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Hosting J-1 Scholars

Who are J-1 Scholars? 

Individuals who conduct research, collaborate on academic projects, observe, teach, and lecture. 

J-1 Scholars are categorized as: 


Research Scholars 

Short-Term Scholars 


Eligibility requirements: 

In order toqualify for J-1 scholar visa category, one must have at least a bachelor’s degree in the field of endeavor OR a bachelor’s degree in another field with at least 6 years of equivalent work experience in the field of endeavor.


Scholars must have at least 60% in-person engagement during their program at MSU (e.g. 3 days per week).  


Hosting fee: 

Starting September 2, 2024, OISS will charge a fee of $150 to the department for hosting a J-1 scholar. The fee revenue will provide many enhanced benefits for both scholars and host departments, including the creation of a new J-1 scholar emergency fund and on-demand orientation and training programs for both scholars and host departments. The fee will be assessed at the time a scholar checks in with OISS upon arrival. Fees will not be assessed in the event that a scholar cannot arrive to MSU for any reason. 

New J-1 Scholar

Step 1: Determine J-1 Category

There are three J-1 scholar categories. Choose the category that matches the nature and the length of your scholar’s visit. Contact the OISS J-1 Team if you need assistance by emailing jvisas(at)    



A foreign national whose primary purpose is teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting. Also, they may conduct research. Programs can last up to 5 years. 


Research Scholar 

A foreign national whose primary purpose is conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project. Also, they may teach or lecture. Programs can last up to 5 years.  


Short-Term Scholar 

A foreign national who is a professor, research scholar, or person with similar education or accomplishments who enters the United States for a short-term visit for lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills. Maximum length of program is 6 months.  


Step 2: Gather Required Documents

Documents provided by Host Department:   


Ask the prospective J-1 Scholar for the following documents:  

  • Passport 

  • CV or resume  

  • Funding documentation, if scholar is not fully funded by MSU host department 

  • Proof of Permanent Residency  

    • ONLY if Country of Permanent Residency is different than Country of Citizenship 

  • Transfer In Form 

    • ONLY if scholar is transferring J-1 status from another U.S. institution to MSU 

Step 3: Submit Export Control Worksheet (ECW)

Submit the  Export Control Worksheet (ECW) to the MSU Office of Export Controls & Trade Sanctions (OECTS).OISS cannot issue a DS-2019 until after OECTS approves the ECW. 

Step 4: Use MyOISS to Submit J-1 Scholar Request

MSU host departments must use  MyOISS  to submit J-1 scholar requests to OISS. MyOISS is a software program used to manage international student and scholar records 

  • Create and log into your  MyOISS  account. 

  • Complete the Departmental Access Request form to gain access to Departmental Services. 

  • Give department chairs and directors access to  MyOISS  to submit the Departmental J-1 Compliance Certification.  

  • In order to complete the J-1 Applicant Information section of MyOISS, you need to gather the information from the J-1 scholar directly. Ask the scholar to complete and send you the  J-1 Scholar Electronic Request Questionnaire  and ask them to send you the following documents in .pdf, .jpg, or.doc format: Copy of passport (if bringing family members, copies of their passports as well) and Updated CV/resume. 

  • Upload the Letter of Invitation, English Proficiency Confirmation, and Host Department Confirmations in the J-1 Program Information section.  

  • Upload Proof of Funding (if not funded by MSU) in the J-1 Financial Information section.  

Note: OISS does not need to receive the J-1 Scholar Electronic Request Questionnaire. It is a tool for you to collect the necessary information from the prospective scholar


For more detailed instructions please see this document: J-1 Scholar Application Instructions 

Step 5: OISS Reviews J-1 Scholar Request

Once the J-1 Scholar Request is submitted to OISS through MyOISS portal, it will be assigned to one of J-1 advisors for review and processing. Our initial review time is 10-15 business days from the date the Departmental J-1 Compliance Certification is completed by the Department Chair 


If the J-1 Scholar Request is incomplete and needs corrections or additional documentation, the OISS advisor will contact the host department and ask for follow-up.  Once the J-1 Scholar Request is approved, OISS will issue a DS-2019 within 2-3 business days   

Step 6: OISS Sends DS-2019 to Prospective Scholar

DS-2019s are now electronic!  Your scholar  will receive an email with directions on how to log into MyOISS and securely download their DS-2019. There is no need for host departments to pick up or ship paper documents anymore. Please note that scholars will be required  to print and sign their DS-2019 and show the printed copy at both the U.S. Embassy/Consulate where they apply for their J-1 visa stamp and at the airport or land border where they enter the United States.


