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Request Process and Next Steps

The process of requesting J-1 Exchange Visitor status begins with the host department. Once the UMBC department has submitted a sponsorship request through the UMBC Scholar Portal, IES will review the request and, if approved, notify both the department and the prospective exchange visitor to complete the J-1 Request application.  Once submitted, we will review all required documents and issue the visitor a document called a DS-2019, which is used to obtain a J-1 visa stamp at the US embassy.

Click here for host department instructions

Click here for incoming Exchange Visitor (EV) instructions

 

UMBC Scholar Portal

Click to access the UMBC Scholar Portal

If you have a myUMBC account, click “UMBC Account Login” to log in with your UMBC credentials. If you use an email address and password to access your account, enter those instead.

 

DS-2019 Information

The immigration document required to apply for a J-1 Exchange Visitor (EV) visa is a Form DS-2019.  The DS-2019 is issued by a school or other organization in the US, and includes a summary of all relevant information about the visitor, their sponsoring organization, and their program, as well as how the program is funded.

 

Instructions for host departments

1. Host department submits a Sponsorship Request through the UMBC Scholar Portal.

  • IES staff will review the sponsorship request to determine if the individual is eligible for J-1 Exchange Visitor status.
  • If more information is needed, IES will contact the host department and/or the prospective visitor.

2.  Wait for approval from IES.

  • IES will contact both the host department and prospective visitor to let them know if the sponsorship request was approved or denied.

3.  Complete J-1 Request application through the UMBC Scholar Portal.

  • Both the host department and exchange visitor have sections to complete in the J-1 Request application.

4. Upload required documents to the UMBC Scholar Portal.

  • Obtain official university appointment letter for your Visitor from the Office of the Provost.  This first requires approval from the chair of the inviting faculty member’s department and the dean of the respective college.  This is often the most time-consuming part of the J-1 request process, so please start as early as possible!
  • When submitting institutional letters of financial support, please use the following guidelines:
    • Documents must have been issued within the last 3 months.
    • The EV must be named as the recipient of the financial support.
    • The account balance with currency or statement must specify that they have at least $2000 (not including dependents) of support per month.
    • The letter must be in English or a notarized English translation.
    • If the funding information is an institutional letter of support, the dates of coverage and total amount of support must be present.

5. Wait for approval from IES.

  • IES will review all application materials and prepare a new J-1 SEVIS record for the exchange visitor. The exchange visitor will receive their SEVIS ID number, along with other important information about their upcoming arrival to UMBC.
  • Once the Form DS-2019 is issued, the department contact will pick up the official copy and send it to the EV. We strongly recommend that departments use FedEx, UPS, or another courier service.

NOTE: Department of State regulations prohibit the sending of Forms DS-2019 by email.

 

Instructions for incoming exchange visitors

1. Your host department will submit a Sponsorship Request on your behalf.

  • Prospective exchange visitors cannot complete the request themselves; this must come from the hist department.

2. After the department’s Sponsorship Request is approved by IES, you will be given access to the UMBC Scholar Portal.

  • You will receive an email with instructions to log in to the UMBC Scholar Portal.  Complete the required questionnaires and upload all the required documents.
  • Note that J-1 Exchange Visitor status requires you to show proof of at least $2,000 USD in available funding per month of your appointment. If you will bring a J-2 dependent spouse and/or child(ren), an additional $600 USD per month in financial support is required for each J-2 dependent.
  • When submitting bank statements, institutional letters of support, or bank letters please use the following guidelines:
    • Documents must have been issued within the last 3 months.
    • The EV must be named as account holder or recipient of the letter of support.
    • The account balance with currency or statement must specify that they have at least $2000 (not including dependents) of support per month.
    • The letter must be in English or a notarized English translation.
    • If the funding information is an institutional letter of support, the dates of coverage and total amount of support must be present.

3. Submit the J-1 Request application along with your host department.

  • Once IES has reviewed your application and all supporting materials, we will send you your SEVIS ID.   Your department will send the official copy of the Form DS-2019 to you via FedEx, UPS, or another courier, or IES will provide information about placing a shipping order yourself.

3. Pay the SEVIS Fee

  • Once you have received your SEVIS ID number, you must pay the SEVIS Fee online via the SEVIS I-901 Fee website.
  • Using the SEVIS ID number provided to you by IES, make an appointment at the nearest U.S. Embassy/Consulate for a visa interview.

Note: Canadian citizens do not require a visa stamp.  The Form DS-2019 should be presented with your Canadian passport at the U.S. Port of Entry.

4. Obtain the J-1 visa stamp

  • When the date of your visa interview arrives, be sure to bring all required documents.  While policies vary by consulate, you will generally need your valid passport, Form DS-2019, DS-160 fee payment receipt, I-901 fee payment receipt, proof of funding, appointment letter, and any other documents pertaining to your visit.

5. Prepare for your transition to UMBC

Please plan ahead to make sure you will have a smooth transition to the US!  Be sure to consider:

  • Housing near UMBC: Please explore your options and rent an apartment in advance of your arrival to the US.  Please consider transportation options when choosing an apartment.
  • Book your flights: You are welcome to arrive in the US up to 30 days in advance of your DS-2019 start date, and up to 30 days after the start date with permission from your department.
  • Carry your passport, DS-2019 and appointment letter on your flight – learn more about what to expect when you land in the US and go through Customs.
  • Plan for transportation from the airport to your apartment.

6. After you arrive to UMBC’s campus, you will need to check in with IES

You must check in with IES within five days of arriving on campus.  You can use the UMBC Scholar Portal to submit scanned copies of:

When this process is complete, we will “validate” (or activate) your J-1 immigration record.

Check-in must be done within 30 days of the start date printed on the DS-2019.

 

Please work closely with your sponsoring department and the IES office throughout this process – we’re happy to help, and we look forward to welcoming you to UMBC!