J-1 Immigration Processing Details

J-1 Visa Categories

Typically, RI visitors / scholars are issued a DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status. You will use this document to apply for a J-1 visa at an United States Embassy or consulate. There are three types of J documents used most frequently. They are:
  1. J-1 Research Scholar - for visits over six months and up to five years
  2. J-1 Short Term Scholar - for visits under six months
  3. J-1 Intern - for undergraduate students
For additional information, please visit http://www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/oie/forscho/j1/index.html

Timing

Timing is critical and complete information should be received at least 90 days prior to the start date of your visit.

It is strongly encouraged that you send all necessary documents by express mail carrier that provides tracking services (i.e. UPS, FEDEX, DHL).

J-1 Processing for Research and Short Term Scholars

  1. Complete the J-1 Cover Letter / Checklist form, print, sign and date it, and include it with your packet of forms to be mailed to the Robotics Institute.
  2. Complete the "J-1 Exchange Visitor Data" form.

    Enter your complete mailing address including postal code, phone number and email. No PO Boxes are accepted for express deliveries.

    The DS-2019 will be sent to you by UPS express delivery. You will receive an automated email from ups.com regarding the shipment.
  3. Provide a copy of the picture page and the page showing your complete name of your passport as well as family members who will require J-2 visas.
  4. Provide documentation of financial support. All financial statements must be dated no more than four months prior to the date of submission.

    The minimum amount of financial support necessary is indicated on page two of the "J-1 Exchange Visitor Data" form.
    1. Private funds: Submit an original, dated and signed letter, on official letterhead, from the supporting agency addressed to Carnegie Mellon University which states (1) the name of the scholar being supported, (2) the specific duration of time the scholar will be supported and (3) the total amount of support in USD, if possible. The letter must state that you will be a visitor at the Robotics Institute. The dates noted on the letter will be the exact dates noted on the DS-2019. This letter must be in English or accompanied by a valid signed and dated translation.
      SAMPLE PRIVATE FUNDS LETTER
    2. Personal funds: Provide an original, dated and signed letter, on official bank letterhead, from the scholar's bank or original bank statement stating: (1) the name of the account holder and (2) the amount of funds readily available in USD, if possible. This letter must be in English or accompanied by a valid signed and dated translation.
      SAMPLE PERSONAL FUNDS LETTER
    3. Family funds: Two documents are required: a letter of support together with an original, dated and signed letter, on official bank letterhead, from the sponsor's bank or the sponsor's original bank statement stating (1) the name of the account holder and (2) the amount of funds readily available in USD, if possible. This letter must be in English or accompanied by a valid signed and dated translation.
      SAMPLE FAMILY SUPPORT LETTER / SAMPLE SPONSOR SUPPORT LETTER
    4. Carnegie Mellon support: nothing required by the scholar.

    Any documents listing amounts not in U.S. dollars must be accompanied by a website currency conversion print out. We recommend that you use the Universal Currency Converter on the main page of www.xe.com. Enter your total amount of funds to convert to U.S. dollars to be sure that you have at least the required minimum amount by OIE. Please see OIE forms for the current minimum support amounts. Please print off this converted currency write out to include in your packet that you send to Robotics.
  5. Health Insurance: J-1 visitors and their dependents are required to have health insurance coverage while in the US. Please fill Health Insurance Agreement
  6. English Proficiency Form: If you have taken a TOEFL or IELTS test within the last 2 years, please submit your scores. If you don't have a TOEFL neither IELTS scores, please let us know and an English Assessment interview will be arranged between you and your lab. NOTE: This requirement is mandatory for all J-1 visitors including native English speakers.
  7. ADDITIONAL FORMS FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: Undergraduate students that will not graduate prior to coming to RI will be issued a J-1 Intern document. Please review the directions below and complete the necessary forms. Originals of all documents except the TIP form must be mailed to Rachel Burcin.
    1. Complete the J-1 Intern form.
    2. Complete the top portion of the TIP form. This must be typed and saved as a PDF document. Email the form to Rachel Burcin (rachel@cmu.edu). You will receive a completed TIP form from RI with additional directions.
    3. Letter from your home university - Complete, have printed on official letterhead, and signed by the appropriate party, and include in the mailed packet.
      SAMPLE HOME UNIVERSITY LETTER
    4. English Proficiency Form: If you have taken a TOEFL or IELTS test within the last 2 years, please submit your scores. If you don't have a TOEFL neither IELTS scores, please let us know and an English Assessment interview will be arranged between you and your lab. NOTE: This requirement is mandatory for all J-1 Student Interns including native English speakers.
Mail the documents (cover letter / checklist, data forms, undergradute forms (if an undergraduate), original financial support documentation and copy of your passport) to my attention at the following address:
Rachel Burcin
Global Programs Manager
The Robotics Institute
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Newell-Simon Hall A423
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
412-268-4272
rachel@cmu.edu

Special Notes:

Individuals on a J-1 visa may be subject to a two-year home residency requirement. This requirement is known as the 212(e) Foreign Residence Requirement and is dependent on the individual's home country's skills list. http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_4514.html

International visitors should not make appointments for visa interviews or airline reservations until they have the documents necessary for applying for a visa and entering the U.S. The Carnegie Mellon J Program code is P-1-00292. You may be asked for this information when you set your appointment. Note that the appointment should not be arranged until you receive the tracking information.

Dependents (spouse and / or children only) who will accompany the scholar to the U.S. will need to apply for J-2 visas. Children who are J-2 dependents must be legal dependents, under the age of 21, and unmarried. When applying for the J-2 visa(s), take the family's passports to the U.S. Consulate along with proof of marriage (for the spouse) and birth certificates for each child.