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. 

 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 - applies to all complete hardcopy packets received by OISS after September 1; any incomplete packet received before September will also be assessed the fee, if missing documents are received after 9/1/2016). 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:
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.

(updated as of 12/03/2015)