MUSC J-1 Sponsorship Application Process

After an MUSC department invites you to participate in the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, the sponsoring MUSC department must submit a new sponsorship request through Terra Dotta, MUSC's international scholar case processing system.

Once the request is submitted by the sponsoring MUSC department, you will receive an email with login instructions. You must log in to the system and complete the information on the Exchange Visitor tab and upload required documents on the Documents tab. Be sure to read all instructions provided within the system.

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. 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.
  • 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.

It is very important that you submit all required documents and provide the information in the Terra Dotta portal as soon as possible. Any delay in completing these requirements may cause a delay in the start date of your J-1 Exchange Visitor Program.

In addition, the sponsoring MUSC department will also be required to provide certain documents and information in Terra Dotta for your initial J-1 sponsorship application. The Center for Global Health (CGH) will not be able to review the J-1 sponsorship application untila ll materials have been submitted by both the J-1 applicant and the sponsoring MUSC department.

Form DS-2019

Once the J-1 sponsorship application has been submitted, CGH will review the application. If you meet the eligibility criteria for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, CGH will issue Form DS-2019, the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status.

The original Form DS-2019 will be shipped directly to you in your home country along with a packet of instructions about F-1 status and the next steps in the process. Federal regulations currently prohibit J-1 program sponsors from transmitting electronic copies of DS-2019 forms, so a copy of the form cannot be sent to you by email. You will not be able to apply for a J-1 visa until you have received the original Form DS-2019.

Additionally, if you have dependent family members who quality for J-2 status and who will be accompanying you to the US for the entire duration of your program, MUSC will issue a Form DS-2019 for each dependent for the purpose of applying for J-2 dependent visas.

SEVIS Fee

After receiving your Form DS-2019, all new J-1 Exchange Visitors must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. This is a one-time fee required by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to support the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The SEVIS I-901 fee can be paid online.

Before applying for a J‐1 visa, you must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and obtain a receipt of payment. You must bring your I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt with you 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 I-901 fee receipt to file with your change of status petition.

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 separate SEVIS I-901 fee for J-2 dependents.

Visit the ICE I-901 SEVIS Fee Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to frequently asked questions regarding the SEVIS fee.

Obtaining J-1 Status

J-1 status can be obtained by:

In either case, you must have a valid Form DS-2019 and must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee in order to proceed with the J-1 visa application at the consulate or the J-1 change of status application.