Inviting a J-1 Exchange Visitor: Information for Administrative Contacts

All U-M units who host or plan to host J-1 Exchange Visitors (international scholars) should designate one or more administrative contacts to serve as the liaison between the unit and the Shared Services Center and between the unit and the International Center.  Once the Exchange Visitor arrives, the department administrative contact is responsible for on-going issues related to the visitor’s program. The International Center offers training for administrative contacts who would like to learn more about the J-1 Exchange Visitor program.

Note: There is one exception: the Medical School Immigration Compliance Unit serves as the administrative contact for the Medical School, and works directly with the International Center.

See below for procedures, key responsibilities and cross-cultural resources.  See Resources, Forms, and Government Links for information about funding requirements and links to key forms and U-M and U.S. government resources for the hosting department and for your Exchange Visitors.

Procedures

New Requests

  • Review the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program overview and department responsibilities
  • Work with your faculty member to determine the program objective for the visitor, program dates, funding, and site of activity.
  • Complete the J-1 Visa Request (New, Return, Transfer) e-form and submit it to the Shared Services Center (SSC).
  • SSC staff will:
    • Contact the Exchange Visitor (EV) and complete an English language assessment
    • Set up a U-M Box folder so that the EV’s documents can be collected securely, and obtain required documents
    • Enter information into M-Pathways
    • Draft the official invitation letter (“Department of State” letter) for review and signature by the department, and final review by the International Center.
  • Once all information has been collected and the data entry is complete, the SSC transfers the request to the International Center (IC) for review and approval.
    • The request is first reviewed by an Immigration Assistant, then forwarded to an Immigration Advisor.
    • If additional information or clarification is needed, the IC will contact the SSC, the department, or the prospective visitor, depending on the issue. If nothing additional is needed, the Immigration Advisor submits a request for the visitor’s Form DS-2019 to the U.S. government's SEVIS system (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.)
    • When the Form DS-2019 has been issued, it will be delivered according to the instructions the hosting department entered on the e-form.
  • After the DS-2019 has been issued, the SSC sends electronic versions of the “Department of State letter” and the “DS-2019 cover sheet” (informational handout) to the EV, and the IC uploads a letter with the EV’s uniqname and password to the EV’s U-M Box folder so that the EV can receive this information securely.

Program Extensions

  • Work with your faculty member to determine the new end date for the visitor and verify department funding for the extension period, if applicable
  • Complete the J-1 Visa Amendment / Extension Request e-Form and submit it to the Shared Services Center (SSC).
  • SSC will set up a U-M Box folder so that the EV’s documents can be collected securely, and obtain required documents.
  • Once all information has been collected and the data entry is complete, the SSC transfers the request to the International Center (IC) for review and approval.
    • The request is first reviewed by an Immigration Assistant, then forwarded to an Immigration Advisor.
    • If additional information or clarification is needed, the IC will contact the SSC, the department, or the prospective visitor, depending on the issue. If nothing additional is needed, the Immigration Advisor submits a request for an extended Form DS-2019 to the U.S. government's SEVIS system (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.)
  • When the DS-2019 is ready, the IC contacts the SSC and arranges for delivery of the DS-2019 per the department’s instructions:
    • Mail via UPS
    • Send to Administrative Contact via campus courier
    • Hold for pick up by the department at the IC

Key Responsibilities

Before the EV arrives

  • Contact SSC for:
    • Changes in EV program dates due to visa delay or other circumstances.  For example, if the Exchange Visitor will not be able to arrive in time to complete the check-in at the International Center no later than 15 days after the start date, the start date should be amended.
    • Biographical corrections (birthdate, name spelling, birth location, etc.)
    • Changes in funding
    • Cancelation of visit
  • Inform the EV about the health insurance requirement

After the EV arrives

  • EV Onboarding
    • Make sure EV completes any required employment-related paperwork and any standard departmental on-boarding procedures
    • Help the EV obtain an MCard
    • Help the EV schedule a Physical Presence Check-In at the International Center
    • Help the EV update Wolverine Access with a current address and phone number.  The current address must be a local residential address, and the phone must be a U.S. phone. Both must be entered in the required format.
  • Contact the IC if your exchange visitor wishes to engage in any activity that would involve payment such as a lecture or presentation at another university or a collaborative project with a research company.
  • Submit a J-1 Scholar Notice of Departure to the International Center if the Exchange Visitor plans to leave before the DS-2019 end date, so that the International Center can comply with the government obligation to report early departures.
  • Submit requests to the Shared Services Center for an amended Form DS-2019 if there are any changes in the Exchange Visitors funding, site of activity, etc.)
  • Submit requests to the Shared Services Center for an extended Form DS-2019 if the EV plans to stay beyond the DS-2019 end date.  Note: Extensions are not always possible. Contact the IC with any questions.​
  • Submit J-1 Continuing Out of Country requests for J-1 Exchange Visitors who require out of country authorization.

Cross-Cultural Resources

Cultural exchange is a key component of the J-1 Exchange Visitor program. The International Center provides a number of programs for U-M international scholars, but U-M departments that host J-1 exchange visitors should also incorporate cultural exchange activities into their Exchange Visitors’ programs.  The following resource may be helpful in developing department-based cross-cultural activities: