Initiate a J-1 Scholar Visa

Sponsoring a J-1 visa is a university-driven process and requires the involvement of the hosting/hiring department and the OIA Scholar team.

To request J-1 status or J-1 extension for the scholar the hiring department at IUPUI must submit an electronic request (e-form) through iStart.

J-1 Visa, What to Consider?

  • Is our department prepared to support a J-1 visa?

    A faculty member who is inviting a J-1 scholar to come will need to consider these issues:

    1. Is there a natural fit to the interests of the scholar and the department? Do the scholar's research goals fit well with those of the existing faculty or does it offer a direction of interest to the department?

    2. Are faculty available to spend time with the scholar familiarizing him/her with the campus and contributing to his/her research interests?

    3. Are there other staff — postdocs, graduate students who will contribute to the scholar's experience or are the expectations solely based on the faculty's role as a mentor?

    4. Does the scholar have requisite language skills? How has this been confirmed? Consider minimally a Skype interview.

    5. Is there a work station available? Is there a computer available?

    6. Are staff willing to collect and coordinate supporting visa paperwork for the scholar with OIA? Most scholars coming for a short-term program sponsored by IUPUI will come on the J-1 visa. It is necessary to initiate an "Add a new person" edoc so that a University ID number is generated which we will use in creating the supporting visa documents. OIA will charge the department $176/year of stay for the visa processing.

    7. Is there sufficient financial support for the scholar? For the J-1 visa USCIS requires sufficient proof of funding. OIA will ask for proof of at least $1,310/month of stay when processing the visa documents.

    8. Are there dependents who will be coming? Is there sufficient financial support for them? The minimum requirement is $8000/year for the first dependent; $6750/year for every successive dependent.

    9. The scholar must have health insurance. The OIA can assist the scholar in enrolling but it costs about $141/month of stay. It can be pro-rated to exactly the amount of time the scholar will be visiting. USCIS requires that OIA maintain proof that the scholar is adequately insured.

    10. The scholar will need housing both temporarily when they first arrive and long-term. The OIA usually recommend that the department only reserve long-term housing if they plan to pay for it. If the scholar is expected to pay for it, it is difficult to assess in advance what trade-off between price, amenities, and location they will prefer as we cannot know their point of reference.

    11. Based on where they live, they will need transportation and will have to assess these costs. The minimum monthly financial support of $1,310 considers this cost but is arranged for bus transportation.

    12. An administrator within the department can arrange university e-mail and internet access. However it does require completing the hire process even if it is an academic no-pay position.

    13. The scholar may need support during the initial arrival period with airport pick-up, assistance in finding housing, accessing a computer, and enrolling any school-age children in local schools. Unless they have other contacts at the university, they will usually look to their faculty mentor for support.

  • Time Frame to process a J-1 Visa Request

    Once a department provides all request forms and supplementary materials, OIA can generally process the DS-2019 and supporting materials in about 2 weeks.

    For positions in the School of Engineering & Technology or the School of Medicine, the process can take an additional 1-2 weeks.

  • Documenting English Language Proficiency

    New J-1 regulations effective January 5, 2015 require all J-1 program sponsors to document objective evidence of English proficiency.  To assist departments in this process we offer the chart below to help you evaluate the proficiency level of your J-1 scholar and the implications for working in your department.

    J-1 English Proficiency Evaluation Grid

    Type of English User

    CEFR Level

    Description of Abilities

    Test Score Estimates

    Notes for Hosting Departments

    Proficient User

    C1/C2

    Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects.  Occasional inappropriate usage.

    TOEFL iBT 110+

    IELTS   8.0+

    Proficient users can be expected to be fully functional and able to benefit from all offered aspects of the exchange visitor program.

    Independent/

    Competent User

    B2

    Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialization. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning.

    TOEFL iBT  79-109

    IELTS  6.5-7.5

    A person at this level can generally be successful in most academic program contexts, unless the program demands a particularly high level of proficiency.

    Modest User

    B1

    Can understand the main points of standard language on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken.  Should be able to handle basic communication within the scholar’s own field.

    TOEFL     60-78

    IELTS      5.5 - 6.0

    A person at this level will be able to manage day-to-day living quite independently (after some initial assistance), but is likely to encounter some challenges in communicating fully in an English academic context.

    Basic/Limited

    User

    A2

    Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Frequent mistakes.

    Use interview and/or recommendation letter to determine communication ability; TOEFL/IELTS scores lower than the thresholds given above will not likely be useful to determine ability to function in an academic environment.

    A person at this level will be able to manage day-to-day living after an initial orientation period, but will have significant limitations participating fully in an English-speaking academic environment.

    Extremely Limited User

    A1

    Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

    A person at this level cannot be expected to handle routine matters independently in an English-speaking environment. The host department will need to arrange support personnel for the duration of the exchange visitor program.

    Description derived  from Common European Framework Reference (CEFR) levels and IELTS Band Descriptors.  Further information about standardized English proficiency examinations is available at http://www.ets.org/toefl and http://www.ielts.org/

    You will note on the J-1 request e-form that we ask you to indicate how you evaluated the English language proficiency of your J-1 scholar and to provide us with supporting documentation.

    On the J-1 e-form request you will indicate I have verified this through: 

    • A standardized English test (upload test scores)
    • Signed documentation from an academic institution (upload documentation)
    • Signed documentation from an English language school (upload documentation)
    • Interview by video conference; in person or phone (date and time of interview, name & title of interviewers)
    • Otherthis visitor is exempt from the English proficiency requirements (document citizenship or country of higher degree)

    Exemptions from the English Proficiency Requirement:

    Please see this website for a list of countries eligible for exemption.

Requesting a New or Transfer J-1 Visa

  • Obtain an IUPUI University ID Number

    If the employee/scholar is new to IUPUI and does not have a university ID, initiate an add a new person” e-doc to obtain the ID number.

  • Use iStart to Complete J-1 eform Requests


    • If this is your first time, request access to iStart by following these steps.

    • Go to iStart. Click the Administrative Services for Campus Departments link at the bottom of the page. Then select IUPUI J-1 Scholar Application from the menu on the left. See a screen shot.

    • Enter the scholar's ID and birthdate. Then complete and submit the e-forms that appear on the checklist. The last form will become available once all the others are submitted. See a screen shot.

    • Please note that before you can complete these forms you will need some basic information about the program including: dates, field of research, position and salary (if paid), and financial support (amount and source) if not paid by IUPUI. Biographical information on the scholar can be completed by the scholar him/herself once you give them access to the IUPUI J-1 Applicant Information form.

    • Once you've submitted all of the forms they will route to OIA for processing.

Extending a J-1 Visa

  • Locate your employee’s IUPUI ID and Date of Birth

    Locate your employee/scholar's IUPUI ID number and date of birth.

  • Use iStart to Complete J-1 eform Requests

    • If this is your first time, request access to iStart by following these steps.

    • Go to: iStart. Click the Administrative Services for Campus Departments link at the bottom of the page. Then select IUPUI J-1 Scholar Extension from the menu on the left.

    • Enter the scholar's ID and birthdate. Then complete and submit the e-forms that appear on the checklist. The last form will become available once all the others are submitted.

    • Please note that before you can complete these forms you will need some basic information about the program including: dates, salary (if paid by IU), financial support (if not paid by IU), the scholar's travel plans, and the J-1 waiver and whether the scholar has applied or received one.

    • Once you've submitted all of the forms they will route to OIA for processing.

    • Please note the scholar should always have ongoing insurance coverage. If they are enrolled in the university's international student/scholar plan they will need to extend their coverage.