J-1 Exchange Scholars

If you are interested in becoming a J-1 scholar at UT, you must first find an academic department and a sponsoring professor to support your academic endeavors. Once you have found a sponsoring professor to host you as a J-1 scholar, a request to issue your DS-2019 will be submitted to ISSS. ISSS is required to verify that your English proficiency is sufficient to participate in your J-1 program before we can issue your DS-2019.

Federal requirements for J-1 Exchange Visitors have changed as of January 5, 2015. As of May 15, 2015, you are required to provide evidence that your insurance, and that of your J-2 dependents, meets the U.S. Department of State requirements outlined below:

Medical Benefits per accident or illness....$100,000
Medical Evacuation....$50,000
Repatriation of Remains....$25,000
Deductible per accident or illness....$500

J-1 Scholars should be prepared to present proof of adequate insurance or purchase insurance coverage upon their arrival to the university. The Student/Scholar Health Insurance Plan through The University of Texas at Austin complies with U.S. Department of State insurance requirements.

You are required to provide more detailed information about your J-2 dependents to International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS), including:

  • Email addresses for all J-2 dependents
  • Dates of departure for J-2 dependents who leave the United States prior to your departure date

To request an extension of the Exchange Visitor's program, the department contact must initiate through myIO, verifying the additional length of time and any funding that will be provided . This should be arranged at least two weeks prior to the expiration date on your DS-2019. See the Program Extension for J-1 Scholars page for the required information.

Arriving in Austin

The J-1 Scholar Pre-Arrival Guide (PDF) contains important information to help you plan for your time in Austin, so please review it carefully in advance of your arrival.

If you will not arrive by the program start date listed on your DS-2019, please email ISSS with your new expected arrival date. All J-1 Scholars must attend J-1 Scholar Orientation within 30 days of the program start date listed on the DS-2019. Orientations are held on Mondays and Wednesdays.

You can sign-up for J-1 Orientation sessions using the myIO system by logging on to myIO and selecting Session Sign-ups from the menu on the left side of the myIO Services Home Page.

A J-1 Scholar Orientation Guide (PDF) will be provided to you at Orientation to help you navigate the university.

Changes Once You’re in Austin

The Exchange Visitor Program Welcome Brochure

The U.S. Department of State has developed this welcome brochure to introduce you to the Exchange Visitor Program. In it you will find information on:

  • The purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program
  • Terms that are unique to the Exchange Visitor Program
  • General rules, regulations, and laws by which you must abide
  • Department of State contact information

Wilberforce Pamphlet (Rights and Protections for Temporary Workers)

If you will be working in the United States during your exchange visitor program, please take time to read the pamphlet for temporary workers. You have several rights as an employee, including the right to:

  • Be treated and paid fairly;
  • Not be held in a job against your will;
  • Keep your passport and other identification documents in your possession;
  • Report abuse without retaliation;
  • Request help from unions, immigration and labor rights groups and other groups; and,
  • Seek justice in U.S. courts.

You can find a pamphlet that outlines your rights in detail as well as versions in several languages on the U.S. Department of State website.