Sponsoring a Visiting Professor or Researcher

Overview of J-1 Exchange Visitor Category

Faculty Host Responsibilities

Health Insurance Requirements for J-1 Visiting Scholars

Scholar’s Arrival and Check-in- Information for Faculty Host

Obtaining a Maine Card and MaineStreet ID for your Visiting Scholar

OIP J-1 Visa Processing Fee

Request J-1 Visa Documents for Visiting Scholar

Extending the J-1 Program

Overview of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Category:
The primary purpose of the J-1 Exchange Visitor visa is to foster the exchange of ideas between Americans and foreign nationals and to stimulate international collaborative teaching and research efforts. The J-1 visa is the easiest and quickest visa to get, but it has certain limitations which must be considered when bringing foreign faculty members and researchers to the University.  Please contact the Office of International Programs if you have a question about whether the J-1 visa is appropriate for your visitor.

Faculty Host Responsibilities:
The faculty host sponsoring the visitor plays an important role in our J-1 Exchange Visitor Program.  The host is generally responsible for the following:

  • Initiating all paperwork to request the J-1 visa
  • Coordinating housing for the visitor
  • Arranging arrival details such as airport pick-up and scheduling check-in meeting with OIP.
  • Providing office or work space in an area that is within close proximity to other regular staff within your department.
  • Providing oversight of academic work conducted by the visitor and scheduling regular check-in meetings.
  • Assisting the visitor to integrate into the department and wider campus community and providing access to cross-cultural activities on campus or within the community.
  • Notifying the Office of International Programs if the visitor is no longer conducting the academic activities outlined in the agreed upon program.

Health Insurance Requirements:
The Department of State mandates that all J-1 Exchange Visitors have health insurance coverage that meets certain standards.  Please discuss this with your potential visitor so that he or she is aware of this requirement.  The minimum coverage limits are:  $100,000 basic medical benefit per accident or illness,  $25,00 for repatriation of remains, $50,000 for emergency medical evacuation to the home country.  Deductible per accident or illness should not exceed $500.  Co-insurance provisions will be permitted requiring exchange visitors to pay up to 25% of covered benefits per accident or illness.

Visiting researchers may be eligible for the University of Maine employee insurance at no charge.  Please indicate on your request form if you would like your visiting researcher to take advantage of this benefit.

Entry Requirements & Check-in:
Your J-1 Exchange Visitor must enter the US within 30 days of the start date of the DS2019.  Once the Exchange Visitor arrives he or she will need to make an appointment with the Associate Director of OIP for a mandatory check-in.  Appointments can be made from the OIP home page.

Obtaining a Maine Card and MaineStreet ID for your Visiting Scholar:
If your J-1 Exchange Visitor is not receiving funds from the University of Maine you must complete a Person of Interest form with the Office of Human Resources.  This will allow the visitor to be coded in MaineStreet, giving him or her greater access to University of Maine academic resources.  You can download the Person of Interest Form.   Return it to HR following instructions on page 2 of the form.

Fee for J-1 Visa Processing Requests
The Office of International Programs charges your department a $100 processing fee for all J-1 Exchange Visitor applications.  This fee helps to offset the fee charged by the Department of Homeland Security to institutional sponsors.

Initiate Request for J-1 Visa Documents for your Visiting Scholar 

Extending the J-1 Program
The J-1 Exchange Visitor must start the extension process by signing into their account through the Sunapsis portal. Upon successful submission of the J-1 Extension Request form the faculty host will receive an email from umaineimmigration@maine.edu with a link to the J-1 Extension Request. Clicking the link provided will open the login screen where all login information should already be entered. Just click “Login”. The scholar’s part of the form (including the new proposed program end date) is available by clicking the link near the top of the screen “J-1 Extension Request”. If the faculty host will provide funding to the exchange visitor they must answer “yes” and provide the amount. If funding will come from another source, simply answer “no”, and the exchange visitor will be responsible for providing proof of funding. Lastly, the faculty host must confirm that they are willing to continue serving as faculty host until the new proposed end date.