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J-1 Students

J-1 Scholar Program at Buffalo State

J-1 status is primarily for students who come to the United States to participate in an exchange program, generally for a year or less.

The Exchange Visitor Program is designed to bring scholars, researchers, professors, and specialists to the United States for a variety of educational and cultural exchange purposes. These individuals are often under the sponsorship of an agency or organization that has been designated as an exchange visitor sponsor by the U.S. government. SUNY Buffalo State has been granted this designation and, accordingly, is authorized to issue the Form DS-2019, the form used by the prospective Exchange Visitor to apply for their J-1 visa. The J-1 visa is set apart from all other non-immigrant visa classes by its underlying philosophy of educational and cultural exchange.

International Student and Scholar Services provides the following:

  • Prepare and send the DS-2019 and preliminary orientation materials
  • Enroll the scholar in the required health insurance
  • Review visa and other travel documents upon the visitor’s arrival
  • Validate the visitor in the SEVIS system (online tracking system for international students and scholars)
  • Provide on-site orientation concerning responsibilities of a J-1 visa holder
  • Provide information about securing a New York State driver’s license, if needed
  • Provide information about securing a Social Security number, if needed
  • Provide information about local health providers that accept the SUNY health insurance
  • Encourage attendance at cultural programing on and off campus.

Faculty Sponsor assists the J-1 Scholars with:

  • Meet the visitor at the airport upon arrival and see him/her off at the time of departure
  • Provide mentoring to assist the visitor in achieving his/her goals while here
  • If not providing an office and a computer, identify a space where the visitor may work and otherwise spend time while on campus
  • Arrange for a computing account and ID card with Computing Services and Butler Library
  • Assist the scholar with housing arrangements
  • Provide transportation, as needed, during the visit
  • Accompany the visitor to doctor and dental appointments (this is particularly important if the visitor’s needs language support)
  • Arrange social events to assist the visitor in meeting members of the department, the campus community, and the community at large

Arrival of Visiting Scholars

The Office of Global Engagement should be notified by email as to when the scholar will be arriving to Buffalo.

The scholar should arrange for an appointment to meet with The Office of Global Engagement prior to their arrival.  This meeting will include an orientation discussing J-1 visa holder responsibilities and all logistics concerning paperwork.  It is up to the faculty mentor as to whether or not they would like to attend this meeting, however it is encouraged so that there is understanding of all responsibilities.

The scholar should arrive to the meeting prepared with their DS-2019, passport, visa, health insurance payment and the administrative fee payment.

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International Student and Scholar Services

1300 Elmwood Ave  •  South Wing 410 •  Buffalo, NY 14222
Phone: (716) 878-5331 •  Fax: (716) 878-3054