J-1 Visa Information

Processing fee $150

  1. Processing time: allow for 2 months in most cases. If the applicant is already in U.S. and applying for a change of status the visa process will be closer to 5 months. 

    SCS Process:
    • Request from the professor ... Offer Letter/Acceptance
    • Application goes out to scholar
    • Scholar returns application and Human Resources Office gathers all necessary information and verifies info for accuracy.
    • Application goes to the International Office for their processing.
    • DS-20 19 form is mailed by the department to scholar
  2. Six month maximum for a J-1 titled "Short Term Scholar". This allows the scholar to return to the U.S. in the future without penalty, otherwise, they may be obligated to the 2 year home residency requirement in some countries. The department is unable to extend the visa beyond the 6 months, should the "Short Term Scholar" wish an extension.
  3. Must purchase health insurance before arriving in the country. The scholar will be unable to start work in the lab until proof of insurance is provided. The professor may opt to provide monetary assistance for health insurance. A packet of information from the University of Illinois is received along with their DS-2019. The packet contains a list of insurance companies that meet the university's minimum requirements. The minimum requirements are listed in the J-l Program Handbook, which is also included in the packet. The university does not suggest one company over another. It is the scholar's responsibility to contact the companies and make their own choices.
  4. Typically a J-l visa holder is NOT benefit eligible. This means they are not eligible to receive university health, retirement and life insurance.
  5. In some instances if the scholar has been in the country longer than 2 years, they will meet "Substantial Presence". The Payroll Office makes this determination.
  6. If a scholar feels he will meet "Substantial Presence", it may be a good idea for the scholar to purchase a short term policy until University of Illinois insurance is available.