J1 Visa Visitors

Thank you for your interest in J-1 visa program at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Below you will find basic information on how the J-1 visa process works. Please note that the process may vary from department to department and that the information contained below is only a basic guide.

Basic J-1 Visa Information

The International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) office is the designated authority on campus that issues J-1 visas. For more information on their process please visit the ISSS office website for more information on the basics of a J-1 visa.

How we handle your J-1 Visa Request

Timeframe (When can I start?)

The J-1 visa process at the University of Maryland currently takes at minimum 90-120 days to process.

This timeframe starts from the time you compete the J-1 data collection form as described below in the process section.

Expedite (Is there a way to expedite my visa request?)

At this time there is no way to expedite the J-1 visa process.

The International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) office handles J-1 and H-1 visas, plus other visa requests for the entire University of Maryland community. We must stay within the guidelines provided by the ISSS office.

The Process (What happens?)

Individual department representatives work with the International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) office to help you obtain your Ds-2019. You are welcome to reach out to individual faculty members to see if they are interested in sponsoring your visit to the University of Maryland. Faculty members need to be the ones who reach out to us to process a DS-2019 or to request sponsorship of the J-1 visa.

The process will vary from department to department, however, each department basically collects the same information required to start the J-1 visa process.

    1. A faculty member will send a request to the department representative that handles J-1 visa requests
    2. Faculty member will provide offer letter to visitor.
    3. Department representative with contact visitor seeking the sponsorship
    4. Visitor will provide department representative with information such as:

You will need to provide a copy of your passport. Your passport is used to verify the following information:

  • Legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Country of issue

You will need to provide an updated Curriculum Vitae (CV) as one of your documents to us. The CV is used to determine a number of factors such as:

  • Title verfication
  • Current employment
  • Degrees earned or being earned
  • Accomplishments

Your CV needs to contain the following:

  • Degree Type (EX: Phd, M.S., etc…)
  • Month and Year Degree Earned (EX: June, 2012)
  • Country Where Degree Was Earned
  • University/Institution Name
  • Your signature and date signed

You will need to provide your highest completed degree to us either supplying a copy of your transcript or a copy of your degree. Your highest degree information along with your CV is sent to the College of Engineering and Provost when we release your appointment for approval.

Transcript or Degree

  • Degree must be translated to english
  • Transcript must show the degree has been granted

The J-1 Exchange Visitor must possess English language skills sufficient to function on a day-to-day basis and to successfully participate in their program.   English language proficiency can only be verified through one of the following:

    1. English Language Tests
      • English language test – TOEFL with a minimum score of 80
      • English language test – IELTS with a minimum score of 5.5
      • TOEIC Listening and Reading Test with a minimum score of 400 on listening and 400 on reading
    2. English Proficiency Interview can be conducted by one of the following:
    3. For citizens of English speaking countries, we will not require additional documentation.  We will ask that departments email us a copy of the highest degree earned, which is already collected during the hiring process. Click here to view a list of English Speaking Countries.

For more infomration, visit our English proficiency page.

If you are a Masters’ or PhD student, you will need to upload the following documents to the iTerp system.

  • A copy of your transcript; and
  • A letter from the home university certifying:
    1. The student is in good academic standing
    2. The research at the University of Maryland is necessary for completion of degree
    3. If a PhD student, expected date of defense and graduation.
    4. If a Master’s student, expected date of graduation

Sample Letters

Using the sample letters as guide will save you time and ensure that the letter you submit will be one that can and will be used by our International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) office.


The University of Maryland requires J-1 exchange visitors to show a minimum of $26,370 + $4,500 per dependent per year. If your visit to the U.S. will be less than one (1) year then you only need to provide documentation of funding for the number of months that you intend to be in the U.S. ($2,197.50 for the scholar + $375 for each dependent – per month). If you are not financially supported by the University of Maryland and have other funding sources, please send proof of your funding to your departmental contact at The University of Maryland.


