Maintaining Legal Status as a J-1 Professor
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Like all other countries of the world, the United States has laws and regulations governing foreigners who are temporarily within its boundaries. These regulations are often complex, and they change periodically. You are responsible for knowing the regulations regarding your particular immigration status. Violating any of these regulations will result in your falling out of status and can have can have serious short-term and long-term consequences. Listed below are essential rules by which J-1 professors are responsible for abiding with respect to U.S. immigration law and regulations:
- SEVIS Registration: Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your mandatory J-1 Professor Orientation and Document Check with the ISSS Office within 10 days of arriving in the U.S. Please bring your immigration documents (passport, visa, DS-2019) with you to this appointment.
- Address or Source of Funding: Report any change in address or source of funding to ISSS by emailing email@example.com. J-1 professors are required to report change of address or funding to ISSS within 10 days of the change.
- Passport: Keep the passport valid. In most cases, passports can be renewed by the J-1 professor’s home country consulate without leaving the U.S. The DOS maintains a complete list of Foreign Embassies in the US.
- I-94. Print 2 copies of your Form I-94 from https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94 each time you re-enter the U.S. from overseas and bring one copy to the ISSS Office in Royce Hall. It is important to note that if you leave and re-enter the U.S. during your authorized program, your previous Form I-94 will be overwritten and a new automated record will be created. If your I-94 record contains any errors or if you cannot find your I-94 record online, immediately notify the ISSS Office.
- Health Insurance: Comply with Department of State (DOS) federal health insurance requirements for J-1 professors and their families. Failure to secure or maintain adequate health insurance will result in termination of the J-1 program participation.
- Travel Signatures: J-1 professors who plan on traveling outside of the U.S anytime during their stay in the U.S. must have a valid travel signature by a UW-Platteville official on their DS-2019 – and they must take it along to be re-admitted to the U.S. Travel signatures for a DS-2019 (page 1) are valid for 6 months.
- Employment: Do not accept unauthorized employment. The only activity the J-1 professor is permitted to do is the one described in section 4 of the DS-2019 form at the pre-determined site(s) of activity in SEVIS. If the J-1 professor’s approved activity and site(s) of J-1 activity is unclear, contact ISSS. The J-1 professor must consult an ISSS advisor in advance if s/he wishes to take up any other work during the stay.
- Transfer: If offered a comparable position at another college or university, discuss plans with an ISSS advisor in advance to make sure that the required J-1 transfer procedure can be accomplished.
- Program End Date/Extension: Be aware of program end date on the DS-2019. This is not the J-1 visa expiration date. If the J-1 professor’s appointment at UW-Platteville is being extended, the hosting department must contact ISSS to have the DS-2019 form extended at least six weeks prior to the current DS-2019 end date.
- Departure from the U.S.: After the end date listed on their DS-2019, J-1 professors have a 30 day grace period to prepare for departure from the U.S.
- Taxes: All international students and scholars are expected to complete and file tax forms with the U.S. federal government, whether or not they had earned income during the tax year.
Limitations for J-1 Professor Category
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:
• J-1 transfers to UW-Platteville without any gap
• Prior presence in J status in the US was of less than 6 months duration
• Presence in J status as a Short-Term Scholar
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.
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 Residence Requirement?
A J-1 Exchange Visitor may be subject to the two-year home residence requirement for one or more of the following reasons:
• 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; or
• 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
• Foreign medical graduates
How does the Two-Year Residency Requirement Affect You?
If the Two-Year Home Residency Requirement is notated on a visitor’s DS-2019, s/he is:
• Ineligible for an immigrant visa or for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident (immigrant/green card) status;
• Ineligible for an H visa (temporary workers and dependents), an L visa (intracompany transferees and dependents), or a K visa (fiancé and dependents);
• 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
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Principal Designated School Official (PDSO)
Responsible Officer (RO)
Assistant Director, International Programs
University of Wisconsin-Platteville
1 University Plaza
Platteville, WI 53818
What is a Principal Designated School Official (PDSO)?
What is a Responsible Officer (RO)?