Collaboration and connections with a wide range of scholars from across the globe and nation are vital to advancing the research and education missions of the University. The Center for Global Engagement provides the immigration services required for international scholars to come to FSU once the inviting faculty member has completed the application process and received departmental and Office of Research approval. There are two different university procedures for inviting/hiring a J-1 scholar, depending upon whether or not the person will have a full-time, paid, temporary research or teaching position at FSU (for other positions, see https://cge.fsu.edu/scholars-employees/h-1b).
- Departments inviting scholars receiving no FSU payment or up to a half-time payment - please read the overview memo on Visiting Scholars highlighting the December 2020 changes to the FSU Visiting Scholar policy at https://global.fsu.edu/visiting-scholars along with the step by step procedures for inviting Visiting Scholars. Please see FSU Policy 3-100 to read the entire FSU Visiting Scholar Policy.
- Departments hiring scholars for a full-time paid position (post-doctoral researcher, visiting non-tenure instructors, undergraduate researchers) - start with the RAMP Export Control process, using the “Visa” request type - https://ramp.research.fsu.edu/modules/export-control. A sample offer letter for paid post-doctoral researchers is at https://opda.fsu.edu/policies-and-hiring/information-fsu-postdoctoral-administrators-and-pis. For other positions, an offer letter should include a brief description of duties, dates of employment, the minimum hours per week, and the amount the person will be paid.
Angelique Stevens – firstname.lastname@example.org – can assist with questions regarding appropriate job classifications for the J-1 and/or when the J-1 is required for an international employee.
J-1 Categories Sponsored by FSU
While the Center for Global Engagement is committed to facilitating a variety of intercultural opportunities, our U.S Department of State designation allows only these categories of J-1 visits.
- Professors and Research Scholars who may research, teach, and lecture in a non-tenure position for up to 5 years maximum (FSU policy restricts some visitors in this category to a shorter period). This category requires the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree or higher.
- Short-term scholars who may lecture, observe, consult, and participate in seminars, workshops, conferences, study tours, professional meetings, or similar types of educational and professional activities for up to 6 months maximum. Visitor must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree or higher.
- Specialists who are experts in a field of specialized knowledge or skill may observe, consult, or demonstrate special skills for up to 1 year (previous examples included athletic coaches, videographers, and musicians providing master classes).
- Student Interns who are currently enrolled bachelor’s degree students at a university outside the U.S. fulfilling an educational objective of their degree program through a closely supervised internship at FSU for up to 6 months.
Restrictions on all of the above Categories
The U.S. State Department restricts the CGE’s ability to issue a DS-2019 for J-1 programs which include any of the following:
- Child care
- Teaching pre-K through 12th grade students
- Elder care
- Clinical positions or engaging in any direct patient or client care or contact, including any type of therapy, administering medication, psychological counseling, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, social work, or speech therapy
- Permanent positions, such as tenure track faculty
- Administrative or clerical positions
There are also certain circumstances that restrict our ability to issue a DS-2019 or prevent the visitor from successfully obtaining a J-1 visa.
- The visitor is a high school student.
- The visitor has not obtained a bachelors degree or equivalent, is not currently enrolled in a bachelor's degree program outside the U.S., and is not considered an expert in their field.
- The visitor has been in J-1 visa status in the Research Scholar or Professor category in the past 2 years and is not eligible for a transfer of their status. (One short-term scholar visit of less than 6 months may be possible, but will require the visitor to exit the U.S. and obtain a new J-1 visa).
- The visitor has been in J-2 visa status in the Research Scholar or Professor category in the past 2 years. (One short-term scholar visit of less than 6 months may be possible, but will require the visitor to exit the U.S. and obtain a new J-1 visa).
- The visitor is currently completing a J-1 or J-2 student status. (One short-term scholar visit of less than 6 months may be possible, but will require exiting the U.S. and obtaining a new visa).
- The visitor has previously had a U.S. green card or immigrant visa.
- The visitor is in the process of obtaining a U.S. green card or immigrant visa.
- The visitor is unable to demonstrate ties to their county of last permanent residence and/or their intention to come to the U.S. temporarily (married to a U.S. citizen, living in temporary statuses outside their home country for many years).
FSU will not sponsor the J-1 status for anyone under the age of 18.
