J-1 Exchange Visitors

UMKC COVID-19 UPDATES & TRAVEL GUIDANCE: https://www.umkc.edu/news/coronavirus.html

Responsibilities for All Exchange Visitors

  • Must maintain health insurance for entire duration of program including any J-2 dependents
  • Primary purpose must be full-time, temporary research, observation, lecture/to teach, consult, or to participate in seminars, workshops, conferences, and other types of educational or professional activities
  • Must demonstrate and maintain sufficient funds for period of program
  • Must have adequate English proficiency
  • Must notify ISAO of any changes to your name, visa, address, and contact information within 10 days of the change
  • If you have been in the U.S. within the past 24 months, you must let us know

Grace Period

After the end of your program, you will have a 30 day grace period. During this period you are not allowed to work or enroll in courses. You may travel within the U.S., but once you leave the U.S. during your grace period, your visa will end and you will not be able to re-enter on it.

Required Health Insurance

Your health insurance must cover your entire duration of stay stated on your DS-2019. You may purchase health insurance once you arrive. That means you must have coverage from your start date to your end date, it cannot be off by even one day. Health insurance from any company must meet the requirements listed below:

  • $100,000 Medical Benefits Per Accident/Illness
  • $25,000 Repatriation of Remains
  • $50,000 Medical Evacuation
  • $500 Maximum Deductible Per Accident/Illness

Please bring a copy of either:

  • Proof of insurance and policy from U.S. based insurance company
  • Proof of insurance and policy in English and 24-hour phone number based in the United States

Health Insurance
Already Have Health Insurance? Please Submit Confirmation

Financial Documents

Applicants must show proof of funds sufficient to support themselves and any dependents during their stay in the United States. For the 2018-2019 academic year, the amount of $18,645 must be shown for one year but can be pro-rated based on length of stay. An additional $5,670 must be shown for a J-2 dependent spouse and an additional $5,670 for each J-2 dependent child. Financial documents should be dated within the last year and should be liquid funds (checking or savings account) or in the form of scholarship letters.

J-2 Dependents

All J-1 visa holders are allowed to bring their spouse and children over to the U.S. as long as the J-1 visa holder can show proof of funds to support them during their stay. Any married children or children 21 years and above will NOT be able to come over on a J-2 visa. Other family members such as parents, brothers, sisters, etc. will also NOT be able to come over on J-2 visa but may want to look into a B-2 (tourist) visa. If you would like to bring your spouse or children on J-2 visas, you will need to provide the following:

  • Copy of passport photo page of each requested dependent
  • Copy of marriage certificate if requesting a J-2 for your spouse
  • Copy of birth certificate for each J-2 child
  • Proof of funds showing ability to support them ($5,670 for spouse, $5,670 for each child)


J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa Categories at UMKC:

Exchange Student


Please see our dedicated J-1 Students advising page for more information.


Research Scholar and Professor



  • Academic credentials: At least a bachelor’s degree (or international equivalent)
  • Program activities: Research, teaching, and/or lecturing
  • Ineligible for tenure-track positions
  • If previously in the U.S. in this J-category, please contact us to see if you are eligible to return. If you are subject to the 12/24 month bar, you may not be eligible.

Length of stay:

  • Minimum of 3 weeks; maximum of 5 years


Short-Term Scholar



  • Academic credentials: At least a bachelor’s degree (or international equivalent)
  • Program activities: Lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills

Length of Stay:

  • No minimum; maximum of 6 months with no option to extend.
  • Cannot change status to another category within the U.S.


Student Intern



  • Academic credentials: Enrolled in a degree program outside the U.S.
  • Program activities: Internship must fulfill an educational objective at home institution
  • Must plan to return to home institution to complete degree
  • Only available once per degree

Length of Stay:

  • Minimum of 3 weeks; maximum of 12 months with no option to extend
  • Cannot change status to another category within the U.S.

Student-Intern Invitation Process:

We are currently revamping the process for UMKC departments to invite student-interns to Kansas City. Please contact us at isaoadvisor@umkc.edu if you have questions regarding these updated processes or forms.

Step 1: ISAO determines eligibility

This step should be completed at least 3 months prior to the date your department wishes to invite a student-intern to UMKC

Step 2: Department collects student-intern application documents

This step should be completed at least 2 months prior to student-intern’s requested start date at UMKC

    1. Department prepares invitation/offer letter for prospective student-intern
    2. Prospective student-intern submits copies of the following to the host department:

Step 3: ISAO prepares Official Student-Intern Invitation Packet

Please allow 2-4 weeks for ISAO to complete this step

    1. Advisor will review all submitted documentation and make copies for ISAO records
    2. Advisor will prepare DS-2019 for Student-Intern and include it in a packet along with other helpful information for student’s visa application and arrival to UMKC
    3. ISAO will notify department by email when invitation packet is ready for pick-up

Step 4: Department mails invitation packet to student-intern

This step should be completed at least 1 month prior to student-intern’s expected start date at UMKC

    1. Department will be responsible for mailing completed invitation packet to the student-intern
    2. Student-Intern MUST receive the ORIGINAL DS-2019 in order to apply for their visa
    3. Student-Intern must also have a COPY of their DS-7002 for their visa application

J-1 Exchange Visitors: Forms