Sponsoring Visiting Scholars and Research Students

Rutgers departments need to apply for a DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility on behalf of the sponsored scholar or research student so they may apply for a J-1 visa. You will be asked to provide certain information about the proposed activities, and you'll need to work with ISSS at Rutgers Global to ensure the smooth arrival of your sponsored scholars and research students. Below, you'll find more information about the steps required to sponsor J-1 scholars and research students.

J-1 Exchange Visitor Categories +

The J-1 Visa provides countless opportunities for international candidates looking to travel and gain experience in the U.S. The multifaceted programs enable foreign nationals to come to the U.S. to teach, study, conduct research, demonstrate special skills or receive on the job training for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years. 

Below are the J-1 Visa categories that Rutgers is authorized to sponsor:  

J-1 Visiting Research Student Category (Student Non-Degree) 

Visiting research students must be enrolled in a degree seeking program outside of the U.S. and visiting Rutgers to conduct research that is necessary for, or integral to, completion of a degree at their home institution. This category is limited to a 2-year maximum stay. 

J-1 Student Interns vs Visiting Research Students  

The J-1 Student Intern category is reserved for students who are currently in a degree program abroad and seek to visit Rutgers to engage in a project/research-based internship that is integral to the curriculum of the home institution's degree program to which the intern will return. International student interns (paid or unpaid) may only work for their sponsoring department at Rutgers for up to 32 hours per week.   

The J-1 Visiting Research Student category is reserved for students who are currently enrolled in a degree seeking program outside of the US, and are coming to Rutgers to conduct research that is necessary for, or integral to, completion of a degree at their home institution.  Visiting Research Students (non-degree) may only be employed by the sponsoring department at Rutgers for a maximum of 20 hours per week. They can only work on projects that will enhance their approved research plan. 

Steps for Sponsoring an Exchange Visitor +

1. Review the Responsibilities and Liabilities for Sponsoring Departments and University Policy 60.1.2 on the Employment of Foreign Nationals

2. Determine whether Foreign National is eligible for an appropriate J-1 category (listed above). Contact ISSS for more information.  

3. Issue an invitation/appointment letter to the scholar or research student. The letter should, at minimum, include:  

  • A signature from the Department Chair/Dean/Director; 
  • The exact length of time that the scholar or student will be sponsored (including start and end date);   
  • The amount of funding needed and where it will come from; and 
  • A description of program activities (in layperson’s terms).      

4. Submit DS-2019 request in Sunapsis. If you do not have access to Sunapsis, please contact us at isss-facultyscholars@global.rutgers.edu 

5. Stay in touch with the scholar/exchange visitor throughout the process and keep ISSS informed of the scholar's or research student's arrival date. It is recommended that the scholar or research student arrive prior to their start date. Please be aware that the scholar or research student may arrive up to 30 prior to the program start date but cannot arrive more than 30 days after the program start date. 

6. Assist the scholar or research student with ISSS check-in process in Sunapsis (if assistance is required) and ensure that program objectives are being followed.

ISSS Fees for J-1 Sponsorship +

  • Initial or Transfer: $250  

  • Extension: $200  

  • Expedite Fee (5 working days upon receipt of complete request): $200  

  • Late Fee: $100 

  • DS-2019 Reissuance Fee: $40 

  • Insurance and Record Maintenance Fee: Vary according to program length. Fees are calculated via Sunapsis. 

J-1 DS-2019 Processing Times (Estimation) +

1. Invitation from host professor: 2 weeks 

2. DS-2019 Request submitted in Sunapsis: 3 months (approx.) 

  • Visitor’s Information: 1 month 
  • Journal Entries: 2 weeks 
  • Appointment from Chair/Dean: 2 weeks 
  • Host Professor Certification: 1 week 
  • Chair/Director, Dean Approval: 1 week 
  • ISSS Fee/Insurance Review: 1 week 

3. DS-2019 Issuance: 1-2 weeks for complete requests with no issues 

4. Delivery of DS-2019 to scholar: 1 week

5. Wait time to schedule interview: 2-8 weeks (depends on location) 

6. After interview, waiting for visa: 2 weeks 

7. Booking flight and arrival: 2 weeks