Process of Requesting a Certificate of Eligibility for J-1 Scholar Status (DS-2019)
Department representatives or inviting faculty will log in with their FSUID and password to Nole Start – https://istart.fsu.edu to first “Add a New Person” for anyone who does not already have an EMPLID and FSUID from previous FSU enrollment or employment and then submit a J-1 Scholar Request. The request must be submitted at least 60 days before the anticipated start date. After the department submits their portion of the J-1 Scholar Request, the visitor will automatically receive an email with a personal link to the J1 Scholar Request. The visitor then completes their portion of the J1 Scholar Request. The inviting/hiring department must upload the following documents in their portion of the J-1 Request form:
- Screenshot of RAMP approval
- Invitation/offer letter
- Screenshot of the initial courtesy job offer, if the visitor will not have any paid FSU appointment
- If the visitor has an MD degree, an additional letter from the Dean of the College of Medicine stating the following (required):
- The program in which (name of physician) will participate is predominantly involved with observation, consultation, teaching, or research.
- Any incidental patient contact involving the alien physician will be under the direct supervision of a physician who is a U.S. citizen or resident alien and who is licensed to practice medicine in the State of Florida.
- The alien physician will not be given final responsibility for the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
- Any activities of the alien physician will conform fully with the State licensing requirements and regulations for medical and health care professionals in the State in which the alien physician is pursuing the program.
- Any experience gained in this program will not be creditable towards any clinical requirements for medical specialty board certification.
- If the visitor is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree at a university outside the U.S. and will not graduate before starting their program at FSU, a letter from the FSU faculty member who will supervise the visit stating the following (required):
- The student researcher will be engaged in research activities for at least 32 hours per week;
- No more than 20% of the work performed will be clerical in nature;
- The student researcher will not be placed in an unskilled or casual labor position, a position that requires or involves child care or elder care, a position in the field of aviation, a clinical position, or in any other kind of work that involves patient care or contact, including any work that would require student interns to provide therapy, medication, or other clinical or medical care (e.g., sports or physical therapy, psychological counseling, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, social work, speech therapy, or early childhood education);
- The student will be in the U.S. primarily to engage in training, rather than employment or service to FSU;
- The training will expose the student researcher to American techniques, methodologies, and technology and expands the participant's existing knowledge and skills (the training does not duplicate prior experience);
- Our department has sufficient resources, plant, equipment, and trained personnel available to provide the specified training program;
- The position is not displacing any full-time or part-time, temporary or permanent U.S. worker;
- The student will be coming to FSU to fulfill an educational objective of their current degree program;
- The work will be directly related to their degree program at their home institution; <
- Our department will adhere to the internship training plan as entered into the J-1 Request or will contact the CGE regarding any necessary amendments to the training plan; and
- I will provide to the CGE a copy of an evaluation completed prior to conclusion of the training/internship program signed by both myself and the student researcher.
The scholar must upload the following documentation into their portion of the J-1 Scholar Request:
International post-doctoral researchers or adjunct instructors who will be employed by FSU will work with their hiring FSU department to complete a Request for J-1 Exchange Visitor Program packet. The hiring department will submit the complete packet to the Center for Global Engagement who will issue a DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for the J-1 visa within 3 weeks of submission of a complete request. The request packet is only available to designated department representatives or FSU inviting faculty upon request from the Exchange Visitor Advisor – email@example.com.
- A copy of their passport biographical information page
- Documentation of English language proficiency
- Curriculum Vita/Resume
- Documentation of sufficient funds for living expenses and any fees charged by the FSU inviting department (as applicable). Scholars who are full-time paid FSU employees may not be required to provide documentation of funding, depending upon the regular salary for their type of position and the number of dependents joining them.
Principal Visitor (PV) alone
PV + 1 Dependent
PV + 2 Dependents
PV + 3 Dependents
PV + 4 Dependents
Documentation of insurance for the J-1 scholar and all J-2 dependents that meets the following requirements:
- Underwriter is rated not less than A- by Best, ISI, or Fitch Ratings, Inc. or AA by S&P or B+ by Weiss, or A3 by Moody's Investor Services, OR policy is an employee group plan or HMO, OR policy is backed by the full faith and credit of a foreign government.
- Policy offers medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness (not per policy period).
- Co-payment is 25 percent or less.
- Deductible is $500 or less per accident or illness.
- The policy may have a pre-existing conditions provision.
- The policy does not unreasonably exclude perils inherent to the visitor's program in the U.S.
- Medical evacuation to home country is provided in the amount of $50,000.or greater.
- Repatriation coverage is $25,000 or greater.
