Visiting Scholars will be issued a J-1 visa for the period of time they will be at the Law School.
Visitors should not enter the country prior to 30 days before the start date listed on their DS-2019 form. There is a 30-day “grace period” after the conclusion of the visa during which bearers of J-1 visas can remain in the country.
Immigration policies are constantly changing; please rely on the ISSO’s website for more current information.
Below are the steps a Visiting Scholar should follow in order to receive a DS-2019 Visa Certificate, which you will use to apply for a visa in your home country:
1. Gather the following documentation:
- Your current Curriculum Vitae (C.V.)
- Download and complete the Combined Application Form (Word Document)
- DS-2019 from any previous J-1 programs (if applicable)
- Documentation of Funding. The U.S. Government requires that you provide proof of your ability to meet your financial needs while in the country. The current requirement is to show at least $2,800/month for yourself; plus an additional $1,000 per month for an accompanying spouse, and $500/month for each accompanying minor under the age of 21.
- Copy of the identification page of your passport (and the same page from the passports of your accompanying spouse and/or dependents)
- Download and complete the English Language Proficiency Confirmation (PDF)
- Download and complete the Acknowledgement of Medical Insurance (PDF)
- Proof of payment of the $300 ISSO Administrative fee (pay online here). Please send a copy of your receipt along with the other documents listed above.
Please submit all of the above materials in a single email to IntlProgramsManager@law.columbia.edu or by fax to +1 212-851-7691.
2. These forms are reviewed by the Law School and then submitted to the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) of Columbia Univeristy. The ISSO sends a physical copy of the DS-2019, via Federal Express delivery to the J-1 Visiting Scholar.
3. When you receive your DS-2019 form, you should make an appointment at the closest U.S. consulate. Be sure to bring your DS-2019 and your passport with you on the day of your appointment, along with the other required documentation such as your financial documentation showing means of support for the duration of the stay in the United States, and two passport-size photographs (37mm X 37mm). The U.S. Consulate will charge a fee for visa processing, which varies from country to country. If you are bringing a spouse or children, passports, financial information and photographs must also be submitted for each person.
Please note: Canadian citzens do not need an entry visa from the U.S. embassy but must enter with a DS-2019 form.
4. Individual procedures and the amount of time required to obtain a visa vary from country to country. The Consular Officer has the ultimate word on any application.
Extension of a J-1 Visa at Columbia University
In order to extend the duration of stay and the J-1 Visa at Columbia Law School, an application from the Office of International Programs must be submitted to ISSO. This application can only be issued with the approval of the Visiting Scholars Sub-Committee and the sponsoring faculty member. The Visiting Scholar will be required to show funding sources for the duration of his/her stay.
Transfer of J-1 Status to Columbia University (within the United States)
Follow steps one and two as listed under the above heading “Outside of the United States.” Proof of financial support and a signed insurance affidavit are required. Regulations require that the transfer of J-1 status to Columbia must be completed before the end date of the current DS-2019 form. If the visitor does not have a valid J-1 visa at the time of transfer, it will be necessary for that person to leave the U.S. and apply for a new J-1 entry visa at a U.S. Consulate.
**Please Note: This information is not comprehensive and policies and regulations are changing on a regular basis. Please visit the ISSO website. If you have questions please contact the closest U.S. Consulate.