J1 Exchange Visitor Program Changes

Effective January 5, 2015, the Department of State has mandated regulatory changes to its J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. These changes are:

  1.  "Objective Measurement" of English language proficiency (ELP). Exchange Visitors are now subject to modified English proficiency requirements.  The new provisions require the use one of the following “objective measurements of English language proficiency” to determine language proficiency:
    • A recognized English language test such as the TOEFL;
    • Signed documentation from the ELP of an English language evaluation; or
    • A documented interview conducted by the sponsor either in-person or by videoconferencing, or by telephone if videoconferencing is not a viable option.
  2. SEVIS Reporting Requirements. All J-1 exchange visitors will be required to:
    • Provide an email address for themselves and all dependents;
    • Report if an accompanying spouse or dependent departs from the US prior to the Exchange Visitor’s departure date;
    • Report as soon as possible, but no later than 10 days, any change in US address, phone number, email address or site of activity.
  3. Prohibits the faxing or scanning of DS-2019’s. To ensure compliance with this regulation, OISS can no longer release completed DS-2019’s to the departments and will be responsible for mailing them to the scholar and dependents if they are not on-campus. If they are on-campus, the scholar will be required to personally pick the documents up from OISS.  

Due to the increased costs(mailing cost) associated with the new regulations, the departmental fee of processing DS-2019’s has been increased to $225. OISS has also revised the DS-2019 forms. Please review them accordingly. Should you have any questions regarding the changes, please contact OISS at 313-577-3422.

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