Scholars who will be full-time paid employees of FSU are eligible for employee insurance to cover 1-6 above, but will need to upload documentation of temporary insurance coverage for themselves and all J-2 dependents covering 90 days from the start date indicated on the employment offer letter. After starting employment, obtaining an SSN, and enrolling in a Standard HMO or PPO (not High Deductible), the scholar will provide documentation of enrollment in the employer insurance, plus separately purchased medical evacuation and repatriation coverage.
Scholars who will not be full-time FSU employees will need to upload insurance coverage for themselves and all J-2 dependents for the entire duration of the stay indicated in their invitation letter.
- Documentation of approved leave from the scholar/researcher’s home institution, if maintaining an affiliation (not required for scholars who will be full-time FSU employees).
- Undergraduate researchers must provide:
- A letter from the student researcher's home institution stating that the student is currently enrolled in and pursuing a degree at a degree-or certificate-granting post-secondary academic institution outside the U.S. to which they will return after program completion, that the student is in good academic standing with their home university, and that the internship program at FSU will fulfill educational objectives of the student's current degree program and is directly related to their degree program.
- A copy of the student researcher's transcripts in English or with an English translation.
- Copies of passport biographical information pages for a spouse and/or children who will join the visitor in J-2 dependent status.
The CGE will review for eligibility and process the Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019 form) for the J-1 status through the federal government’s immigration database (SEVIS). The DS-7002 for undergraduate researchers is processed through the government’s database at the same time as the DS-2019 (no other J-1 category sponsored by FSU requires the DS-7002).
The CGE will work with the department or visitor to ship the DS-2019 (and DS-7002, if required). Electronic copies of DS-2019 forms cannot be transmitted by any method, per federal J-1 regulations.
Fulbright Researchers (not admitted to an FSU degree program)
Fulbright Commissions in countries around the world offer fully funded scholarship opportunities for researchers to collaborate with colleagues in the U.S. The scholarships are competitive and are not guaranteed to all applicants. The following outlines the typical application process:
- Applicant identifies U.S. faculty working in similar research areas and/or U.S. facilities with relevant resources.
- Applicant contacts FSU faculty regarding their proposed research activity and requests a preliminary letter of interest in the collaboration.
- At this point, interested FSU faculty should submit a RAMP Export Control Request to the Office of Research for approval.
- If approved, the FSU department can forward a letter of invitation to the Fulbright applicant, copying Angelique Stevens at the CGE (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Applicant submits their application to the Fulbright Commission in their home country with their detailed research proposal and FSU invitation letter.
- If the Fulbright Commission decides to grant the scholarship to the individual, they notify the applicant and the Institute for International Education (IIE).
- IIE confirms the affiliation with FSU through an Institutional Reply Form that the CGE will complete, sign, forward to the hosting faculty for signature, and return to the Institute for International Education, copying the department.
- The hosting department proceeds with courtesy appointment onboarding in order to ensure that the visitor has the access they will require upon arrival.
- IIE will issue the DS-2019 to the visitor and assist with the visa application process.
- The visitor will check-in with the hosting department and visit the CGE for a welcome packet that may assist with settling into campus and the community.
- The visitor is not required to attend scholar orientation, but they are welcome.
If a Fulbright applicant is unsuccessful with their scholarship application, please notify the Office of Research that the visit will not occur as planned.
Guidance for Purchasing Insurance
Florida State University employees are not authorized or licensed to give advice on purchasing insurance. Scholars should be able to find a wide variety of options when searching online for “travel medical insurance”. It is important for scholars to find a plan that will cover their particular medical needs, their budget for both premium and future medical costs, their eligibility for coverage (some plans require course enrollment, for example), and the J visa regulations noted above.
Scholars should carefully review exclusions or “what is not covered”, as these will require the scholar to pay for 100% of medical bills associated with those exclusions. U.S. plans often include cost share provisions, like deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance, and maximum coverage amounts, in order to keep the initial premium lower. Plan brochures will usually contain a summary of benefits that define which portions of a medical bill will be covered by the insured person vs the insurance company. In general, plans with a higher initial purchase cost or premium will pass fewer costs to the insured person when medical services are required.
Scholars who choose an insurance plan from their home country should pay special attention to how medical bills are paid. Typically, the scholar will pay all medical costs themselves and then seek reimbursement from the insurer. Emergency medical care in the U.S. is very expensive, and reimbursement may take time.