University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

J – 1 Scholars

Becoming a J-1 Scholar

What is a J-1 Scholar?

International individuals who come to the U of MN for the purpose of collaborating with our faculty in research, teaching, observation, and/or training, are typically invited to the U.S. on a J-1 visa. They must have at minimum a bachelor’s degree or an international equivalent.

Difference between student and scholar

When we use the term student, we are referring to individuals who are enrolled in courses at the U of MN. We use the term scholar for individuals who are involved in academic work (research, teaching, etc.), but are not taking courses here at the U of MN.

I want to do research at the U of MN. Do I need a J-1 visa or can I use a B-1/B-2 visa?

Review our B-1/B-2 webpage as well as the US Department of State’s guidance and activities chart. Contact ISSS and your local U.S. consulate for their recommendation.

How to begin the J-1 DS-2019 request process

To apply for a J-1 visa, you must have a DS-2019 document issued to you. ISSS issues these documents to U of MN scholars. (Note that sometimes a different entity will issue you a DS-2019 if they will be sponsoring you during your time at the U of MN, such as Fulbright. Make sure you communicate this with your U of MN hosting department so duplicate documents are not issued).

A U of MN department must request a DS-2019 on your behalf. Therefore, you must first contact the U of MN department with which you are interested in collaborating. You are to then identify a specific faculty member who will be collaborating with and mentoring (or supervising) you during your stay here.  Once you and the faculty have agreed upon your prospective teaching or research goals/project(s), this hosting department initiates the process with ISSS by following the steps of Inviting a J-1 Scholar.