All official documentation should be on letterhead and signed and dated within three months of the submission date. If the funding documentation is issued in a foreign language, please provide a copy of the original and a certified translation to your department.

  • University of Maryland
  • Personal funds in the form of a bank statement (bonds and investments are not acceptable). If supported by family funds, please include a signed letter of support from the family sponsor. This option is limited to students enrolled in a Master’s or PhD program abroad.
  • Foreign institution (home university funding, company salary, etc.) in the form of an award letter certifying your title, salary amount, and that you will continue to receive your salary for the duration of your program at the University of Maryland. Letter must be on institution or company letterhead.
  • Grants or scholarships evidenced in the form of an award letter.
  • U.S. or home country government funding in the form of an award letter.


If you are using scholarships or award letters to fund your visit, the University of Maryland uses the lowest amount indicated on the scholarship or award letter.

For example:

If you are in the United States for one (1) year, you are required to have enough funding available to you to live in Maryland. Currently that rate is $26,370 per year or $2,197.50 per month.
Your award letter may contain the following notation “stipend is USD 1 ,400-1,800 per month”, the University of Maryland will only use the USD 1,400 per month rate.

So, we calculate your needed funds the following way.

  • One (1) year stay; $26,370.00
  • Award letter USD 1 ,400-1,800 per month; $1,400 x 12 months = $16,800.00
  • $26,370.00 – $16,800.00 = $9,570.00 short

Based on the above calculation you would be short $9,570.00. You would need to provide additional funding sources for your stay in the United States. The award letter would not be enough to cover your stay.

Once you complete and submit the J-1 Visa Data Collection Form, the department representative handling your visa request will initiate the iTerp process. It can take a few days before you receive an email from the iTerp system.

If you need to contact anyone, please contact the department representative that is handling your visa request.

Note: You can only upload pdf documents. Please convert your documents to pdf’s prior to uploading.


Upon your arrival or even before your arrival you can start the process of updating your Glacier Tax information. It’s actually a good idea to complete as much as you can prior to your arrival. You can always complete or update the information later.

Prior to your arrival you should have received an email from support@online-tax.net. This email contains the necessary information to access the Glacier System.

  • Click on the following web link: http://www.onlinetax.net to get started
  • Enter your temporary UserID and Password contained within the email
  • Follow the directions as indicated by the system
  • When you get to the Relationship screen you will use the graphic below to assist.
    • Most J-1 and H-1 visitors will select the Faculty checkbox
    • F-1 and J-1 students will select Graduate Assistant/Research Assistant (if paid as a GRA or TA)
    • F-1 and J-1 students will select Student Worker (if paid as a TF, Undergraduate Hourly, Graduate Hourly)

Known Issues

    1. W4 that Glacier generates is wrong – The correct W4 can be found here.
      • Payroll System: UM
      • Name of Employing Agency: University of Maryland
      • Agency Number: 360222
    2. Income Relationship – First four choices are “jobs” with the university, next two are fellowship, all others are independent contractors (honoraria). e.g. GAs with fellowships need to select “Graduate Assistant/Research Assistant” AND “Student” so they can choose both the compensation/wages and fellowship income.
    3. Glacier only uses no-services required fellowships that are labeled “Student” and “Researcher”. These are only checked if you have a fellowship that requires no work, such as a Dean’s fellowship.
    4. Don’t have a Social Security Number (SSN). Just indicate on the Personal Information that you do NOT have a U.S. issued SSN.

  2. Original entry date should be the first day you came into the U.S. on the same type of visa that you are currently on.


  1. Department representative with release iTerp system to visitor for DS-2019 processing
  2. Department representative will send paid or non-paid agreement for signature
  3. Once iTerp system has been completed by visitor, department representative will send to ISSS for final processing
  4. Final processing can take up to 30 days.
  5. Once DS-2019 is ready, department representative will contact you requesting your mailing address
  6. Ds-2019 with be sent by FedEx, UPS or by other courier
  7. Visitor is responsible for process at this point and can vary upon the situation
  8. Visitor arrives and checks in with the department representative
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