Inviting a J-1 Student-Intern

A student-intern is an international student enrolled in a university abroad who comes to the University of Minnesota for the purpose of training in their major.

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Determine Eligibility

Begin to determine eligibility three months prior to the student-intern's expected start date.

UMN Department

ISSS J-1 Advisor

  • Notifies Department of Student-Intern eligibility or, if necessary, other visa categories or types.
  • Upon approval, J-1 Advisor enters DS-7002 data in SEVIS, then prints, signs, and dates DS-7002.  
  • J-1 Advisor emails DS-7002 to Department with instructions to begin Step 2 (below).

UMN Faculty Mentor signs and dates completed DS-7002 (Supervisor line, page 4) and sends to Student-Intern to sign and date (Trainee/Intern line, page 1).

Complete and Collect Documents

Begin this step two months prior to the student-intern's expected start date.

UMN Department

Student-Intern submits to UMN Department

  • Signed DS-7002
  • Financial support documentation, if necessary
  • Copy of ID page of valid passport
  • Signed Statement of Responsibilities
  • Completed and signed letter from academic dean or advisor at home university
  • J-2 Dependent application and passport ID pages, if necessary

Submit Complete Application Packet to ISSS

Department emails the following to [email protected] with a subject of “Student-Intern application for [name of Student-Intern]”

  1. All Student-Intern documents in Step 2
  2. Completed and signed Host Department Application to Receive a Student-Intern form
  3. Signed invitation/offer letter
  4. Student-Intern Departmental Administrative Fee form


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Final Preparation of Visa Documentation Packet

J-1 Advisor prepares the DS-2019 and visa documentation packet, including the DS-7002 signed by all parties. This step takes two to three weeks for processing. ISSS notifies the department that packet is ready for pick up in 190 Humphrey.

  • Twin Cities campus departments: Pick up the DS-2019 at ISSS, review it, and mail it to the Student-Intern.
  • Other campus departments: ISSS will FedEx the visa documentation packet, including original DS-2019 and copy of DS-7002 with all signatures, to your campus. Your department then mails the visa documentation packet to the Student-Intern.

Student-Intern must have the original DS-2019 to apply for their visa and enter the U.S. They should not use a copy. They must have a copy of the DS-7002 as well. It is recommended to send the visa documentation packet via FedEx or another private carrier to help ensure timely delivery.

Student-Intern Applies for J-1 Visa Abroad

The Student-Intern receives from the visa documentation packet including the DS-2019 Form and the DS-7002 Form. Student-Intern pays the SEVIS Fee and goes to the U.S. Consulate/Embassy in their home country to apply for the J-1 entry visa.

The Student-Intern needs to bring:

  1. DS-2019 (must be signed original)
  2. DS-7002 (can be copy; must have all three signatures)
  3. Passport
  4. Proof of Funding/Support (for example, UMN Department support letter, bank statement, etc.)
  5. UMN Department Letter of Invitation (if the Student-Intern will not receive funding from the UMN)
  6. Receipt of payment of SEVIS Fee (SEVIS I-901 Fee)
  7. The Student-Intern should contact the U.S. Consulate/Embassy where they will apply, for further application requirements

Please note: The length of time for the J-1 entry visa to be processed can vary greatly depending on what the current processing times are at the U.S. Consulate/Embassy where the Student-Intern will apply. This can affect their arrival date and when they can begin their program at the UMN. The wait time can range anywhere between 1 week to 3 months or more. Student-Interns should contact the U.S. Consulate/Embassy where they will apply to inquire about current visa processing times.

Travel to the U.S.

The Student-Intern receives a J-1 entry visa in their passport and makes travel arrangements to enter the U.S.  At the U.S. border or port of entry, the Student-Intern shows the customs officer:

  1. Passport with J-1 visa
  2. Letter of invitation / offer letter from UMN hosting department
  3. DS-2019
  4. DS-7002
  5. Proof of funding/support


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Complete ISSS Check-In

Immigration regulations require ISSS to report to the government database (SEVIS) the Student-Intern’s arrival at the UMN. Therefore, to maintain J legal status, Student-Interns MUST report to ISSS within 25 days of the start date shown on their DS-2019 form to complete their mandatory Student-Intern Check-In. If a Student-Intern is delayed and cannot meet the reporting requirement, the UMN hosting department should request new DS-2019 dates by submitting the online Initial DS-2019 Amendment form. When Student-Interns report to ISSS, they need to bring all of their visa documents to ISSS.

ISSS also recommends that student-interns attend an orientation to learn about J-1 visa requirements, ISSS services, campus resources, and more.

Purchase Health Insurance

All Student-Interns are required to have University of Minnesota health insurance coverage for the duration of their internship. If the Student-Intern will not receive employment-based University insurance, they will need to contact the Office of Student Health Benefits to purchase the mandatory insurance for themselves and their eligible J-2 dependents. Learn more about health insurance for J-2 dependents.

Apply for a Social Security Number

If the Student-Intern will be paid by the UMN, they should apply for a Social Security Number after their ISSS Student-Intern Check-In. After obtaining an SSN, or if the Student-Intern already has an SSN from previous employment, they are required to present their visa documents to the University's central payroll.

Last updated: June 15, 2021