Along with the DS-2019, OISS will email them a Pre-Arrival Packet, which contains important information regarding J-1 visa requirements, links to information on how to schedule a J-1 visa interview, their responsibilities as a J-1 scholar, and a listing of local resources. 

Pre-Arrival & Orientation

Prospective scholars must use the DS-2019 to pay their SEVIS fee and to apply for a J-1 visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy/Consulate. They may enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before the program start date and should arrive no later than 20 days after the program start date, as listed on their DS-2019. If they will be delayed in their arrival, please notify jvisas(at) You will be asked to submit an amendment request in MyOISS, so we can create a new DS-2019 with updated program dates.



Scholars must complete the International Scholar Immigration Check-in e-form in MyOISS as soon as possible after arriving in the U.S. 



J-1 Scholar Orientation is held online via Zoom every Friday at 10:00 AM Eastern Time. Scholars should attend the first available orientation upon their arrival.  


Learn more about pre-arrival, arrival, orientation and check-in 

Maintaining J-1 Status

J-1 Scholars at MSU are responsible formaintaining valid J-1 status after arrival. Scholars must take all necessary steps to comply with the requirements described on this page: Maintaining Immigration Status. Failure to meet J-1 status requirements will result in J-1 program cancellation and termination of the DS-2019.  

Updates & Reporting

MSU host departments are responsible for reporting any changes to a scholar’s program to OISS. Examples of changes include program withdrawal, early departure, change in supervisor, site of activity or funding, and biographical updates. For a detailed list of host department’s responsibilities, please see Host Department Confirmations 


Scholars are responsible for reporting their residential address and personal phone number through MyOISS portal.  


Extensions of J-1 scholar programs are possible if the following conditions are met:  

  • MSU host department desires a program extension  

  • J-1 scholar desires a program extension  

  • Program objectives remain the same or are highly similar to initial objectives and remain within the same program field (CIP code)  

  • Adequate funding is available for the extended period 


Maximum Program Length

Short-Term Scholar: 6 months

Research Scholar: 5 years

Professor: 5 years  


Maximum program length is determined by federal J visa regulations, not by MSU. In-country change from one J visa category to another is not allowed. Please see OISS for more information.  

Funding Requirements

The scholar must demonstrate sufficient funding to support themselves (and dependents, if any) during the extended period. Please see minimum funding requirements and acceptable proof of funds here.   

Insurance Requirements

Federal regulations require that all J-1 and J-2 visa holders carry health insurance at all times. The MSU host department may purchase this insurance at its discretion. If the scholar is not eligible for MSU employee health insurance, they must purchase Blue Care Network scholar plan through the MSU Benefits Office at their own expense. For more information, please visit the OISS-U.S. Health Care & Insurance website.  

Application Process

  • Host department will submit the J-1 Scholar Extension for Department e-form in MyOISS and will  

    • Upload an extension letter based on our template 

    • Provide proof of funds (if not funded by MSU) 

    • Submit a second approver e-form and list the Department Chair’s information in it 

  • The Department Chair will complete their section of the form after receiving the second approver email 

  • Upon submission of Department Chair’s form, the scholar will receive an email indicating that they need to fill out their section of the form

  • Scholar will login to and submit the J-1 Scholar Extension for Scholar e-form


Next Steps

The OISS advisor will review the J-1 Scholar Extension request within 10-15 business days of the submission of both e-forms. If the J-1 Scholar Extension request is incomplete, needs corrections or additional documentation, OISS advisor will contact the host department and for follow-up.  Once the J-1 Scholar Extension request is approved, OISS will update the scholar’s program end date and funding information and issue a new DS-2019. The scholar will receive an email with directions on how to log in to MyOISS and securely download their DS-2019. They will be required to print and sign their DS-2019. 


Scholars must complete the  Notice of Departure  e-form when preparing to finish the program and depart the U.S. 


If a J-2 dependent departs the U.S. prior to the J-1 scholar and does not plan to return in J-2 status, the J-1 scholar must notify OISS as soon as possible. 


J-1 scholars and J-2 dependents are allowed to remain inside the U.S. for 30 days after the end date of the DS-2019. This is called a grace period. Please note that it is not possible to depart and re-enter the U.S. in J-1 or J-2 status during the 30-day grace period.