MUSC J-1 Sponsorship Application

After an MUSC department invites you to participate in the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, the sponsoring MUSC department must submit a new sponsorship request through Terra Dotta, MUSC’s international scholar case processing system. The new J-1 sponsorship request must be submitted at least 3 months prior to the target J-1 program start date. However, we generally recommend that requests be submitted 5 to 6 months in advance of the program start date.

Once the request is submitted by the sponsoring MUSC department, you will receive an email with login instructions. You must log in to the system and complete the information on the Exchange Visitor tab and upload required documents on the Documents tab. Be sure to read all instructions provided within the system. Refer to the J-1 Exchange Visitor Applicant Documents List for more details on the required documents. 

All of the documents that you submit must be in English or have an English translation. In addition, all funding documents must be certified and must provide amounts in US dollars. If you cannot get a particular document in English, it is your responsibility to obtain a certified translation of that document.

It is very important that you submit all required documents and provide the information in the portal as soon as possible. Any delay in completing these requirements may cause a delay in the start date of your J-1 Exchange Visitor Program.

In addition, the sponsoring MUSC department will also be required to provide certain documents and information in Terra Dotta for your initial J-1 sponsorship application. The Center for Global Health (CGH) will not be able to review the J-1 sponsorship application until all materials have been submitted by both you (the J-1 applicant) and the sponsoring MUSC department.

This processing time for the J-1 sponsorship application is variable and depends on the CGH total caseload volume at the time the complete application is submitted. Once your complete application is received by CGH, CGH will send you a notification with an estimated processing time. The general estimated processing time window is approximately 4 to 5 weeks from receipt of the complete J-1 sponsorship application.

Form DS-2019

If your J-1 sponsorship application is approved, CGH will issue Form DS-2019, the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status. The Form DS-2019 is a document controlled by the US Department of State that indicates that MUSC is willing to sponsor you in a J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. The Form DS-2019 provides biographic details about you (the J-1 applicant) as well as the specific details of the proposed J-1 Exchange Visitor Program at MUSC.

You will be notified as soon as the Form DS-2019 has been issued. The Form DS-2019 will be shipped directly to you in your home country along with a packet of instructions about J-1 status and the next steps in the process. If you have requested J-2 status for dependent family members who will accompany you to the US for the entire duration of your program, CGH will issue a Form DS-2019 for each J-2 dependent.

You must have the Form DS-2019 in order to begin the J-1 visa application process at the US embassy/consulate abroad. However, please be aware that issuance of a Form DS-2019 from MUSC does not guarantee that you will be approved for a J-1 visa or that you will be admitted into the US. The Form DS-2019 is simply the document that makes you eligible to apply for a J-1 visa.

The Form DS-2019 is a very important document. During the time of your J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, you may receive multiple Forms DS-2019, if any of the details on the form change. You are responsible for retaining all original copies of all Forms DS-2019 issued for you indefinitely as part of your US immigration records. Do not discard any previous Forms DS-2019. You may be required to present these documents at a later time to prove that you have maintained valid status in the US.

SEVIS I-901 Fee

After receiving your Form DS-2019 from MUSC, you must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. This is a one-time fee required for all new J-1 exchange visitors. The current SEVIS I-901 fee for J-1 applicants is $220. This fee is subject to change at any time. 

The SEVIS I-901 fee can be paid online. Visit the ICE I-901 SEVIS Fee Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to frequently asked questions regarding the SEVIS fee.

You must bring your I-901 SEVIS fee payment receipt with you when you apply for your visa. If you are applying for a change of status to J-1 in the US, you must have the SEVIS I-901 fee receipt to file with your change of status petition. Canadian applicants (who are exempt from the visa requirements) are still required to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee.

You do not need to pay the SEVIS fee for a dependent child or spouse who will accompany you to the US. There is no separate SEVIS I-901 fee for J-2 dependents.