J1 Exchange Visitors
The Exchange Visitor (EV) Program is carried out by the US Department of State. The J1 visa category was specifically created for foreign nationals participating in the educational and cultural exchange activities under the Fulbright-Hays Act. Its purpose is to enhance understanding between the people of the United States and people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges.
University of Houston-Victoria has been allowed to partner with University of Houston-Main Campus to offer J1 exchange visitor status to professors, researchers, and short-term scholars at UHV campus locations. At the present time J1 students are not permitted to attend UHV in that status, but are required to change their status to F-1 prior to enrolling at UHV. The Responsible Officer (RO) for UHV is the International Student Coordinator in the Office of Admissions.
J1 visa holders may not be permitted to work unless their program category requires employment. The J1 visa is also inappropriate for foreign nationals seeking to immigrate permanently to the United States. In addition, programs in Nursing, Psychological Counseling, or any other field that requires direct clinical patient contact by participants are excluded from the EV program.
To facilitate entry to the US as a J1 exchange visitor, a participant is issued a Form DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J1 Status). This form must be requested by the school dean or university department official.
The J visa is a non-immigrant visa, and participants in the J1 program are expected to return to their home country when their program is completed. Entry into the US as a participant in the exchange program is granted with the understanding the the J1 will complete the objectives of a single program category.
University of Houston - Victoria Academic Schools may request visa documentation for J1 exchange visitors in the Short-term Scholar, Professor, and Researcher categories. At the present time UHV is not designated to permit enrollment for the J1 Students category. In order for J1 students to enroll in a degree program at UHV, a change of status to F-1 visa or another visa category that allows enrollment is required.
To Request a J1 exchange visitor, UHV Academic Schools may submit the necessary forms, support documents and invitation letter to the designated Responsible Officer (RO), the International Student Coordinator in the Office of Admissions. Form information must be completed entirely and contain aproval signature from the school dean. Invitation letters may be from the school dean or a UHV faculty member designated as appropriate by the school dean. After receiving all required documentation in the Office of Admissions, the information is reviewed for accuracy and eligibility. Incomplete or inaccurate requests may require additional processing time.
Once all required documentation is received from the academic school, a Form DS-2019 will be created in SEVIS, the Department of Homeland Security's Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. The DS-2019, invitation letter, and information packet will be readied to send by FedEx to the J1 visitor.
The prospective exchange visitor will use the DS-2019 visa document from UHV to request a J1 visa from a US Consulate overseas, or if currently inside the United States, the prospective J1 exchange visitor may work with the International Student Coordinator to transfer their records to UHV.