J scholars should comply with the US federal regulations governing their specific J categories. The following is a summary of the responsibilities that USF J scholars should have in order to maintain lawful status in the US. Scholars sponsored by another institution (Fulbright, for example) should contact their scholar advisors for additional information.
Initial Registration Requirements
All new J scholars must complete the J-1 Scholar Check-In Process with International Services within 30 days of the start date on the DS-2019. This process includes a mandatory in-person document check and orientation (immigration information) session.
J scholars must pursue the program objectives as stated on the DS-2019. Changes in program objectives are generally not allowed by the US Department of State Exchange Visitor Program.
Restrictions on Employment
J scholars should not engage in any employment that is unrelated to their original program objectives. They are permitted to work at the location(s) listed on the DS-2019 only. J scholars must obtain prior written authorization from International Services for additional employment that is in accordance with the regulations. J-1 Scholar Employment Page
Maintaining Required Health Insurance
J scholars and their J-2 dependents are required to carry medical insurance that meets specific federal minimum requirements for the duration of their program. Health Insurance for all J-1 and J-2 Visa holders must include:
- medical benefits of at least $50,000 per person per accident or illness
- repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500
- expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of $10,000
- does not have a deductible that exceeds $500 per accident or illness
To comply with this regulation, International Services must receive proof of USF insurance or the signed J-1 Insurance Compliance Form, if purchased from an outside company.
USF Student Health Services insurance policy for international students and postdoctoral fellows meets this requirement and is recommended for use by all J scholars. Policy information, current costs, and sign-up is available at http://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/student-health-services/insurance/needcoverage.aspx NOTE: The university health insurance policy offered to employees does not include repatriation and medical evacuation. Therefore, J scholars who select the university employee plan, will need to purchase supplemental insurance to cover Medical Evacuation and Repatriation.
Change of Residential Address
Immigration regulations require that all non-citizens report any changes to their residential addresses, phone number, and email within 10 days. USF J scholars may report these changes via the “Update Local Address (Scholar) eform in iStart. Scholars sponsored by other Fulbright, IIE, or other US agencies should contact their program sponsors directly regarding change of address.
J scholars may apply for an extension to their DS-2019 if the sponsoring department wishes to extend the stay and the J category allows extension. The sponsoring department should login to iStart to complete the DS-2019 Extension Form and return it to International Services at least one month before the current J-1 status expires (date as noted in section 3 of Form DS-2019).
Required Travel Documents
Please review the travel information page before making plans to travel abroad. J scholars need a travel signature on their DS-2019 to travel. Signatures may be obtained by completing the “Travel Signature Request” eform in iStart.
J scholars and their J-2 dependents must depart the United States within 30 days of their DS-2019 end date or program completion date, whichever is earlier. J scholars completing their programs at USF and leaving the US more than 30 days prior to the DS-2019 end date should notify International Services.
Transfers from USF to another institution
J scholars may be eligible to switch program sponsors if they maintain their original program objective and remain in the same J category. J scholars who intend to transfer from USF to another US institution must complete a J-1 Scholar Transfer-Out Form. Scholars must complete the transfer process prior to beginning their program at the new institution and prior to the end date of the current DS-2019.
Transfers to USF from another institution
J scholars who intend to transfer to USF from another US institution must complete the transfer before beginning their USF program. The sponsoring USF department should follow the instructions for requesting an incoming scholar and provide International Services with a copy of the current DS-2019. International Services will contact the other institution to discuss transfer of the DS-2019 to USF. The J scholar is encouraged to discuss transfer out procedures with the current institution.