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J-1 Researchers


Due to the COVID-19 situation, our main office (KL-101) is closed until further notice, but we remain available remotely, M-F 8:00-5:00, to answer questions and provide remote advising and other services. We are also available to address any emergencies.

 Employment-based visas: Becky Mirza (; 209-355-0913)

J-1 scholar visas: Rico Johnson (; 209-355-1018)

Student (F-1, J-1) visas: Lacey Long-Vejar (; 209-259-8913)

ISS-related emergencies: Becky Mirza (209-355-0913)

Other queries & concerns: Garett Gietzen (; 209-285-9780)

All international exchange visitors to UC Merced must be invited by an academic school and have an official UC Merced appointment. Once UC Merced has offered the visitor a position, the academic school will request a Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility, from the Office of International Affairs. The Form DS-2019 is a required document to apply for a J-1 Visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad.

UC Merced currently sponsors exchange visitors who are coming to UC Merced to participate in paid and unpaid positions performing research, lecturing (non-tenure track), or providing their expertise. Depending on the length of the UC Merced title and the possibility of extension of the appointment, an exchange visitor may come in as a J-1 non-degree seeking students, specialist, short-term scholar, research scholar, professor or visiting undergraduate researcher in the non-degree student category.

UC Merced now requires export control review for all J-1 visa applicants. All sponsoring units must complete the required Visa Screening form and contact the UC Merced Export Controls office at prior to requesting a DS-2019 processing from OIA. Once certification of export control review is obtained, the Export Controls office will issue a certifying letter to the sponsoring units. Sponsoring units must include a copy of this letter with other DS-2019 request documents submitted to OIA.

To issue a DS-2019, the Office of International Affairs is required to confirm that each J-1 visitor will have funding to support their visit to the U.S. View information on OIA funding requirements here.

To become a J-1 exchange visitor in the United States, you must have sufficient English language competency. There is more information on the English Language requirement here.


Pre-Arrival Information

Pre-Arrival Check-List Health Insurance Requirement
Paying the SEVIS Fee & Applying for a Visa Dependent Information
Check-in Process Travel Information


J-1 Visa Regulations

Maintaining J Status Address Changes
Extending your program Program Transfers
Two-Year Home Residency Requirement 12- and 24-Month Bars
Cultural Programming Obtaining a SSN
Off Campus Payment/Reimbursement Authorization