J-1 Professors and Research Scholars

The J Exchange Visitor Program was developed to implement the mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act (Fulbright-Hayes Act) of 1961. The overall purpose of that Act, and the objective of the Exchange Visitor category, is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges.

The Professor and Research Scholar categories represent two of the 19 programs sponsored by the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program.  Each category has a minimum and maximum period of program participation eligibility; this period can range from 3 weeks to 60 months.  After they have been offered a temporary short-term job, and/or join a research group to collaborate in a joint project, the OISS will issue the immigration forms for all Exchange Visitors.

  • Professor – The Professor program refers to a foreign national that is primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting at post-secondary accredited educational institutions, museums, libraries, or similar type of institutions. EV in the professor category cannot be placed “on a tenure track” teaching position. However, s/he could participate on a visiting capacity, on a normally tenure track position (temporarily).
  • Research Scholar – The Research Scholar program refers to a foreign national that is primarily conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project. The research scholar may also teach or lecture, unless disallowed by the sponsor. EV cannot be placed “on a tenure track,” but could serve on a visiting capacity on a normally tenure track position (temporarily).
General Information for Departments and Exchange Visitors
  • Professor and Research Scholar Program from overseas organizations and schools join American universities to engage in research, teaching, and lecturing, in collaboration with their American colleagues. At the discretion of a responsible officer at the host institution, professors may freely engage in research and research scholars may freely engage in teaching and lecturing. Before entering the United States, Professors and Research Scholars must first obtain a J-1 visa. The visa is stamped in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.Each category has a minimum and maximum period of program participation eligibility; this period can range from 3 weeks to 60 months. For detail discussion on the professor and/or research scholar J-1 categories, visit the Exchange Visitor Program. All J-1 categories might be subject to the two-year residence requirement as set by U.S. Department of State. To find the nearest U.S. Embassy/Consular Post that has jurisdiction over your visa application, visit USEmbassy.gov.Documents to take to the Consulate:

    • DS-2019 issued and signed by URI
    • Letter of invitation and/or employment from URI
    • Passport valid for at least 6 months into the future
    • Two photographs. For more specifications view this photo guide.
    • Proof of I-901 SEVIS fee payment. Please click here to pay the SEVIS fee.

    If you or your guests require information before arriving in the United States, contact our office: issoff@etal.uri.edu

  • Employment ProcessIf you have been offered employment by URI, please consult your department secretary to receive information on the steps you must follow to complete the Human Resources and Payroll Office employment requirements. Your department sponsor will assist you in understanding the employment requirements and forms listed below, which must be taken to the Payroll Office to complete the hiring process:

    • Passport
    • Visa
    • Social Security Card
    • I-20 (if an F-1 visA) or DS-2019 (if a J visa) or an approval notice (if an H1B visa)
    • Human Resources Forms (I-9, Drug Free Form, Internal Payroll form, W-4 Form, etc.)
    • Social Security Card
    Foreign National Information Form
    FICA Tax Exempt Form

    The Payroll Office will enter the information from your documentation into our Windstar software to determine your taxability. The Windstar software will print out the necessary tax documents, which will require your signature. The Payroll Office will forward your tax documents to the respective State of Rhode Island and U.S. Federal offices.

  • Health Insurance Requirement
    Exchange Visitor professors and research scholars must be prepared to show proof of insurance no later than 15 days from the day of arrival on campus. Government regulations stipulate that if, after that date an EV willfully fails to carry health insurance for him/her and their dependents, the program will be terminated.
    Depending on the term and duration of their employment at URI, the URI employer might include coverage as part of the employment benefits, without further charge to the exchange visitor. Consult with your employer to gain information about health insurance coverage.The OISS MUST confirm that all exchange visitors (as well as their accompanying spouses and dependents) have shown proof of health insurance coverage that is equal to the coverage mandated by the U.S. Government Health Insurance Plan or Affordable Care Act/ACA.
    Minimum Benefits 
    • Medical Benefits $100,000.00
    • Repatriation of Remains $25,000.00
    • Medical Evacuation $50,000.00
    • Deductible per Accident or Illness $500.00
    If the Office of International Students & Scholars determines that the exchange visitor or any accompanying spouse or dependent fails to obtain and/or maintain health insurance coverage Program, the sponsors are under an obligation to terminate the exchange visitor’s program (and dependents) at any time after the program has started. Health insurance regulations were designed to prevent exchange visitors and their dependents from becoming U.S. public charges.
  • Social Security Card
    If you plan to request a Social Security Number, you may obtain an application from http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.html. This service is free. Bring the original documents listed below to the Social Security Administration when requesting a Social Security number:

    • Letter of Verification from the OISS
    • Passport
    • J-1 visa
    • Original DS-2019

    Before your application is processed by the Social Security Administration, your DS-2019 must have been validated by the OISS. This task will be completed shortly after your first visit to the office.

    Note – The Social Security Administration Office will not accept photocopies of documents. They need original documents. Certified or notarized copies will not be accepted.

  • Two-year Residency Rule – When you agree to participate in an Exchange Visitor Program you will be subject to the two-year home-country foreign residency requirement if your exchange program is funded by either your government or the U.S. government, involves specialized knowledge or skills deemed necessary by your home country or you received graduate medical training.

    If this requirement applies, you must return to your home country for a cumulative total of two years at the end of your exchange visitor program.  You are not prohibited from traveling to the United States but may not benefit from certain employment-based or family-based visas until the foreign residency requirement is satisfied.

    If you are made subject to the two-year residency rule, the J-1 visa stamped in your passport will have the following annotation “subject to 212e.” If you have questions about the requirement, including whether or not you will be subject to it, please ask the Consular Officer when you apply for your visa. For the terms of the requirement please read page 2 of the DS-2019 form.

  • Validation within 30 Days
    Within 30 days of the program beginning date (line 3 of the DS-2019) report to the OISS with your passport and DS-2019 Form (and dependents documents when appropriate). Failure to report to the office (and the Department of Homeland Security) will result in an automatic termination of your visa status. This task will be completed by the Department of Homeland Security.EVs are prohibited from entering the United States more than 30 days in advance of the program start date identified in Item 3 of the DS-2019. If you have another visa category, do not use that other visa to enter the United States. You must use your J-1 visa to enter the United States.

    Visiting Professors and Research Scholars will be provided with an individualized mandatory orientation session on the day of registration of their arrival (U.S. State Department)

  • SEVIS Transfer Definition and ProcessA “transfer” of a J-1 SEVIS record from one educational institution in the US to another, in order to continue in J-1 status. This includes all categories.

    When transferring a SEVIS program to URI follow the steps below:

    1. Visit your current US international office and request a transfer of your SEVIS file to the OISS
    2. Complete Part I of the URI transfer-in form and submit it to the international student office at your current school. It is up to you to select the date you want your SEVIS record to be transferred to URI.
    3. Your current school international student adviser must email the completed form to our office.
    4. Submit financial documents, biographical passport page, admission and/or invitation letter to the OISS/URI.

    OISS will electronically accesses your SEVIS record, on the transfer date requested by you, to create your new  DS-2019.

    Please note:

    • OISS cannot issue a new DS-2019 until your SEVIS record has been electronically transferred from your previous institution to URI and the release date indicated on the transfer-in form has been reached.
    • E-mail issoff@etal.uri.edu to confirm that the OISS has received the transfer-in form.
    • All SEVIS transfer research scholars and professors MUST REPORT to the OISS as soon as they reach the Kingston campus.
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