Using IP Connect for J-1 Exchange Visitor Applications
The IP Connect/Sunapsis data management system was developed by the International Student and Scholar office at Indiana University and is currently being adapted for use by hundreds of Higher Ed institutions across the country. OIS utilizes IP Connect/Sunapsis to serve departments as they request visas for international scholars.
The J-1 application provides the Office of International Services (OIS) with essential information needed to generate a Certificate of Eligibility of Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status, this is also commonly referred to as the DS-2019. The DS-2019 is an official immigration document stating that OSU is recognized by the US Government to sponsor J-1 Exchange Visitors, and that OSU would like to invite this scholar to participate in a program at OSU. This form is necessary for nonimmigrants to apply for their US visa and enter the US to conduct collaborative research. General information about the J visa found here.
The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program
The purpose of the J-1 Exchange Program is to provide exchange visitors with "opportunities to participate in educational and cultural programs in the United States and return home to share their experiences, and to encourage Americans to participate in educational and cultural programs in other countries." CFR § 62.1 (b) General information about the J visa found here.
While OIS takes only 10 business days to issue the DS-2019 documents, Exchange Visitors need time to receive the original documents, schedule their visa interview, for the U.S. Consulate abroad to issue the visa stamp, and to arrange travel. For this reason, we suggest allowing 8 weeks between OIS' receipt of the completed application and your Exchange Visitor’s program start date.
People Involved in the Application Process
The following people are involved in the J-1 scholar application process:
- Sponsoring Professor’s Role: The sponsoring professor has various responsibilities during the visiting scholar’s program at OSU, mainly supervising and monitoring the visiting scholar’s program activities, and ensuring access to campus privileges.
- Office of International Services’ (OIS) Role: We at OIS issue the Certificate for Eligibility for Exchange Visitor status, also called the DS-2019, needed for a visitor to apply for a J-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad. We also provide information on obtaining a U.S. visa, campus and community resources, and a welcome orientation.
- Department Contact’s Role: (Usually the office manager) helps complete the OSU J-1 application and may assist you in the completion of a scholar invitation letter, securing office space, and courtesy or employment appointments.
Determining the best Exchange Visitor category
The first step to bringing a visitor to OSU is to talk with the Chair/Dean/Head of your department and your office manager to ensure that they aware and/or fully support your intention to host an international visitor.
Next, OIS needs to determine the best Exchange Visitor category. The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program has several categories. In order to determine the best category for the prospective visitor, we ask for your help in gathering a few details by sending the following message and link to the prospective international visiting scholar:
Subject: J-1 International Visitor Intake Form
Dear Prospective Exchange Visitor,
Thank you for your interest in being an international visiting scholar at Oregon State University (OSU). The OSU Office of International Services (OIS) looks forward to facilitating the visa portion of this exchange.
The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program has several categories. In order to determine the best category for your visit we ask that you, the scholar, submit the following details about your visit to Oregon State University (OSU) using the following link: http://oregonstate.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_8zZGGplPhYmn1rf
After reviewing this information, OIS will respond with the appropriate application type and instructions.
If you have any questions while completing this form, please contact OIS at OIS.Scholar@oregonstate.edu or Adria Buncal (541-737-6418) or Cindy Nair (541-737-6461).
Final step, once the scholar submits the survey, OIS will review the responses and send the appropriate application type and instructions to the sponsoring professor and department contact. OIS will initiate the application in IP Connect (the online application system) and the scholar should expect to receive an email from OIS.Scholar@oregonstate.edu to access and complete his/her portion of the application.
Collecting Documents and Submitting the Application
- Wait for a link to your portion of the online application from OIS.Scholar@oregonstate.edu, which will be sent once the Department Contact assigns access to IP Connect. Please contact OIS if you do not receive the email within the weeks following your submission of the J-1 International Visitor Intake Form online survey, or if you have problems accessing the application.
- Collect and scan the following documents and save as a .pdf or .img file.
- Copy of passport identification page; passport must be valid 6 months beyond the requested J-1 program end date.
- Current Resume or Curriculum Vitae in English.
- Financial Support Documentation meeting the required amounts & English translation (not needed if fully financially supported by OSU).
- Copies of past immigration documents if scholar has been in the US during the past 24 months (DS-2019 and J Visa Stamp) or in J-1 "Student Intern" category in past (T/IPP).
- (If Applicable) Dependent documents for spouse or unmarried children under 21 if they will accompany scholar. Copies of dependent’s passport identification pages; passports must be valid 6 months beyond the requested J-1 program end date.
- (Student Interns Only) Attestation Form completed by the academic dean or academic advisor of the student's university where he/she is currently enrolled.
The department contact is usually the office manager in the sponsoring department. Access to IP Connect is limited in order to have one central person in the department trained and responsible for entering scholar information. If you have questions about who your Department Contact is, please contact us.
