Faculty/Staff Resources

Hosting a J-1 Research Scholar
Departments wishing to invite scholars to participate in ongoing research projects or lecture on a temporary basis are required to submit a request to the Office of International Programs. The International Scholar Coordinator will assist the perspective supervisor with the application process and provide support throughout the application, visa, arrival, orientation, and immigration process.

 

This category is for a foreign national who enters the United States for the primary purpose of conducting research, observing or consulting in connection with research projects at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited academic institutions, or similar types of institutions. A research scholar may also teach or lecture, unless disallowed by the sponsor.

The research scholar or professor’s appointment to a position shall be temporary, even if the position itself is permanent.

Incidental lectures or short-term consultations are permitted with the approval of the responsible officer so long as they are directly related to the objectives of the participant’s program, and do not delay the exchange program’s completion date.

To learn more please visit the Professor & Research Scholar information page hosted by the U.S. Department of State.

 

The professor category is for a foreign national who enters the United State for the primary purpose of teaching, lecturing, observing or consulting at accredited post-secondary academic institutions, museums, libraries or similar types of institutions. A professor may also conduct research, unless disallowed by the sponsoring organization.

To learn more please visit the Professor & Research Scholar information page hosted by the U.S. Department of State.

 

1.  The purpose of the scholar's visit must also fulfill the purpose of the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program:
   o  The exchange of professors and research scholars promotes the exchange of ideas, research,

       mutual enrichment and linkages between research and academic institutions in the United States and foreign countries.
2.  The scholar must have the intention of returning home after program completion.
3.  The length of the appointment is temporary (no more than 5 years and is a non-tenure track).
4.  The candidate must provide proof of financial support.
   o  A per year minimum of $15,600 for the exchange visitor, $6,500 for a spouse, and $3,500 per

      child is required for issuance of the DS-2019.
5.  The candidate must meet English language proficiency requirements. An objective measure of English language competency must be utilized to determine if the EV will be able to participate in their program and function on a day-to-day basis. Applicants to Mercer University can provide the following internationally recognized test scores to meet this criteria;

Scores that were achieved within one-calendar year:
IELTS (International English Language Testing System): 5.0
TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language): 60
TOEFL CBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language): 175
Institutional TOFEL: 500

Scores that were achieved and are two-years or older:
IELTS (International English Language Testing System): 5.5
TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language): 65
TOEFL CBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language): 180
Institutional TOFEL: 550

Or if the EV applicant has not taken the IELTS, TOEFL iBT, TOEFL CBT or the Institutional TOFEL a Skype interview with video can be scheduled to assess English language conversation competency. A certified English language evaluator at Mercer University’s English Language Institute will conduct the interview and provide an official evaluation. The cost of this interview and assessment is $100. Billable either to the sponsoring department or the applicant.

6.  After the acceptance of the EV, issuance of the Form DS-2019 and the applicant has received their J-1 visa, the Exchange Visitor and their accompanying dependents, must be covered under a health insurance policy that meets the minimum standards established by the Department of State for their duration within the U.S. under J-1 status.

7.  If the candidate is currently in J-1 status at another institution and wishes to transfer to Mercer, he/she must have permission to transfer, the program must be in line with the original program objective, and the candidate must have at least one year of eligibility remaining from the five-year limit.

 

1.  Sponsoring supervisor should complete Part B (three pages) of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Application – Inviting/Hiring Department Section
2.  Sponsoring supervisor requests the applicant to complete and submit the following documents:

   o  Complete Part A (page one) of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Application – Exchange Visitor

       Section
   o  A written, signed statement detailing how the program at Mercer will fulfill the purpose of the

       Exchange Visitor Program. Include a statement of intent to return to the home country.
   o  Provide a copy of their biographical passport page
   o  Provide proof of financial support, if not supported entirely by Mercer University
        * A per year minimum of $15,600 for the exchange visitor
        * Official bank letter in English stating the owner of the account (either a checking or savings

            account), the currency in the account, the available balance within the account
        * Or official bank statements from a checking or savings account in English, no older than

           three-months in age
   o  Provide proof of conversational English language competency or formally request a

       competency video Skype interview with a testing coordinator at Mercer University’s

       English Language Institute
   o  Current resume
   o  Provide a copy of the current Form DS-2019 if currently at another U.S. institution
   o  If the applicant plans to bring their dependents with them to the United States (spouse or

       children) they will need to provide;
        * Biographical passport page for each dependent
        * Additional proof of financial support
             •  A per year minimum of $15,600 for the exchange visitor, $6,500 for a spouse, and

               $3,500 per child is required for issuance of the DS-2019.
3.  Sponsoring supervisor submits Part A & Part B with all supporting documentation and signatures to the Scholar Services Coordinator within the Office of International Programs.

Mercer University Resource: Application for J-1 Exchange Visitor

 

1.  Scholar Services Coordinator reviews complete application
2.  Scholar Services Coordinator schedules an English language competency interview if requested
3.  Scholar Services Coordinator approves of application
4.  Scholar Services Coordinator issues and mails the Form DS-2019 with welcome packet to the

   applicant in their home nation.

 

1. Receive your Form DS-2019 and confirm that all personal and program information is correct.
2. Pay the online SEVIS I-901 fee to the U.S Department of Homeland Security
   For more information and to pay the fee visit https://www.ice.gov/sevis/i901
3. Print your SEVIS I-901 fee receipt
4. Pay the Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee
   a.  Each exchange visitor who applies for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate must pay the

        nonimmigrant visa application processing fee. Read more about current fees for

        State Department services.
   b.  You will need to provide a receipt showing the visa application processing fee has been paid

         when you come for your visa interview.
5.  Determine if you will need to pay a the visa issuance fee
   a.  Please review the visa reciprocity tables to determine if an additional visa reciprocity fee

        must be paid upon visa issuance and the amount of the fee.
6.  Go to your scheduled interview
   a.  Visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs website to learn more on how to apply for a J visa. Visa

         applicants need to demonstrate their eligibility for a visa during an interview by a consular

         officer at the U.S. embassy or consulate, generally in their country of residence.
7.  Email your supervisor and the Office of International Programs once your J-1 Exchange Visitor visa has been approved!