J-1 Research Scholar / Professor Information

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International Services

The Office of

J-1 Research Scholar / Professor Information

SEVIS Reporting Requirements:

¨         As your J-1 “Exchange Visitor (EV) Program Sponsor,” Teachers College is required to validate your program participation within 30 days of the program start date listed on your DS-2019 and to report any changes of name or U.S. address.  These reports are submitted electronically to the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (BICE, formerly INS) using the Student Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). 

¨         As soon after arrival as possible, be sure to report in person to the Office of International Student Services.  Please bring your passport, DS-2019, and I-94 (white card in your passport).  Prior to validation, your U.S. residence address must be entered into your SEVIS record.  If you cannot receive mail at your residence, a mailing address (P.O. Box) may be used; however, Office of International Services must keep a record of your residence address as well.  In addition, you will be asked to submit your signed medical insurance compliance form. 

¨         Following initial validation, you must notify the Responsible Officer of any change in your U.S. address within 10 days of the change.  A legal name change must also be reported within 10 days.  The Responsible Officer must then report the change in SEVIS within 21 days.

¨         You will need a “travel signature” from the Responsible Officer or Alternate on your DS-2019 if you are leaving the US temporarily during your program.  We ask that you notify the Office of International Services whenever you plan to be outside the US and that you report in person prior to your final departure, so we can close your file appropriately.  Your cooperation is appreciated.

¨         Your Exchange Visitor (EV) Program “Responsible Officer” is Samantha Lu, Director of the Office of International Services.   Our office is located in L5 Whittier Hall.  We can be reached at 212-678-3939 (phone), 212-678-3990 (fax), or tcintl@tc.columbia.edu.

Limitation of Stay:

Form DS-2019 is issued initially for the duration of the Exchange Visitor (EV) program (generally a maximum of one year for TC Visiting Research Scholars).  Under new US Department of State regulations (effective November 18, 2006), the maximum period of participation for J Professors and Research Scholars is a continuous five-year period, beginning with the program beginning date identified in SEVIS.  See important information on “two-year bar,” below.


Research scholars and professors are permitted to work as described on the Form DS-2019.   They may accept additional employment only as authorized by the sponsor within the regulations.

Research scholars and professors may participate in occasional lectures and short-term consultations, unless disallowed by the sponsor.  Such lectures and consultations must 1) be incidental to the exchange visitor’s primary program activities, 2) be directly related to the objectives of the exchange visitor’s program, and 3) not delay the completion date of the program.  The exchange visitor must obtain written approval from the Responsible Officer in advance.

If compensation is to be paid for such activities, the exchange visitor must act as an independent contractor (not an employee).  A written offer letter and a written recommendation by the exchange visitor’s department head or supervisor are required.  Consult with the Responsible Officer before responding to any request or offer for you to lecture or consult.

Employment not related to the objectives of the exchange visitor’s program is not permitted.

“Twelve-month bar” and “two-year bar” after previous J participation:

A.   12-MONTH BAR:  An individual is not eligible to “begin a new program” as a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar if s/he was physically present in the US in any J status (including J-2) for all or part of the 12-month period immediately preceding the date of program commencement set forth on the new DS-2019.  Exceptions: 1) transferring to a new program sponsor (within five-year limit) under “transfer by notification” procedures; 2) presence in J status was for less than 6 months; or 3) presence in J status was in short-term scholar category.

B.   2-YEAR BAR:   An individual is not eligible for participation as a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar for a period of two years following the program end date identified in SEVIS if s/he 1) entered the US as a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar (or acquired such status while in the US); AND 2) completed her/his program.

Completion of Program

J-1 exchange visitors and their J-2 dependents are granted a 'grace period' of 30 days after the program expiration date indicated in Section 3 of Form DS-2019 to prepare for departure from the United States.

J-1 exchange visitors should notify the OIS if they complete their primary activity at Teachers College more than 30 days before the expiration date indicated in Section 3 of Form DS-2019.