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.
Begin to determine eligibility three months prior to the student-intern's expected start date.
- Faculty mentor reviews UMN Faculty Mentor Responsibilities webpage.
- Sends prospective Student-Intern the Prospective Student-Intern Eligibility form to determine if they meet the basic eligibility requirements for the J-1 Student-Intern category. The Prospective Student-Intern returns the completed eligibility form to Department.
- Verifies English language proficiency by completing the English Proficiency Requirement form and collecting documentation.
- Completes the DS-7002 Information form.
- Department completes the Student-Intern Administrative Fee form for deposit if program is eligible.
- UMN Department sends completed documents to ISSS by email to [email protected] with a subject of “Prospective Student-Intern Eligibility Documents.”
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.
- Completes Host Department Application to Receive a Student-Intern form, including signatures from faculty supervisor and department head
- Writes Invitation/Offer Letter for prospective Student-Intern (see Guidelines for Writing the Invitation/Offer Letter for J-1 Student-Interns)
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]”
- All Student-Intern documents in Step 2
- Completed and signed Host Department Application to Receive a Student-Intern form
- Signed invitation/offer letter
- Student-Intern Departmental Administrative Fee form
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:
- DS-2019 (must be signed original)
- DS-7002 (can be copy; must have all three signatures)
- Proof of Funding/Support (for example, UMN Department support letter, bank statement, etc.)
- UMN Department Letter of Invitation (if the Student-Intern will not receive funding from the UMN)
- Receipt of payment of SEVIS Fee (SEVIS I-901 Fee)
- 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:
- Passport with J-1 visa
- Letter of invitation / offer letter from UMN hosting department
- Proof of funding/support
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.