The DS - 2019 request form is submitted to the Office of International Student & Scholar Services for preparation of the form DS - 2019, Certificate of Eligibility for a visiting scholar, faculty member, or researcher to obtain a J-1 visa. The request form is formatted as a fillable pdf, please complete the form on line rather than handwrite the information.

All of the information on the request form must be provided before the DS - 2019 can be issued. If some of the information required is not readily available, the department must communicate with the prospective visitor to obtain it. Do not send the request form to the visitor; rather, collect the information from the visitor directly. Most items can be determined from the vita or resume.

Before the DS - 2019 can be issued the request form must be signed on page 2 by:

  • the department chair or director
  • the appropriate dean or vice president

If the visitor will be on the State payroll or Research Foundation payroll, a copy of the DS - 2019 will be sent to the appropriate payroll office by the Office of International Student & Scholar Services.

Additional documentation needed to prepare the DS-2019:

  • Scholar’s Curriculum Vitae
  • Passport pages for scholar and all dependents
  • Funding documentation or financial support documents
  • Copy of the appointment letter from the appropriate dean or vice president

If you include the original appointment letter, it will be enclosed with our information.

The DS - 2019 and information on visa application procedures, travel, and health and accident insurance will be sent to the visitor within three business days of receipt of all necessary information and supporting documents. If urgent delivery is necessary, please request that the Office of International Student & Scholar Services call you when the forms are ready so that you may arrange express overseas delivery.

Before completing the DS - 2019 request form, please note the following:


Exchange visitor regulations require explicit financial documentation. Minimum funding for living expenses regardless of source of support i:

  • $1400/month for the visitor only
  • An additional $600/month is required for an accompanying spouse
  • $400/month for each child.

Funding at this minimum level is required throughout the length of the appointment.

If the visitor will receive income provided through non-University sources or savings, complete documentation of these other sources must accompany the DS-2019 request form. Letters of support must be on official stationery and guarantee a specified amount in U.S. dollars for the duration of the visitor's intended stay. If support comes from personal savings, bank statements must be submitted.

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) charges an administrative fee for all International Research Scholars and Faculty on J-1 visas. The fee is currently $95.00 per semester/summer.


There are six issues to consider related to J-1 status:

1. Use of J-1 Status

2. Duration of Program

3. Twelve Month and Two-Year Previous Participation Bars

4. Required Upon Arrival – J Scholar Orientation

5. Required Health and Accident Insurance

6. Tax and Social Security Issues


The J-1 visa is used for temporary visitors only. It may not be used for tenure-track positions, nor for a visitor whose long-term aspiration is to obtain permanent resident status.


Faculty, scholars and researchers are permitted to maintain J-1 status for a total of five consecutive years, including time spent in another exchange visitor program at another institution. Extensions beyond the five-year limit are not permissible. There is no minimum stay. The short-term scholar category also has no minimum stay, but has a maximum stay of six months with no possibility of an extension. It can be used for both research or teaching. Therefore, it is recommended that the latter category be used for stays not exceeding six months, if the visitor has been a J-1 faculty or research scholar in the U.S. within the past twelve months.


The US Department of State has established regulations that include a twelve month and a two-year previous participation bar for those seeking the J-1 faculty or research scholar category. These previous participation bars do not apply to the short-term scholar (six months or less) category).

The twelve month bar prevents anyone previously in the US on a J-1 visa, in any category (including student), once their program has completed, from returning to the US in the J-1 professor or research scholar category until at least 12 months has passed from their program end date. The only exception is if the previous stay was for less than six month’s duration or if the person was classified as a “short term scholar” since the “short term scholar” category has a built-in six month limit.

The two-year bar (which should not be confused with the two-year home residency requirement) is another bar unique to the J-1 professor or research scholar categories. If the previous J-1 visa was issued for the professor or research scholar category and the program has completed, that person cannot return to the United States as a J-1 professor or research scholar until two years after the end date of their previous program.


The J-1 exchange visitor must report to the Office of International Student & Scholar Services upon arrival for a brief Orientation. Failure to do so can result in immigration problems for the visitor and/or loss of the University's authorization to issue Certificates of Eligibility. Federal regulations mandate that we provide specific information to the exchange visitor at that time. The department is responsible for notifying the Office of International Student & Scholar Services if the visitor doesn't arrive or, for those who do come to the University, of their departure.


The University is required by the US Department of State to require all J-1 exchange visitors to obtain health and accident insurance which includes a medical evacuation and repatriation benefit. If the visitor's faculty or research appointment is equivalent to .5 or higher FTE and is being paid on the State or Research Foundation payroll, then the visitor will be eligible to enroll for health and accident insurance as an employee benefit. However, neither the State nor the Research Foundation's insurance plan includes provisions for medical evacuation and repatriation, which are required by the Department of State. A "rider" providing this additional coverage must be purchased through the Office of International Student & Scholar Services upon arrival.

If the visitor will not be eligible for a health insurance benefit as an employee, the visitor is then required to purchase the SUNY health and accident insurance policy for international students and scholars. Both short and long-term rates are available. Optional coverage for spouses and dependents is also available. The US Department of State requires health insurance for spouses and dependents.

For further information on the international student/scholar health insurance policy, call the Office of International Student & Scholar Services at 607-777-2510 or send an email message to


All persons paid through the University or other U.S. sources will need a U.S. social security number. J-1 exchange visitors are exempt from social security withholding (FICA) for their first two years in J status; however, they are not exempt from income tax withholding, and unless exempt by treaty, exchange visitors must pay income tax. All persons employed in the United States must file tax returns even if tax exempt. Most must file form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ. If there are questions regarding tax regulations, the visitor may attend tax workshops sponsored by the Office of International Student & Scholar Services or have the exchange visitor contact the IRS directly.



Please call the Office of International Student & Scholar Services at 607-777-2510 or send an email message to if you have any questions about these procedures or follow-up requirements.

Last Updated: 5/12/15