J-1 Funding Requirements

In order to be eligible for J-1 sponsorship, all prospective J-1 exchange visitors are required to meet certain minimum financial support requirements:

  • J-1 exchange visitor - $2600 per month ($31,200 per year)
  • J-2 dependent spouse - $700 per month ($8400 per year)
  • Each J-2 dependent child - $425 per month ($5100 per year)

The J-1 minimum funding requirements are simply the bare minimum and are not intended to encompass the wide range of personal financial needs and lifestyle circumstances that could warrant additional financial resources for a particular exchange visitor applicant. The cost of living in the greater Charleston area is much higher than other areas in the United States.

MUSC can only sponsor a J-1 Exchange Visitor Program for a duration in which funding is secure. Even if an Exchange Visitor Program is anticipated to last for a long duration, the program dates on Form DS-2019 will coincide with the dates for which funding is currently available and verifiable. If an exchange visitor will not complete his/her program by the current program end date on Form DS-2019, and the exchange visitor is eligible for a program extension in the specific J-1 category, the sponsoring MUSC department can request a J-1 program extension once additional financial support becomes available and guaranteed.

Funding Sources

Exchange Visitor Programs can be funded through MUSC, an outside institution, or the exchange visitor’s personal funds (unless the specific J-1 category prohibits personal funds). Exchange Visitor Programs can be funded through a combination of funding sources. For example, a J-1 program may be funded partially by MUSC and partially by the exchange visitor’s home institution.

Exchange Visitor Programs cannot be funded through family funds or individual funds, other than the exchange visitor’s personal funds. In other words, the Exchange Visitor Program cannot be funded by a relative or individual person. If a family member wants to provide funding for the Exchange Visitor Program, the family member must transfer the funding to the exchange visitor’s bank account in advance.

Funding Documentation

Before a prospective J-1 exchange visitor can be issued a Form DS-2019, MUSC must verify that the exchange visitor will have sufficient funding to meet the minimum funding requirements outlined above for the entire duration of the program. Documentation showing proof of funding must be provided during the new J-1 sponsorship application.

If the J-1 exchange visitor will receive financial compensation from MUSC, the sponsoring MUSC department will provide funding documentation during the new J-1 sponsorship application process. If the MUSC funding meets the minimum financial requirements outlined above, the J-1 applicant does not need to provide additional proof of financial support beyond the documentation provided by the sponsoring MUSC department.

If the J-1 exchange visitor will not receive financial compensation from MUSC – or if the J-1 program will only be partially funded by MUSC – the J-1 applicant must provide documentation showing proof of funding for the program during the sponsorship application process. All funding documentation must be in English with amounts in US dollars.

For funding from the exchange visitor’s home institution or another outside organization, the J-1 applicant must provide a letter (on official letterhead) indicating the amount of funding that will be provided to the exchange visitor during the program and the dates that the funding will be provided. The letter must be dated and signed by an official at the funding institution.

For funding from the exchange visitor’s personal funds, the J-1 applicant must provide a copy of an official, certified bank statement in the exchange visitor’s name showing the minimum amount of funding required. Bank statements in the name of a family member or other individual will not be accepted. Screen shots of an online account balance will not be accepted. The bank statement must be in English and provide amounts (or equivalents) in US dollars. If the J-1 applicant is unable to obtain a bank statement in English, the J-1 applicant must obtain an official, certified English translation and attach it to the original bank statement. The English translation must be completed by an official translation service provider. If the J-1 applicant is unable to obtain a bank statement with amounts in US dollars, the applicant must attach an official currency conversion showing the amount in US dollars.