Visiting Scholars will be issued a J-1 visa for the period of time they will be at the Law School.
There is a 30-day “grace period” after the conclusion of the visa during which bearers of J-1 visas can remain in the country. J-1 visitors should not enter the country prior to 30 days before the beginning of their J-1 DS-2019 form. Immigration policies are constantly changing; please rely on the ISSO’s website for more current information.
To Obtain a DS-2019 Visa Certificate
The following information outlines briefly the process of obtaining and extending J-1 Exchange Visitor Status:
1. The following items must be submitted to Jason Nasrallah in order to issue a DS-2019:
- Completed J-1 Visa Application form
- Signed insurance affidavit: The “Acknowledgment of Understanding and Promise to Comply with US Information Agency Medical Coverage Requirements for J-1 Exchange Visitors.” For further details regarding insurance requirements, please refer to the section on Health Insurance.
- Proof of financial support for the period of time on the J-1 or J-2 visa. Currently the ISSO requires that Visiting Scholars show financial resources of $2,400 per month per scholar, $800 per month for a spouse, and $400 per month for each accompanying child. This proof may be in the form of a personal bank statement, or letter from a funding agency. An English translation must be provided for all such documents.
- Authorization for Visiting Scholar/Scientist fee. This is to authorize Columbia University to charge credit card in the amount of $300 in payment of the Visiting Scholar/Scientist Administrative Fees. *This fee is mandatory.
- Copy of first page of passport for all Visitors and visiting dependents.
2. These forms will be passed to the ISSO, which will send all Visiting Scholars and Professors a DS-2019 form.
3. When you receive the DS-2019 form, take it to the closest U.S. Consulate with a valid passport, financial documentation showing means of support for the duration of the stay in the United States, and two passport-size photographs (37mm X 37mm). The U.S. Consulate will charge a fee for visa processing, which varies from country to country. If you are bringing a spouse or children over the age of 16, passports, financial information and photographs must also be submitted for each person. Children under 16 are not required to have a separate passport. Canadian citzens do not need an entry visa from the U.S. embassy but must enter with a DS-2019 form.
4. Individual procedures and the amount of time required to obtain a visa vary from country to country. The Consular Officer has the ultimate word on any application.
Extension of a J-1 Visa at Columbia University
In order to extend the duration of stay and the J-1 Visa at Columbia Law School, an application from the Office of International Programs must be submitted to ISSO. This application can only be issued with the approval of the Visiting Scholars Sub-Committee and the sponsoring faculty member. The Visiting Scholar will be required to show funding sources for the duration of his/her stay.
Transfer of J-1 Status to Columbia University (within the United States)
Follow steps one and two as listed under the above heading “Outside of the United States.” Proof of financial support and a signed insurance affidavit are required. Regulations require that the transfer of J-1 status to Columbia must be completed before the end date of the current DS-2019 form. If the visitor does not have a valid J-1 visa at the time of transfer, it will be necessary for that person to leave the U.S. and apply for a new J-1 entry visa at a U.S. Consulate.
**Please Note: This information is not comprehensive and policies and regulations are changing on a regular basis. Please go to the ISSO website, or call 212-854-3587 with any questions and to verify procedures. If you have questions please contact the closest U.S. Consulate or the ISSO.