J-1 Scholar Staus and Sponsorship

The Center for Global Education (CGE) is the office at UW-Whitewater responsible for sponsorship of J-1 Scholars. Immigration and Global Initiatives Coordinator, Erika Cuevas, is the Department of State Responsible Officer (RO) who assists J-1 Scholars at UW-Whitewater (contact information: cuevase@uww.edu or x6939). The information below serves as a general guide for the J-1 Scholar and Faculty Host. Any specific questions should be addressed directly to the RO to ensure compliance and obtain complete information.

The J-1 Exchange Program enables academic institutions such as UW-Whitewater to sponsor international researchers and teachers to participate in educational and cultural programs in the United States. UW-Whitewater has been approved by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to serve as the J-1 sponsor for international visitors to participate in research and teaching at UW-Whitewater.

On this Page

Eligibility Requirements for the J-1 Scholar
Categories Sponsored by UW-Whitewater
Maintaining Immigration Status
Social Security Numbers
Transfers and Leaving UW-Whitewater
Two-Year Home Residence Requirement and Waivers
12-24 Month Bar

Eligibility Requirements for the J-1 Scholar

To be eligible for J-1 Scholar status the individual must meet the following criteria:

  • Must have a temporary academic appointment at UW-Whitewater.Must have a temporary academic appointment at UW-Whitewater.

  • Must have adequate financial support for all living expenses, including additional financial support for accompanying family members, if applicable. Funding from either UW-Whitewater or other sources is acceptable.

  • Must maintain health insurance covering sicknesses, accidents, including evacuation and repatriation of remains. Failure to maintain health insurance coverage may result in termination of J-1 status.

Categories Sponsored by UW-Whitewater

J-1 Research Scholar or Professor

This category permits the J-1 Scholar to enter the United States for up to five years to research and/or teach. Research scholars and/or Professors who complete their J-1 programs and leave the United States are not eligible to return in this particular category (Research Scholar or Professor Category) for 24 months. There are no exceptions.

J-1 Research Scholars/Professors are permitted to be paid, but only if notated on the Form DS-2019. In most instances, payment from employers/sources outside of UW-Whitewater is prohibited, with some exceptions.

J-1 Short Term Scholar

This category includes professors and researchers requesting short-term visits for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting or training. The time limit is up to six months. No extensions are permitted beyond six months. Paid employment for J-1 Short-Term Scholars is permitted only if notated on Form DS-2019. In most instances, payment from employers/sources outside of UW-Whitewater is prohibited, with some exceptions.

Maintaining Immigration Status

All UW-Whitewater J-1 Scholars must comply with all U.S. federal regulations governing their specific J-1 category.

Initial Registration Requirements

All new J-1 Scholars must make plans to enter the U.S. and attend a UW-Whitewater J-1 Orientation session within 30 days of the start date on their DS-2019 for record validation/registration, travel signatures, education regarding J-1 immigration regulations, and other information related to the hosting institution, including cultural programming. If entering within the 30 days is not possible, the Scholar is responsible for contacting Erika Cuevas/CGE for DS-2019 reissuance. All returning Scholars must also meet with Erika Cuevas/CGE. Failure to arrive in a timely manner, within the 30 day time frame, will result in automatic invalidation of the J-1 Scholar's status. If the Scholar experiences consulate delays due to security checks, he/she must inform Erika Cuevas as soon as possible for consultation and potential reissuance of the DS-2019.

Restrictions on Employment

J-1 Scholars must not engage in any employment unrelated to their original program objectives. Scholars are only permitted to work at the location(s) notated on the Form DS-2019. As mentioned, they must obtain prior written authorization for additional employment, if eligible, in accordance with the regulations. Working without authorization is an immigration violation. For questions contact Erika Cuevas/CGE prior to employment.

Maintaining Required Health Insurance

J-1 Scholars and the J-2 dependents must maintain required health insurance including basic medical health insurance, medical evacuation and repatriation insurance throughout their stay in the United States.

Change of Residential Address

Immigration regulations require that J-1 Scholars (all non-citizens) report change in residential addresses within 10 days to the USCIS. All Scholars must comply by reporting any address change to Erika Cuevas/CGE.

Program Extension

If the Faculty Host and J-1 Scholar are interested in extending the J-1 Scholar's program, Erika Cuevas/CGE must be informed well within the time limit for the specific category (typically 30 days prior to the expiration of the current DS-2019).

Program Completion

J-1 Scholars and their J-2 dependents must depart the United States within 30 days of their Form DS-2019 expiration date or program completion date, whichever is earlier. Scholars completing their programs at UW-Whitewater and leaving the United States earlier than the expiration dates on their Forms DS-2019 must, in conjunction with their Faculty Hosts, contact Erika Cuevas/CGE, before the early departure.


J-2 Status

Spouses and unmarried children 21 or younger are eligible for J-2 status. The J-2 Form DS-2019 is issued by the CGE once evidence of sufficient funding for living expenses and required health insurance is provided. Each J-2 dependent will have his or her own Form DS-2019 with a separate SEVIS number. J-2 dependents may accompany or follow to join the J-1 scholar in the United States and remain while the J-1 scholar maintains status. All J-2 dependents are required to comply with applicable federal regulations, such as maintaining required health insurance. J-2 dependents are permitted to study in the United States and may apply for work permits.


Employment at the Location(s) listed on Form DS-2019

As mentioned, J-1 Scholars may only be employed and conduct exchange activities at the location(s) listed on their Forms DS-2019. Paid employment is permitted only if it is related to and an integral part of the exchange program. 

