Scholars Needing a DS-2019
Though you may not be able to request a DS-2019 directly, once you have been offered a position or invited to U of I, you can assist the department by starting paperwork needed for a DS-2019 to be issued.
The J-1 Scholar Request Form (PDF) has information on the first 1 ½ pages that you will need to complete. Once you have done so, save the form and send by email to either the host supervisor/professor or department contact along with copies of:
- Resume or C.V.
- Financial documentation (see the Finances section below) showing funding for cost of living in Moscow, Idaho
Although it is possible to schedule your preparations differently, we suggest you follow the order below for obtaining your entry visa to the U.S.:
- Receipt of information packet from U of I including DS-2019 Eligibility Certificate for J-1 Status
- Pay the SEVIS Fee to the U.S. Department of Homeland. This $180 fee is separate from the visa processing fee. You will need your DS-2019 before you pay the SEVIS Fee. See SEVIS Fee below for more information.
- Make an appointment to obtain a J-1 visa at the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy. See visa appointment and application below.
- Fill in visa processing forms, including payment for visa stamp, and attend visa interview.
- Make travel plans
To pay this fee, it requires a SEVIS ID number which is found in the upper right hand corner of the form DS-2019. This MUST be paid before you attend the visa interview. Be sure to print out your receipt and take it with you to the visa appointment, verifying you have paid this fee.
You can pay with a check by mail or with a credit card online. DHS (Department of Homeland Security) also will accept fee payment from a third party, either in the United States or abroad.
Visa Appointment and Application
We strongly urge you to visit the website of your nearest U.S. consulate or embassy to obtain the most updated information. Information about locations of the closest visa issuing location, as well as instructions, and forms can be located online at:
- U.S. Embassies and Consulates Worldwide
- Visa Application forms and instructions
- Visa Wait Times
Security Advisory Opinion
Following the events of Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. government instituted a number of measures to tighten security with regard to the issuance of visas. First, all visa applicants’ names will be checked during the application process. Information resulting from the name-check, or if the field of study listed on Form DS-2019 involves a dual use technology (i.e. technologies that have both civilian and military applications), a Security Advisory Opinion (SAO) may be required.
The SAO is forwarded to Washington, D.C., and can take one or more months to complete. Our office does not have the authority to request an SAO be expedited. Only if your visa application has been pending for more than 30 days can our office inquire about the case.
J-1 research scholars and/or their hosting departments must show financial documentation of at least $1,300 in support before International Programs can issue a J-1 document (DS-2019) to participate in a program at U of I. This funding can come from various sources, including personal, but must be documented.
If dependents are intending to arrive with the J-1 scholar, it is required that additional financial documentation must be shown for at least $600 per dependent.
Please bring at least $1,500 (in US dollars) with you when you arrive in Moscow for settling-down expenses including housing, food, telephone and electricity costs. If you are to be paid by U of I, do not expect that you will be paid immediately when you arrive at your work site. Usually, you would have to wait for at least two weeks to get your first paycheck.
Please know that child-care in the U.S. can be very expensive, it can be up to $1,000 per month. Child care expense is personal, so if you plan to bring a child during your appointment period and rely on child care service, please plan ahead and budget for child care expenses. Also most child care services require you to register/enroll your child before you send your child to the child care facility, and there is often a long waiting list. The best practice is to check the child care resources to learn how it will work for you and make preparations accordingly.
To remain legally in the U.S. you need to meet the following conditions:
- Maintain valid DS-2019 form. Please pay attention to the program end date listed in section 3 of your DS-2019 Form. Apply for a program extension at least one month prior to the expiration date of your DS-2019 form if you need additional time to complete your research or teaching.
- Keep your passport valid at all times.
- Maintain health insurance for yourself and dependents throughout the program.
- Conduct activities consistent with your program category. Employment is allowed at the University of Idaho only. If you are considering any other options, please discuss these options with International Programs.
- Report address changes to International Programs within 10 days of any move as well as update your address with Human Resources.
As another reminder, if you intend to travel outside of the U.S. you will need a travel signature from IPO before leaving.
Are you are an international scholar or professional who wants to visit the University of Idaho temporarily to teach, perform research, observe, consult, demonstrate a special skill, train, or a related academic reason?
If so, you should begin the process by identifying a department or faculty/staff member at the University of Idaho willing to invite you.
Use the directory to locate the department which most closely aligns with your professional field or interests. Then email the department with a statement of objective and attach a resume/C.V.
How do I ask for a DS-2019 so I can apply for a J-1 Visa? It is not possible for you to request the DS-2019 directly from our office. Requests must come directly from the department that will host you.
If the department has the resources to host you, you can expect to be offered a temporary position, paid or unpaid, and receive certain facilities and services such as an office or lab space, access to the U of I network and email, library privileges, etc.
There is a team of professionals at U of I that will help to make it easier to prepare for your visit. It will be helpful to understand the role of each team member:
- Host supervisor/professor: This is the person with whom you will work most directly in conducting your program at U of I. Questions about the research project, employment expectations and facilities for work including laboratory and office space should be directed toward this person.
- Contact person (in the host department): This is an administrative support person in the host department. This person is usually responsible for providing the necessary information to the International Programs Office for issuance of your DS-2019, preparing the university employment papers (if appropriate), etc. They are a wealth of knowledge about how the university works and are a valuable resource. They may also assist you in finding housing on- or off-campus.
- The International Scholar Advisor/Responsible Officer: This person is responsible for managing the Exchange Visitor Program for the university within International Programs. The advisor prepares the DS-2019 Eligibility Certificate for J-1 status, assigns a university ID number, processes extensions and transfers and generally answers questions about your visa status. You will meet with an advisor for an initial orientation meeting after you arrive. The advisor can be reached at 208-885-8984 during regular business hours.
- Academic Year: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time, Monday through Friday
- Summer Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific time, Monday through Friday