Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the J-1 Professor Category?
J-1 visiting professor appointments at the UW-Platteville must be in the Professor category. A J-1 professor is an individual primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting. A professor may also conduct research, unless disallowed by the sponsor. A minimum stay of three weeks is required and the maximum stay is five years. The five-year period is a “continuous” period given to a participant on a “use or lose” basis. Please review the eligibility requirements for a J-1 Professor on the State.Gov website at: http://j1visa.state.gov/programs/professor-and-research-scholar.
J-1 professor status is limited to those who hold university temporary, "visiting" academic positions. It cannot be used for tenure-track faculty positions, regular faculty or support positions, administrative positions, or staff positions.
How Do I Pay the SEVIS Fee?
Pay the SEVIS I-901 fee
online PRIOR to your visa appointment. For “Program Number” enter the University of Wisconsin Platteville’s # P-1-03342. Remember to print out a confirmation receipt for proof of payment at the visa interview. A visiting professor must have proof that s/he paid this fee to the U.S. government before s/he visits a U.S. consulate to apply for a J-1 visa or enter the U.S. If the visiting professor is already in the U.S. and will apply for a change of status to J-1, s/he must also pay the SEVIS fee before submitting his/her change of status application to USCIS.
What Do I Need to Do After Arriving in Platteville?
1) Check in with ISSS office for mandatory registration as soon as possible after arrival in U.S. 2) Schedule and attend mandatory J-1 Professor Orientation with the ISSS office. 3) Pay for health insurance at Cashier’s office (if covered by ISSS plan offered through Rust Associates).
Do I Need to Attend Orientation and Check In?
Yes, all J-1 professors are required to report to the ISSS office at UW-Platteville (Royce Hall 105) when they arrive on campus, and they should bring their immigration documents (passport, DS-2019, visa, I-94 card) so that ISSS can register them in SEVIS. J-1 professors must also attend a J-1 Professor Orientation/SEVIS registration session with ISSS. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to Royce Hall 105 to check in and schedule your orientation session. Failure to check in with ISSS and attend the J-1 Professor Orientation session within 20 calendar days of the program start date on Form DS-2019 will cause the visiting professor’s program to be automatically terminated, jeopardizing his/her legal status in the U.S.
Am I Required to Have Health Insurance?
Yes. Unlike any other immigration categories, the Department of State (DOS) federally mandates all J-1 and J-2 status holders to carry adequate health insurance coverage. The J-1 professor must purchase insurance for him/herself and his/her J-2 dependents immediately upon arrival in the U.S. Visiting professors and their dependents at UW-Platteville are required to purchase UW-Platteville’s health insurance plan for international students and scholars, since this plan meets the DOS insurance coverage requirements. This plan costs approximately $120/month per J-1 or J-2 visa holder and you will need to complete the Visiting Scholar Health Insurance Enrollment Form prior to arriving at UW-Platteville. If you plan on arriving in the U.S. before your program start date or staying in the U.S. during the 30-day grace period at the end of your program, you should consider purchasing insurance to cover you during these times, since you will not be covered by the university-sponsored insurance plan before or after your program end date. More information about the university-sponsored health insurance plan is available at http://www.uwplatt.edu/isss/health-insurance
What are the DOS requirements for health insurance coverage for J exchange visitors?
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) federally mandates all J-1 and J-2 status holders to carry adequate health insurance coverage. The requirements of this DOS mandate are listed in the following sentence. Medical insurance must cover the entire period of participation in the Exchange Visitor program. Medical benefits must provide a minimum of $100,000 per accident or illness. Medical evacuation must be covered in the amount of $50,000, minimum. (Medical evacuation is emergency medical transportation to the home country.) Repatriation must be covered in the amount of $25,000, minimum (In the unfortunate event of death, repatriation is the transportation of remains back to the home country.) The deductible must not exceed $500 per accident or illness. Failure to secure or maintain adequate health insurance will result in termination of the J-1 program participation. More information about the university-sponsored health insurance plan (which meets DOS requirements) is available at http://www.uwplatt.edu/isss/health-insurance.
What is the cost of the UW-Platteville health insurance plan for J-1 scholars and their dependents?
In 2015-2016, the cost of the UW-Platteville health insurance plan is approximately $1427 per year (approximately $120 per month) per person. When you attend the mandatory orientation session with the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) Office in Royce Hall within 10 days of your arrival to UW-Platteville, you will be given an invoice by the ISSS Office to take to the Cashier's Office (Brigham Hall) to pay for the cost of your insurance.
