Reminders for J-1 Scholar Hosting Departments

Dear academic departments,

We hope your fall semester is off to a great start. ISSS would like to provide you with some updates and reminders related to hosting visiting scholars/exchange visitors on J-1 visas. 

ISSS Services for you and your scholar:

  • ISSS at Storrs is open 5 days a week in person, from 8 am to 5 pm. The front desk is open for procedural questions, and international advisors are available to meet with J-1 exchange visitors for both in-person and virtual appointments. You can find your ISSS Advisor liaison and your scholar’s assigned advisor, here:  Your scholar can follow the links on their advisor’s profile to schedule a virtual or in-person appointment.

  • ISSS also has drop-in advising each afternoon from 1:30 to 3:30 pm (in-person) and online chat advising in the morning from 9 am to 10 am, and afternoon from 2 pm to 3 pm. These services are intended for quick questions only. If your scholar has a more complex issue to discuss, they should schedule an appointment with their assigned ISSS Advisor.

J-1 Visa Sponsorship Policies:

  • J-1 visa sponsorship requests can only be made for exchange visitors who will be conducting their program in-person. Remote participation is not appropriate for J-1 visa sponsorship.  

  • New J-1 visa sponsorship requests must be fully submitted (all sections completed by the hosting department and the exchange visitor, offer/invitation letter signed and approved for hire) at least 7 weeks before the anticipated start date to UConn to allow adequate time for visa processing. For exchange visitors in STEM fields, we recommend at least 12 weeks advance notice due to the anticipated background checks needed for the visa process. Exceptions may be granted for exchange visitors who are currently in the U.S. and transferring their J-1 visa sponsorship to UConn. 

  • Newly arrived J-1 exchange visitors hosted at the Storrs campus must check-in at the ISSS office in Storrs as soon as possible after arrival. Please remind your scholar to come to ISSS during the designated check in days: Tuesday and Friday, between 2 and 4 pm. Failure to check in with ISSS can lead to a termination of the visiting scholar’s visa sponsorship. The scholar will need to bring their passport, DS-2019, and medical insurance documentation when they check-in. Scholars at the regional campuses will check-in online and then meet with their ISSS Advisor for an orientation meeting.

  • If your visiting scholar cannot arrive and begin their program by the start date listed on the offer letter/DS-2019 form, then you will need to amend both the offer letter and the DS-2019 form before their arrival. Request the DS-2019 amendment from ISSS following these instructions: 

  • You must notify ISSS if your visiting scholar/exchange visitor decides to end their program early. Please notify both Dana Foster and your ISSS Advisor liaison if your scholar will end their program and return home before their DS-2019/offer letter end date.

  • ISSS publishes further details for hosting departments about the J-1 visa sponsorship process here:

COVID-19 Resources and Information for visiting scholars:

  • Visiting scholars who arrive from abroad to start their program may be wondering if they need to quarantine upon arrival before coming to campus. HR has advised ISSS that new visiting scholars who arrive from abroad should follow the same general guidelines following international travel as other staff who return from international travel. More information on these guidelines can be found here: 

  • More information related to travel, health and COVID-19 can be found on the ISSS COVID-19 FAQ: 

Thank you, and please reach out if you have further questions. 

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