Hosts and Employers


The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program was created by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges.
 
Any active faculty or research member who holds an active Texas A&M University (TAMU) academic appointment can sponsor a J-1 visiting scholar or professor or student intern to conduct research or teach at TAMU. Call our office to determine if a foreign national is eligible for J-1 sponsorship.  

Texas A&M University (TAMU) sponsors four categories under the J-1 Exchange Visitor program:
  • Student Intern:   Objectives are for foreign college and university students to come to the United States to gain exposure to U.S. culture and to receive hands-on experience.  Student interns may participate in an internship program for a minimum of 3 weeks and up to 12 months for each foreign degree/major. ISFS will review and determine if the prospective visitor is eligible for the student intern or scholar category on a case by case basis.
  • Short-Term Scholar:  Objectives can be to lecture, observe, consult, train, or demonstrate special skills. Short-term scholars will come to the U.S. for a short visit and have no plans to continue beyond the 6-month limit. Visiting Short-term scholars may stay in the U.S. anywhere from 1 day to 6 months.
  • Professor:  The primary purpose is to teach, lecture, observe, or consult. The professor may also engage in research and participate in occasional lectures if authorized by the program sponsor. Visiting Professors may participate in the program for a minimum of 3 weeks and up to a total of 5 years, which includes transfers between exchange visitor programs.
  • Research Scholar:   This category is for an individual whose primary purpose is to perform research, observe, or consult in connection with a research project.  Visiting Research Scholars may participate in the program for a minimum of 3 weeks and up to a total of 5 years, which includes transfers between exchange visitor programs. They may not change their objective in the U.S.
Prior participation in a J program may affect a person’s ability to participate in future J-1 programs. Contact our office at (979) 458-0475 or vblum@tamu.edu if you have questions about this.
The hosting department initiates all J-1 (new and extension) requests.  Proper planning is crucial to the timely processing of documents. The approval process takes time; therefore it is important that the department should start the invitation process at least two months prior to the intended arrival date of the exchange visitor. The department will request and collect all required documentation and information from the prospective exchange visitor and forward a complete application packet to ISSS (See Documentation Checklist). While the application process remains the same for inviting a J-1 Scholar or Professor and for inviting a J-1 student intern, the required documentation differs.
ISSS charges a $350 operational fee to support the services our office provides to sponsor and host J-1 exchange visitors at Texas A&M University.

This one-time fee will be charged for every new complete J-1 visa sponsorship application. The fee will not apply to J-1 program extensions or J-2 dependents. If the J-1 exchange visitor comes as an employee (on payroll) then the hosting department will pay the fee. If the J-1 exchange visitor comes as a non-employee, ISSS will charge the fee to the exchange visitor unless the hosting department is willing to pay the fee in lieu of the visitor. The fee will be collected at the time we approve the request and are ready to issue and send the form DS-2019 to the exchange visitor.
It is important to keep in mind that the J-1 is for a temporary stay in the U.S. For this reason prospective J-1s in the category of Professor may only be in a visiting faculty position – he or she may not be a candidate for a tenure track position but may temporarily take the place of someone who is a candidate for tenure.
An Internship program is a structured and guided work-based learning program.  The Student Intern category is available to foreign students currently enrolled in and pursuing a degree at a postsecondary academic institution outside the United States, whose U.S. internship will "fulfill the educational objectives for his or her current degree program at his or her home institution”.
 
The U.S. Department of State’s Basic Requirements for an internship program are:
  • The internship must expose the foreign student to American techniques, methodologies, and technology and expands upon the student intern's existing knowledge and skills.
  • The internship must fulfill the student's educational objectives for his or her current degree program.
  • The internship must reinforce the student’s ongoing academic course of study.
  • The internship must be full-time (minimum of 32 hours per week).
  • The student intern is primarily in the United States to engage in a student internship program rather than to engage in employment or provide services to an employer.
  • The internship tasks may consist of no more than 20% clerical work.
Participant Eligibility
Individuals interested in participating in a J-1 Student Intern program must also satisfy DOS eligibility.  They must be currently enrolled in and pursuing a degree at a postsecondary academic institution outside the U.S.  Also, the student intern must have sufficient finances to support himself or herself as well as all J-2 dependents for their entire stay in the U.S.  Like all J-1 participants, student interns must carry health insurancefor themselves and all J-2 dependents for the duration of the program.  Finally, student interns are expected to return to their home countries upon completion of the J-1 program in order to finish their degrees.

Department Responsibilities
Along with accepting the foreign student into its internship program and completing and signing all requisite documents, hosting departments have responsibilities toward their student interns.  They must secure the placement of the student intern and provide access to appropriate facilities (labs, buildings, libraries).  Hosting departments are responsible for monitoring the student intern’s progress throughout the program and completing evaluation forms.
The J-1 status expires when the DS-2019 form expires. Extensions of stay (EOS) are initiated by the host department and forwarded to ISSS.
  • EOS requests should be made at least 30 days before the DS-2019 expires.
  • If the J-1 exchange visitor is a not employed at TAMU, the host department must submit an extension letter that includes the visitor’s title, the proposed dates of the extension. A new 5VS/VPS/AG-713 form also needs to be submitted for approvals.
  • If the J-1 exchange visitor is a TAMU employee, the department must submit an extension letter that includes the visitor’s title, salary, the proposed dates of the extension, position description, grant/award account number used to pay the J-1 employee's salary, adn our Export Controls review form.
  • If the J-1 exchange visitor is a TAMU System employee (i.e. TEES, AgriLife, or TTI), the department must submit an offer of employent extension letter adn a anew approved 5VS or AG-713.
  • The J-1 exchange visitor must provide proof of continued funding and proof of extended health insurance coverage.
  • The J-1 visitor must submit a summary of their research projects they have been working on with their host faculty at TAMU.
ISSS requires that you keep us informed of any changes that will affect the J-1 visitor’s status, including:
  • Late arrival
  • Extension of program
  • Funding
  • Site of Activity
  • Supervisor
  • Department
  • Early Departure/Withdrawal of program 
Changes may necessitate updating the Exchange Visitor’s SEVIS record and the issuance of a new DS-2019 form.