Occasional Lectures or Consultations (Payment Outside of UW-Whitewater)

J-1 Scholars in Short-Term Scholar and Research Scholar/Professor categories may participate in occasional lectures and short-term consultations at off-campus locations, but only with prior written authorization from Erika Cuevas/CGE. These consultations and lectures must not interfere with the activities of the exchange visitor's program and must contribute to the J-1 Scholar's program at UW-Whitewater. Occasional denotes a single event/s as opposed to one ongoing or lengthy activity.

Social Security Numbers

Paid J-1 Scholars are eligible to apply for SS#s/cards

What to take to apply for a Social Security Number

The Social Security Administration (SSA) link for international visitors is: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10181.pdf Required documents are: passport, Form DS-2019, and Form I-94, as well as a sponsor letter. At the SSA, the J-1 Scholar must complete the SS# application, and the card will be mailed within several weeks.
If the SSN Card is lost, the J-1 Scholar must apply for a replacement, and must again submit the above proof.


International scholars should be aware that taxes may be deducted from salaries or fellowships if funds are from U.S. sources. Scholars may be subject to federal, state, and social security taxes depending upon the type of income and tax status in the United States. Tax treaties between the United States and other countries are also relevant and may exempt certain earnings from taxes. All international scholars and their dependents are required to file taxes by completing tax forms in the same manner as U.S. citizens, between January 1 and April 15 of the following year.
Due to legal restrictions, the CGE is not able to answer specific questions regarding individual tax situations. Accountants and expert tax advisors are available, for a fee, in the city of UW-Whitewater and surrounding area.


J-1 Scholars are advised to carry their immigration documents or copies of their documents during extended travel within the U.S. For travel outside the United States the following documents are required for re-entry:

  • Valid Form DS-2019 signed once a year in the "travel validation" section by a Department of State Responsible Officer (RO, Erika Cuevas)

  • Valid J-1 visa stamp in passport (Canadian citizens are visa exempt)

  • Valid passport

J-2 Dependents

  • Form DS-2019 signed once a year in the "travel validation" section by the Department of State Responsible Officer (RO, Erika Cuevas)

  • Valid J visa stamp in the passport (except for Canadian citizens)

  • Valid passport


If the Faculty Host and Scholar are interested in extending the J-1 Scholar’s program, Erika Cuevas/CGE must be informed within the time limit for the specific category-- before the expiration of the current DS-2019 expires, typically within 30 days of expiration.

Transfers and Leaving UW-Whitewater

Transfer from UW-Whitewater

It is possible for a J-1 Scholar to request to be transferred from one university or employer to another. The transfer is processed in SEVIS by the RO (Erika Cuevas) and close coordination between the current J-1 sponsor/employer and future J-1 sponsor/employer is essential.

Transfer to UW-Whitewater

J-1 Scholars who are currently in J-1 status at another U.S. educational institution are sometimes eligible to transfer their status to UW-Whitewater, provided they are offered an academic appointment at UW-Whitewater and other legal qualifications are met.

Grace Period

J-1 status carries a 30-day grace period. During that period, the J-1 Scholar is permitted to travel within the U.S., apply for a change of status, (if not subject to the two-year home country residence requirement), or transfer to another J program sponsor. 

Two-Year Home Residence Requirement and Waivers

Two-Year Home Residence Requirement -212(e)

J-1 Scholars are, in some instances, subject to a "two year home residence requirement."

The following scenarios will render the J-1 Scholar subject to 212 (e):
• The J-1 Scholar is funded by the United States government, his/her own government or an international organization--during part or all of their J-1 program, OR,
• The J-1 Scholar possesses skills needed in his/her home country, as registered on the Exchange Visitor Skills List at https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/study-exchange/exchange/exchange-visitor-skills-list.html

Advisory Opinion from the U.S. Department of State

In some instances the J-1 Scholar may have been, during his/her U.S. consular appointment, mistakenly made subject to 212 (e) or, in other instances, not made subject when he/she should have been. In the former situation, the J-1 Scholar may request an Advisory Opinion from the U.S. Department of State. Contact Erika Cuevas/CGE for more information and for a draft template. In the event that the J-1 Scholar should have been made subject and, mistakenly, was not, the Scholar should consult with an immigration attorney to avoid future repercussions.

212(e) Waiver

J-1 Scholars subject to 212 (e) who do not wish to fulfill the requirement, or who do not want to deal with the restrictions, such as not being able to obtain an H-1B, may apply for a waiver of the requirement. Note that before applying for a waiver or even requesting an advisory opinion, the J-1 Scholar should contact Erika Cuevas/CGE because these actions can result in the J-1 Scholar losing eligibility for program extensions.

12-24 Month Bar

The 12-Month Bar

Any individual interested in applying to be a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor who held J-1 Status in the United States for more than six months in the previous year (12 months) is barred from both the J-1 Research Scholar/Professor category for a 12-month period. Time spent in the J-1 Short-term Scholar category does not count towards the 12-month bar because the time frame is less than six months. The 12-month bar applies to both the J-1 Scholar and J-2 dependents. The 12-month bar does not prohibit return to the U.S. in another status.

The 24-Month Bar

Any J-1 Scholar in the Researcher Scholar/Professor category is subject to a 24-month bar on "repeat participation" in those specific categories. In other words, he/she is barred from returning to the United States in the Research Scholar/Professor category for a 24-month period. This bar also applies to J-2 dependents. The 24-month bar does not prohibit individuals from returning to the United States in another status.

Important Documents

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Office of Admissions
Roseman Building, Suite 2060
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
809 West Main Street
Whitewater, WI 53190

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