Visiting J-1 Researchers and Scholars
University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) hosts international scholars and professors from around the world each year. Visiting scholars and faculty come to University of Alaska Anchorage for collaboration in their fields of research or teaching.
J-1 Visas for Visiting International Scholars and Professors
UAA is a sponsoring institution for the J-1 Exchange Visitor program, which is monitored by the Department of State (DOS). Prospective scholars may stay from a few weeks to up to five years and must at minimum hold the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in their field of research or teaching.
The J-1 scholar and professor categories are not appropriate for full-time study at UAA. Individuals who desire to pursue a course of study should pursue a student visa status.
J-1 Exchange Visitor Category Descriptions
Professor: an individual primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting at post-secondary accredited educational institutions, museums, libraries, or similar types of institutions. A professor may also conduct research, unless disallowed by the sponsor. (22 CFR 64.2(e) )
Research scholar: an individual primarily conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions. The research scholar may also teach or lecture, unless disallowed by the sponsor. (22 CFR 62.4(f) )
Short term scholar: a professor, research scholar, specialist, or a person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the United States on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills at the research institutions, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions. (Regulation 22 CFR 62.4(b).) Short-term scholars may also participate in collaborative research.
J-1 Exchange Visitor eligibility
An individual may be selected for participation in the Exchange Visitor Program as a professor or research scholar subject to the following conditions:
(A) The participant is transferring to the sponsor's program as provided in Sec. 514.42; or
(B) The participant's presence in the United States was of less than six months duration; or
(C) The participant's presence in the United States was pursuant to a Short-term scholar exchange activity as authorized by Sec. 514.21.
Prior to reapplying for entry into the United States, J-1 scholars are often required by law to return to their home country for two years to use the skills and knowledge they have gained.
Hosting International Scholars and Professors
UAA departments interested in hosting a J-1 scholar must complete the International Visiting Scholar Request Form and submit it to International Faculty and Staff Services, Human Resources for review. Upon approval, the department should contact International Student Services (http://www.uaa.alaska.edu/iss) for forms to be completed by the visiting scholar and requirements from the sponsoring department.
Download Visiting Scholar or Professor Request Form
The Hosting Process
Paid Scholars: Please use the Term Faculty Appointment letter from the SWLR website, but include an additional paragraph detailing the individuals’ roles and responsibilities at UAA.
The department is expected to maintain professional contact with the scholar while they are at UAA by offering access to the department through invitations to meetings and events, and for the scholar to sit-in on occasional courses
Arrival and Departure – 30 Day Grace Periods Before and After Scholar Dates
J-1 Scholars may enter the United States up to 30 days before the start date on their DS-2019 forms. They also have an additional 30-day grace period following the end date of their DS-2019 forms to remain in the US and prepare for departure. If a scholar departs the United States during the 30-day grace period at the end of the program, the scholar has ended his or her J-1 program and may not return to the US as a J-1 visitor.
If a new J-1 scholar will be delayed or late and plan to enter the United States more than a week after the start date on the DS-2019 form, please contact Cecile Mitchell or Doni Williams at ISS immediately. It may be necessary to change the start date on the documentation or in SEVIS. Failure to do so may jeopardize the scholar’s ability to enter the US in J-1 status.
Arrival Check-In (Mandatory)
Upon arrival in the US, J-1 scholars must check in by visiting Doni Williams in the ISS office with their local address and phone number, DS-2019, passport, and proof of health insurance for themselves and any dependents. Scholars are required to check in at ISS within 10 days of the start date of their program. The university is required by law to report scholars who fail to check in and failure to do so could result in the termination of their program, so this check-in is VERY important. If the scholar will not arrive within 10 days of the start of their program, it is important to notify Doni Williams in the ISS office
Extension of J-1 Status
J-1 status may be extended for up to five years. (Short-Term Scholars are limited to six months total program time.) Requests for extensions must be received at ISS at least 30 days prior to the end date on the scholar’s DS-2019. The UAA department must provide a new letter of appointment containing new dates of appointment, anticipated activities, and any department-provided funding. The J-1 visa holder should submit the original letter to ISS and a copy to Human Resources. Scholars must show proof of meeting minimum funding requirements for the duration of the extension. ISS will then extend the DS-2019 as provided by the Department of State.