After an MUSC department formally invites you to participate in the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, the sponsoring MUSC department is required to submit a case request with the Center for Global Health to sponsor you in J-1 status. CGH will contact you by e-mail after receiving the case request and will provide you with instructions on what information and documents you must provide. Since each J-1 program is unique, document and information requirements may vary depending on the J-1 category and the circumstances of the program and applicant, but in general, J-1 applicants should be prepared to provide the following documents:
- Copy of biographic page of valid, unexpired passport (passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond intended period of stay in U.S.)
- Copy of all degree certificates and academic transcripts or records
- Curriculum vitae or resume
- J-1 Exchange Visitor Responsibilities Form (PDF)
- Declaration of intent to depart the U.S.
- Copy of any previous U.S. immigration documents (I-797, DS-2019, I-20, EAD cards, etc.)
- Copy of any previous U.S. visa stamps
- Copy of I-94 card or I-94 electronic record (if J-1 applicant is currently in U.S.)
- If program is not being funded by MUSC, documents showing proof of funding to meet the J-1 minimum funding requirements
- Documents for any J-2 dependents, if applicable
All of the documents that you submit must be in English or have an English translation. In addition, all funding documents must be certified and must provide amounts in U.S. dollars. If you cannot get a particular document in English, it is your responsibility to obtain a certified translation of that document.
Once you meet the eligibility criteria for a J-1 Exchange Visitor, CGH will issue a Form DS-2019, the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status. This form indicates that MUSC will sponsor your nonimmigrant status in the US. You will need this original form to apply for your J-1 visa at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad. Additionally, if you have dependent family members who will be accompanying you to the US, MUSC will need to issue a DS-2019 for each dependent for the purposes of applying for J-2 visas (dependent visas). Your sponsoring MUSC department is responsible for mailing you the original Form(s) DS-2019.
After receiving your Form DS-2019, you will need to pay a one-time fee required by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to support the Student and Exchange Visitor Information (SEVIS) system. This fee is in addition to your visa application fee. Before applying for a J‐1 visa for initial entry to the US in J‐1 status, Exchange Visitors must pay the SEVIS fee and obtain a receipt of payment. You must bring your receipt of payment of the SEVIS fee when you apply for your visa. If you are applying for a change of status to J-1 in the US, you will need your SEVIS fee receipt to file with your change of status petition.
Please visit FMJ Fee for more information and instructions on submitting the SEVIS fee. To submit payment, you will need to complete Form I-901. You can then either submit payment electronically via credit card or you can print the completed form and follow the instructions for submitting Form I-901 by mail along with a check for the SEVIS fee. If you are paying online, be sure to print your receipt for inclusion with your visa application. If paying by mail, the receipt will be mailed to you. You do not need to pay the SEVIS fee for a dependent child or spouse who will accompany you to the US. There is no SEVIS fee for J-2 dependents.