify the INTERNATIONAL OFFICE of any of the above described changes. As the federally designated officers for Wabash College's J-1 exchange visitor program, we are required to ensure that the College is in compliance with regulations governing the program.
Other Aspects of J1 Status:
An exchange visitor's authorized stay is limited to the dates entered on the Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019). Entry to the U.S. is permitted up to 30 days before and 30 days after the beginning date on the form. J1 visitors have a 30 day grace period after the end date of their DS-2019 during which time they can remain within the U.S. but may no longer be paid for employment.
Employment of Dependents:
J-2 visa holders (spouses and children under 21) may request employment authorization from the Immigration and Naturalization Service after entering the U.S. This authorization is NOT guaranteed. The INTERNATIONAL OFFICE can assist with the application. For detail, visit this page.
Federal and State Income Taxes:
If your visitor received any payment while in the U.S., taxes will likely be due. Certain people may benefit from a tax treaty (check this web site for a list of countries which have tax treaties with the US). Encourage your visitors to determine their tax status by contacting the appropriate Payroll Office as soon as possible after their arrival. In general, foreign nationals earning any money in the U.S. must file a tax return, even if their earnings are below the minimum established annually by the IRS or if they are beneficiaries of a tax treaty.
English Language Ability:
Unlike foreign students who must establish English language proficiency before a visa can be issued, Exchange Visitors are not tested in any way.