Rice Unconventional Wisdom

J-1 Exchange Visitor

The J-1 Exchange Visitor visa is the most common visa issued for international scholars who are coming to Rice to research or teach, as it is a more cost effective option and has the benefit of providing work authorization for a period of up to a maximum of five (5) years for those in a Research Scholar or Professor category.  Their immediate dependents arrive as J-2s.

There is also a Short-term Scholar category under the J-1 visa. The Short-Term Scholar category is for short-term visitors, as the maximum duration is 6-months with no option for extension. This option is helpful for those who are not planning on staying more than 6 months, as it does not impose the same restrictions as the J-1 Research Scholar and Professor categories.

Applying for a J-1 visa requires obtaining a DS-2019 form, issued by OISS to the visitor. Please submit request packet below to OISS at least 90 days before requested program start date to allow for OISS and visa processing.

 Obtaining a DS-2019 Form

  1. Copy of the passport identification page 
  2. Completed DS-2019 Request Form for Scholars, Part I: Scholar Form (completed by scholar)
  3. Completed DS-2019 Request Form for Scholars, Part II: Academic Department Form, including the English Language Proficiency Determination Form (completed by Rice academic department) – More information on Condition 4 of the English Language Proficiency Determination (i.e. if an interview is required):   
  4. Personnel Action Form (PAF - provided by the academic department) 
  5. Proof of financial support, minimum of $2000/month  (plus funding for dependents: $4860/spouse/year (or $405/month) and $1900/child/year (or $150/month)) 
  6. Original offer letter provided by Dean's Office plus two copies 
  7. CV   
  8. Proof of paid $300 J-1 EV Rice central administrative fee (effective 09/01/2016) To make payments, visit https://signup.rice.edu/JScholarFee/ or submit an IDT to A1/698000/58100 (if electronic, please select Crystal Davis or Flor Garcia as approver)

     Please note that the DS-2019 form should not be copied and may not under any circumstances be sent electronically (e.g. scanned or faxed). You may send relevant information from the DS-2019 (e.g. the SEVIS number and Rice's Program Number), but not a copy of the form itself. Please feel free to contact OISS if you have any questions.

New International Scholar Flow Chart - describes the process from when an international scholar applies to Rice University, to when he/she arrives. It is a resource for any academic coordinator, faculty member, or new international student.

Checklist of Required Documents for DS-2019

Additional Resources:
Start Date Guidance for J-1 Exchange Visitors
Special Regulations for J-1 Exchange Visitors
SEVIS Fee Handout for J-1 Exchange Visitors
Special Considerations for Canadian Citizens


J-1 Scholar Extensions

In order to request an extension of J-1 status for a current scholar, the sponsoring academic department must provide OISS with the following documentation at least two weeks before the scholar's current DS-2019 end date via campus mail (MS-365): 

  • J-1 Scholar Extension Request Form
  • Copy of a new offer letter from Dean's Office
  • Copy of PAF
  • Updated funding in the amount of $2000/month for the additional time if not included in the offer letter (additional funding will be required if the J-1 has dependents)
There are time limits for different J-1 categories. For questions on time limits or other questions regarding J-1 extensions, please email oiss@rice.edu.