Scholars & Employees

Maintaining Status

Scholars should comply with US federal regulations governing their specific J categories to maintain lawful status during their stay.  The following is a summary of these regulations as they apply to scholars. NOTE: Scholars sponsored by another institution (Fulbright, for example) should contact their scholar advisors for additional information. 

Initial Registration Requirements

All new Scholars must complete the J-1 Scholar Check-In Process with International Services within 30 days of the start date on the DS-2019.  This process includes a mandatory in-person document check and orientation.

Program Objectives

Scholars must pursue the program objectives as stated on the DS-2019. Changes in program objectives are generally not allowed by the US Department of State Exchange Visitor Program.

Restrictions on Employment

Scholars should not engage in any employment that is unrelated to their original program objectives. They are permitted to work at the location(s) listed on the DS-2019 only.   Scholars must obtain prior written authorization from International Services for additional employment that is in accordance with the regulations (see Occasional Lectures or Consultations below for more information). 

Maintaining Required Health Insurance

Scholars and their J-2 dependents are required to carry medical insurance that meets specific federal minimum requirements for the duration of their program. 

Change of Residential Address

Immigration regulations require that all non-citizens report any changes to their residential addresses, phone number, and email within 10 days. USF Scholars may report these changes via the “Update Local Address (Scholar)" e-form in iStart.  Scholars sponsored by other Fulbright, IIE, or other US agencies should contact their program sponsors directly regarding change of address.

Program Extension

Scholars may apply for an extension to their DS-2019 if the sponsoring department wishes to extend the stay and the J category allows extension.  The sponsoring department should login to iStart to complete the DS-2019 Extension Form and return it to International Services at least one month before the current J-1 status expires (date as noted in section 3 of Form DS-2019).

Required Travel Documents

Please review the travel information page before making plans to travel abroad.  Scholars need a travel signature on their DS-2019 to travel.  Signatures may be obtained by completing the “Travel Signature Request” eform in iStart.

Program Completion

Scholars and their J-2 dependents must depart the United States within 30 days of their DS-2019 end date or program completion date, whichever is earlier.  Scholars completing their programs at USF and leaving the US more than 30 days prior to the DS-2019 end date should notify International Services.

Transfers from USF to Another Institution

Scholars may be eligible to switch program sponsors if they maintain their original program objective and remain in the same J category.  Scholars who intend to transfer from USF to another US institution must complete a J-1 Scholar Transfer-Out Form. Scholars must complete the transfer process prior to beginning their program at the new institution and prior to the end date of the current DS-2019.

Transfers to USF From Another Institution

Scholars who intend to transfer to USF from another US institution must complete the transfer before beginning their USF program. The sponsoring USF department should follow the instructions for requesting an incoming scholar and provide International Services with a copy of the current DS-2019.  International Services will contact the other institution to discuss transfer of the DS-2019 to USF. The J scholar is encouraged to discuss transfer out procedures with the current institution.

Occasional Lectures or Consultations

Scholars in Short-Term Scholar and Research Scholar/Professor categories may participate in occasional lectures and short-term consultations at off-campus locations if they do not interfere with the current activities and are approved by the sponsoring department and International Services. The term occasional is generally understood to refer to single events rather than an ongoing activity. To request permission for an off-campus lecture or consultation, you will need to submit the following to International Services: 

  • Letter from current faculty sponsor or department head that confirms the lecture or consultation is directly related to your principal activity, is indeed incidental, and will not delay completion of your program.  The letter must recommend approval and explain how the proposed activity would enhance your program. 
  • Letter of offer from the sponsor of the lecture or consultation describing the terms and conditions of the proposed activity, including the duration, the number of hours, the field or subject, the amount of compensation, and a description of the activity.  

If approved, you will receive a letter granting you permission. To be paid, you must be an independent contractor and would use the letter as authorization to receive compensation.