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UC Merced International

J-1 Categories & Eligibility


The Exchange Visitor program maybe be used to invite visiting faculty, postdoctoral or postgraduate fellows and associates, as well as other temporary academic appointments. The J-1 exchange program has several categories and the selection of the category dependeds on the length of the UC Merced appointment as well as the possibility of extension. UC Merced is authorized to issue DS-2019's Certificate of Eligibility for the following categories. The Research Scholar category is the most commonly used at UC Merced.

Non-Degree Seeking Student Maximum duration 24 months
Specialist Maximum duration 12 months
Short Term Scholar Maximum duration 6 months
Research Scholar Maximum duration 60 months
Professor Maximum duration 60 months

The J-1 Visa cannot be used for ladder-track or tenured appointments or clerical and technical positions.

Basic Eligibility for UC Merced J Visa Sponsorship

The host department through a selection process must determine that the individual has the appropriate academic credentials and English language proficiency, for the temporary academic appointment.

The host  department must provide evidence of financial support (either UC Merced funds or outside funding) for all expenses, including additional financial support for any accompanying family members. UC Merced has set a minimum of $1,800/month for an individual and an additional $500/month for an accompanying spouse and $300/month for each accompanying child. In all instances the minimum level of funding must be met before a visa document can be issued.

The exchange visitor and his or her accompanying family members must maintain health insurance as mandated by the U.S. Department of State which provides coverage for sicknesses or accidents during the entire J-1 period of time of stay.


All incoming J-1 exchange visitors must have sufficient English language competency and it must be demonstrated before a DS-2019 can be issued. For more information on the English language competency, click here.