J-1 Scholars

J-1 Exchange Visitors

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, is carried out pursuant to the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961. Its purpose is to enhance understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges. Visiting Postdoctoral Scholars and Researchers can be appointed on the J-1 Visa for as long as five (5) years, depending on the category. For the purpose and length of the scholar's visit at UCSF , please see J-1 Categories at UCSF.

The J visa is a nonimmigrant visa, and participants in the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program are expected to return to their home countries when they complete their programs. Program regulations of some categories permit the entry of the participant's dependents under the J-2 visa at the sponsoring department and ISSO discretion. Dependents are defined as the participant's spouse and minor unmarried children -- unmarried children under the age 21.

To request a DS-2019 approval from the ISSO, the home department must work with their Academic HR generalist to prepare the appropriate documents. To initiate the process, your HR Generalist will do the following:

  • Verify that the exchange visitor is eligible, qualified, and accepted for the program in which he or she will be participating.
  • Verify that the exchange visitor possesses sufficient proficiency in the English language to participate in his or her program.
  • Verify that the scholar has adequate financial resources to complete his or her program, and to support any accompanying dependents. See Current Minimum Financial Support.
  • Ensure that the scholar obtains and maintains a health insurance policy for him/herself and his/her dependents for the duration of his/her J-1 program at UCSF.
  • Complete HR paperwork so that an official UCSF academic appointment can be offered to the scholar at 100% time. All J-1 academic appointments must be made at 100% time.
  • Complete ISSO paperwork to request a DS-2019 form for the scholar to apply for their visa. Your generalist will forward this paperwork to ISSO. Depending on your generalist's preferences, ISSO will either send the paperwork directly to the scholar or will send the paperwork back to the generalist. The generalist will then forward the visa paperwork to the scholar abroad.