University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Information for
Departments & Advisers



J Scholar FAQs for Departments

What is a J-1 scholar, a DS-2019, and SEVIS?

Visit our Glossary of Terms webpage for the explanations to these and other important/commonly-used terms.

When should a department submit the initial Request for a DS-2019 Application?

About four months before the expected start date and no later than eight weeks before the expected start date.

What is the processing time for an initial DS-2019? 

Two to three weeks.

What is the processing time for a transfer DS-2019?

Please contact Julie Halfen to discuss the transfer, 612-626-7452

What are the ISSS and government fees involved in inviting a J-1 scholar?

  • $310 ISSS Administrative Processing Fee (charged to department EFS account after Initial Request for DS-2019 application is submitted to ISSS)
  • $180 SEVIS fee (required by Department of Homeland Security; scholar must show proof at the visa interview that this has already been paid)
  • $160 J visa application fee (required by U.S. Department of State; paid by the scholar when they apply for their J-1 visa)

What should the start date for the scholar be?

The start date that will be written in the Initial Request for DS-2019 application will be the start date on the DS-2019 that ISSS will process through the SEVIS system. The start date and end date must match the start and end dates stated in the department’s invitation/offer letter to the scholar being invited.

May a scholar arrive to the U.S. before the start date on their DS-2019?

Yes, up to 30 days before the start date on their DS-2019.

May a scholar arrive to the U.S. after the start date on their DS-2019?

Yes, but no later than 25 days after the start date on their DS-2019. The scholar must also have completed their ISSS Scholar Check-In within 25 days after the start date. This is because ISSS is required to report the scholar’s arrival in the SEVIS government database within 30 days of the scholar’s start date.

Occasionally, scholars experience delays in their arrival plans (ex. there is an unexpected delay in having their visa processed and approved at their US Consulate/Embassy). What if a scholar won’t be able to arrive and check-in at ISSS within 25 days of his/her start date?

  • Contact Julie Halfen (6-7452, or Stacey Buachart (6-7100) to request a date amendment to the scholar’s DS-2019. Be prepared to provide a new start date (and new end date, if needed). If this step is not done in cases of late arrivals, serious consequences could result for the scholar and their SEVIS record.
  • Please also inform Kathrin if a scholar has been denied a visa or wishes to cancel their program with you.

A) A scholar wishes to use their own health insurance, or
B) A scholar’s funding source offers a non-UMN health insurance plan. May the scholar use this insurance during their stay at the UMN?

  • International scholars visiting the UMN for more than 31 days are required to enroll in the University-sponsored Student Health Benefit Plan for International Scholars unless they are already enrolled in a U.S.-based employer-sponsored group health plan or the University-sponsored Graduate Assistant Health Plan. More information about this policy, and for information on how to obtain a waiver please contact the Office of Student Health Benefits.
  • Scholars visiting the University for 31 days or less may choose to purchase the Student Health Benefit Plan, but are not required to do so. Scholars choosing not to enroll in the University-sponsored Student Health Benefit Plan are required to carry their own health insurance plan for the duration of their visit to the University. A scholar's health insurance plan must meet J-1 U.S. Federal regulation requirements (“Insurance”).

  • What happens if scholars do not have UMN health insurance, such as the University Employee Benefits Health Insurance or the UMN Student Health Benefit Plan (SHBP)?
  • They forfeit valuable ISSS services.

  • What happens if scholars have neither UMN health insurance nor other insurance that meets the federal requirements?
    This is reason to terminate a scholar’s J-1 program and they will need to depart the U.S. immediately.

The scholar is inquiring about a DS-7002 Form. Do they need this for their J-1 visa?

No, they do not need this and the UMN J program does not issue these documents. This form is only for J-1 Interns and J-1 Trainees. UMN J-1 scholars will only be one of the following: Research Scholar, Professor, or Short Term Scholar. 
(Note: MAST J-1 Trainees are not under the jurisdiction of ISSS. Please contact CFANS for more information about MAST).

If you have further questions, please contact a J-1 Adviser at 612-626-7100.