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Center for Global Studies & International Education

Request to Invite An Exchange Visitor

This information is intended for sponsoring academic departments at Morgan State University (MSU) who are interested in inviting or currently working with J-1 exchange visitors.


1. Please start by informing Mr. Johnson Niba, Director for Study Abroad and Scholar Exchange in the Center for Global Studies & International Education (the Center) that you are contemplating extending an invitation to an Exchange Visitor. At that time, we can be sure that the J-1 visa is feasible for your prospective visitor or discuss other options. The Center will determine which category of the J-1 Visa is suitable for your prospective visitor.

2. The MSU faculty member who will be responsible for coordinating the exchange activity, also known as the sponsor, should complete the Request to Invite an Exchange Visitor form (in its entirety); obtain all the necessary signatures of approval; attach all supporting documentation and then submit the packet to the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs & Provost to obtain final approval and his/ her signature.

3. Upon receipt of the packet at the Center, the Vice President for International Affairs will issue a letter of invitation to the prospective visitor. The staff will create a record (on behalf of the prospective visitor) in the Department of Homeland Security's Information System, download and print a J-1 visa application certificate (Form DS-2019) and prepare the visa/invitation packet and mail it to the overseas party, which they will take with them to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate for an interview to obtain a visa. The turn-around time to create a record is 3 - 10 days, depending on the time of year.

4. Upon arrival at Morgan, the Visiting Scholar must check-in with staff at the Center for Global Studies & International Education to have their papers processed prior to starting their assigned duties.


J-1 visa status is limited to those who hold University temporary, "visiting" academic positions. The J-1 program at Morgan State University may not be used for clinical appointments, for tenure-track faculty positions, regular faculty or support positions, and administrative positions, or staff positions.

Be sure to check your own school's internal policy regarding appointments, positions, lengths, and restrictions. If unsure, please check with the Dean's Office of your respective school/department.

During the duration of their stay in the United States, the Exchange Visitor will be the responsibility of the Sponsor and his/her School will assume responsibility for the welfare and well being of the Exchange Visitor to include assistance with housing arrangements, Bear Cards and E-mail account acquisitions.

Application Instructions & Requirements

Minimum Funding Requirements
The following is the required minimum funding requirement for J-1 Exchange Visitor and Scholars: 

  • Exchange Visitor: A  minimum of $18,000 a year ($1,500/month) 
  • Exchange Visitor & One Dependent: A minimum of $27,000 a year ($2,250 per month)
  • Exchange Visitor & Two Dependents: A minimum of $31,500 ($2,625 per month)
  • Each additional dependent (more than two): Add $375 per month

These funds may come from Morgan, an outside organization, or the individual may be supported by his or her own institution/resources.
Immigration regulations require proof of sufficient supporting funds before an immigration document can be issued. The funding document must have been issued within the past 12 months. If the funding document is not in English, it should be translated. All currency must be quoted in US dollars.

Bachelor's Degree Requirement
All J-1 exchange visitors/ scholars at Morgan State are required to have at least a Bachelor's Degree in a directly related field and have demonstrated relevant experience in their field of expertise.

Special Documentation for Scholars with Non-Morgan Site of Activity
In general, all J-1 scholars will conduct their activities at Morgan. In rare situations, the J-1 activity might occur at a non-Morgan site under the full, day-to-day supervision of a regular full-time Morgan faculty member. In such cases, attach a letter from the Chair of the hosting department that includes the following:

  • Dates of visit
  • The nature of research activities to be performed
  • Site(s) of activity, including full address
  • How the J-1 activity will be a continuation of the Morgan department's on-going research projects/programs (note: while at a non-Morgan State site, the J-1 must only conduct Morgan's research)
  • Official relationship between the Morgan State department and the non-Morgan site of activity
  • Name and title of full-time Morgan State faculty or PI who will supervise the J-1 program activity throughout the J-1 scholar's stay in the U.S.
  • Funding arrangements at the non-Morgan site (e.g. additional funding, new funding source, etc.)

Payment of SEVIS Fee
A scholar must have proof that they have paid this fee to the US government prior to visiting a US consulate to apply for their J-1 visa to enter the US.

  • Citizens of Canada and Bermuda do not need visas to enter the US, but they must have proof of payment of the SEVIS fee (that can be printed from the fee website) when they enter the US in J-1 status for the first time.
  • If they are already in the U.S. and will apply for a change of status to J-1, they must also pay the SEVIS fee before submitting their change of status application to USCIS.
  • A scholar or academic department may use a major credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, issued in any country to anyone) and access to the internet can pay the SEVIS fee online and print out a confirmation that you can use as proof of payment.

To pay the SEVIS fee online go to

Health Insurance Requirements
Unlike any other immigration categories, The U.S Department of State federally mandates all J-1 and J-2 status holders to carry adequate health insurance coverage. The J-1 scholar must purchase insurance for him/herself and his/her J-2 dependents immediately upon arrival in the US.

If the J-1 Scholar and/or dependents fail to maintain the mandatory health insurance coverage, they will be in violation of federal immigration regulations; will be subject to termination as a participant; and must leave the US immediately.

The required insurance coverage must meet the following:

  • Medical insurance must cover the entire period of participation in the Exchange Visitor program.
  • Medical benefits must provide a minimum of $50,000 per accident or illness.
  • Medical evacuation must be covered in the amount of $10,000, minimum. (Medical evacuation is emergency medical transportation to the home country.)
  • Repatriation must be covered in the amount of $7,500, minimum (In the unfortunate event of death, repatriation is the transportation of remains back to the home country.)
  • The deductible must not exceed $500 per accident or illness.

If the J-1/J-2 is covered under Morgan States' insurance plan, s/he meets the DOS insurance coverage requirements. In the event that the University's health insurance plans do not cover repatriation and medical evacuation, the J-1/J-2 should purchase supplemental insurance to cover repatriation and medical evacuation. Failure to secure or maintain adequate health insurance will result in termination of the J-1 program participation.

It is J-1 scholar's responsibility to purchase and maintain the  required health insurance coverage as mandated by the U.S. Department of State.

View more information on the university's health insurance policy.