Can J-1 Professors Give Occasional Lectures and Consultations?
J-1 Professors may give occasional lectures and short-term consultations incidental to their primary activities, if approved by ISSS in advance. To work for any organization other than UW-Platteville in the position described on his/her DS-2019 form, the J-1 professor must first obtain approval in writing in advance from ISSS.
What is the Twelve-Month Bar?
Twelve-Month Bar: A foreign national is ineligible to participate in a professor/research scholar exchange program if he or she has held any J nonimmigrant status within the 12-month period immediately preceding the start of the exchange program. This Twelve-Month Bar applies to J-2 dependents as well as principal non-immigrants. The following three exceptions exist: 1) J-1 transfers to UW-Platteville without any gap; 2) Prior presence in J status in the U.S. was of less than 6 months duration; 3) Presence in J status as a Short-Term Scholar
What is the 24-Month Bar?
24-Month Bar (also known as the Two-Year Bar): An individual who participates in the Exchange Visitor Program as a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar becomes subject to the 24-Month Bar on "repeat participation" in those particular categories after completing his or her program even if the program lasts less than five years. DOS has taken the position that the 24-Month Bar will also apply to J-2 dependents of J-1 Professors or Research Scholars if the J-2 subsequently wishes to return as a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar.
What is the Two-Year Home Residency Requirement?
Not to be confused with the “Two-Year Bar”, the Two-Year Home Residency Requirement (as set out in Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act ) requires J-1 exchange visitors who are subject to the two-year home country residence requirement to "reside and be physically present" in their "home" country for an aggregate of two years before being eligible for certain immigration benefits.
Who is subject to the Two-Year Home Residency Requirement?
A J-1 Exchange Visitor may be subject to the two-year home residence requirement for one or more of the following reasons: 1) Skills List- The education, skill, or training that you are pursuing in the United States appears on the Exchange Visitor Skills List for your home country; 2) Government funding- You received funding from the United States government, your home government, or an international organization, specifically in connection with participation in the Exchange Visitor Program; or 3) Foreign medical graduates
How does the Two-Year Residency Requirement Affect J exchange visitors?
If the Two-Year Home Residency Requirement is notated on a visitor’s DS-2019, s/he is: 1) Ineligible for an immigrant visa or for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident (immigrant/green card) status; 2) Ineligible for an H visa (temporary workers and dependents), an L visa (intracompany transferees and dependents), or a K visa (fiancé and dependents);; 3) Ineligible to change his/her nonimmigrant status within the United States from J to any other nonimmigrant category except A (diplomatic), G (international organization), or U (victims of qualifying criminal activity) statuses
What kind of cell phone plan should I get/use in Platteville?
There are many different options for you when it comes to buying a cell phone. Usually, it is not possible, or affordable, to use your cell phone from your home country. Buying a cell phone needs careful planning. It is advisable to read up on different cell phone plans in the United States. Take your time to look on the internet for a provider and plan that suits you. Remember, not all providers have good reception (the ability to get and make clear phone calls, sends texts, or use the internet) in Platteville and the surrounding area. Every provider will be able to give you this information. These cell phone companies generally have good reception in the Platteville area:
• Verizon Wireless - www.verizonwireless.com
• Sprint - www.sprint.com
• U.S. Cellular - http://www.uscellular.com/uscellular/NOTE: AT&T and T-Mobile do NOT have good reception in Platteville.
For more information about purchasing a cell phone in Platteville, please click here
How do I apply for a social security number?
J scholars in the professor category are eligible to apply for a Social Security Number at any time and do not require a job offer letter, though note that you should wait at least 10 days after you arrive in the U.S. to apply. For instructions on how to apply for a social security number, please see http://www.uwplatt.edu/isss/applying-social-security-number
. Although an offer letter is not required for J scholars to apply for a social security number, it is best if you bring the letter of invitation from your UW-Platteville host department with you to your social security appointment to avoid potential complications.
How do I apply for a driver's license in Wisconsin?
Please see http://www.uwplatt.edu/isss/driving-us
for information about obtaining a driver's license in Wisconsin.
How do I open a bank account in the U.S.?
What are my rights and responsibilities as a J-1 Exchange Visitor in the U.S.?
Please access the Wilberforce Pamphlet
online for more information about the rights and protections for temporary workers in the U.S. For more information about your rights and responsibilities when stopped by Police, Immigration Agents or the FBI, please click here