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COVID-19 Considerations for J-1 Exchange Visitors

Dear J-1 Exchange Visitor,

As of March 17th, 2020, the Office of International Affairs has moved to remote operations, until further notice. Any questions or concerns regarding your J-1 exchange visitor program can be directed to:

Rico Johnson

International Scholar Visa Specialist

Phone and video-conferencing appointments via ZOOM are available.

  • If your program is ending and you are unable to return to your home country due to travel restrictions related to the current COVID19 situation, please contact Rico Johnson at
  • If your program is ending and you need to extend your visit, please contact your host faculty supervisor and School administrator.
  • If you will be departing the U.S. more than 15 days prior to your DS-2019 end date, please notify OIA to ensure your SEVIS record is updated.
  • If your place of residence changes, please email your new address to
  • J1 Exchange Visitors must maintain health insurance for themselves and any J-2 dependents while they are in the U.S. in J-1/J-2 status.
  • Inform OIA should your primary site of activity be moved to an alternate location, including working remotely
  • The U.S. Department of State has requested that OIA report any incidents involving J-1 exchange visitors. Contact should any incidents occur.

The Office of International Affairs is closely monitoring the situation with the COVID-19 outbreak and will continue with email communications to the international scholar community as more information become available. Please contact the Office of International Affairs if you have any questions regarding travel, employment, study, or stay in the U.S.

Please visit our UC Merced COVID-19 Update web page.

I encourage you to make informed decisions during these difficult times for the best outcome. Please take care of yourself, reach out with questions and stay in touch.