- Collects the completed J-1 Program Information (pdf) form and T/IPP form (student intern category only) from the sponsoring professor.
- Initiates J-1 Scholar Application following receipt of email from OIS with appropriate application type and scholar’s temporary ID number. Detailed instructions about this process can be found on our Getting Started with IP Connect document (pdf).
- Assigns sections of the application to scholar and departmental head/chair for completion and submission to the Office of International Services (OIS).
- Saves pdf record of application for department records (pdf will be sent by OIS in email after completed application is received).
- Processes Courtesy and Employee Appointment paperwork for OSU ID issuance. Courtesy and affiliate appointments for visiting scholars should follow the same OHR processes as domestic appointees. Associate Appointments will be processed by OIS.
- If a payment will be made to the visitor, determine payment type prior to filling out the J-1 Initial Application in IP Connect. Follow instructions in the Inviting & Paying a Non-Resident Alien for Academic Activities document and the NRAs OSU Finance and Administration FIS Manual. Complicated tax laws and regulations require that you work with your Business Center and Business Affairs to begin processing payment well in advance of the scholar’s arrival. The scholar will likely need to file a W-7 to the Internal Revenue Service to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and file an income tax return with the IRS.
- Once the DS-2019 is produced, reviews and mails documents to scholar abroad and communicate with scholar about tracking number.
Application Process & Timeline
- Sponsor talks with the chair of their department and their office manager to ensure that they aware and/or fully support the sponsor's intention to host an international visitor.
- Department and/or Sponsor contacts OIS about hosting an Exchange Visitor.
- Scholar answers the questions on the J-1 International Visitor Intake Form at http://oregonstate.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_8zZGGplPhYmn1rf
- OIS confirms appropriate J application type and process.
- Sponsor and Scholar conduct a videoconference interview. Sponsor evaluates the scholar's English (more information and requirements for assessing English proficiency).
- Sponsor and Scholar decide who will pay the $325 OIS Application fee (accepted payments by check, money order, or department index).
- Sponsor completes the J-1 Program Information (pdf) and Training/Internship Placement Plan (required only for Student Intern category) and gives to the Department Contact.
- Department Contact adds scholar record to list of current cases. Initiates correct application type as indicated in email from OIS “Subject: Initial Application Instructions for applicant: NAME”.
- Department Contact gives access to the Sponsoring Professor, Scholar and Department Head/Chair to complete their portions of the application in IP Connect. The access link will be sent from the OIS.Scholar@oregonstate.edu email.
- Sponsoring Professor confirm the J-1 Program Information form titled J-1 Sponsoring Department Responsibilities.
- Scholar completes E-Forms and uploads supporting documentation.
- Department Chair/Dean reviews the "J-1 Responsibilities and Compliance" E-Form. IP Connect will forward the entire E-Form group to Department Chair/Dean by email for final approval.
- OIS confirms receipt of application, conducts initial review, and requests additional information. If complete, OIS will send the processing timeline and a copy of all documents received as a PDF.
- OIS sends the DS-2019 packet (and T/IPP DS-7002 for Student Interns) to department within 10 working days of the receipt of completed E-Form Group. The scholar's SEVIS number and Program Number will be produced and emailed to the scholar at this time.
- Department sends the original DS-2019 and any other supporting documents to the scholar by mail.
- Scholar applies for a J-1 visa at a US Consulate abroad (if outside the US) using the documentation from OIS and the department. Visa processing times and procedures vary by Consulate. The scholar should check the website of the US Consulate in the country in which he/she will apply for a visa to find out more about the visa application procedures and timeline:http://usembassy.state.gov/
Notes about Employment and Payments
If the Exchange Visitor will be employed as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate or other temporary position at OSU, work with your Human Resources team to set-up the offer of employment.
If a payment will be made to the visitor, determine payment type prior to filling out the J-1 Initial Application in IP Connect. Follow instructions in the Inviting & Paying a Non-Resident Alien for Academic Activities document and the NRAs OSU Finance and Administration FIS Manual.
Complicated tax laws and regulations require that you work with your Business Center and Business Affairs to begin processing payment well in advance of the scholar’s arrival. The scholar will likely need to file a W-7 to the Internal Revenue Service to apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and file an income tax return with the IRS.
Notes about OSU ID Card
If the Exchange Visitor will not be an employee, they will need an OSU ID and ONID to grant them access to the OSU Alert System and other campus resources. If college policy allows, issue a Courtesy Faculty Appointment. If not, OIS can work with the ID Center to issue an Associate Appointment. Note that Affiliate Faculty status is discouraged as it does not give scholars access to ONID or OSU Alert systems; other arrangements should be made to re-distribute OSU Alert messages to scholars without an ONID.