J-1 Exchange Visitor Scholars Visa Type

Table of Contents

General Information
Type(s) of Payment Allowed
Length of Stay Allowed
Visa Application Process
Special Conditions/Requirements
Required Documents Summary
Forms Needed for Non-Payroll Payments (Non-employees paid through Accounting Services)
Fellowships, Scholarships and Participant Support
Policy:
Honorarium (Payment for Services)(with Travel Reimbursement included in Honorarium Payment)
Travel Reimbursement
Forms Required for Payroll Payments (Employees paid through Human Resource System (HRS)
Salary
Fellowships, Scholarships and Participant Support
Tax Liability/Withholding:
Social Security Tax
Federal Tax
Payroll (Salary):
Non-Payroll (Accounting Services Payments)
State Tax
Payroll (Salary):
Non-Payroll (Accounting Services Payments)

General Information

  • The J-1 classification is the one most commonly used at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  • The Exchange Visitor Program was established after World War II to promote international educational exchange, and is currently under the jurisdiction of the United States Information Agency.
  • Its purpose is to bring scholars to the United States temporarily for a specific educational objective, such as teaching, conducting research, studying etc.  There is a separate category within the Exchange Visitor Program for each type of activity.
  • All Exchange Visitors and their dependents are expected to return home after their program, and some are required to do so for a period of two years (see "special conditions" below).
  • The J-1 categories of Research Scholar, Professor, and Short Term Scholar are appropriate for visiting faculty and staff who clearly do not intend to remain in the United States for more than the maximum of three years.

Type(s) of Payment Allowed

  • fellowship or scholarship
  • honorariums (payment for services)
  • participant support
  • salary
  • travel reimbursement

Length of Stay Allowed

  • research scholars and professors - minimum 15 days, maximum three years
  • short-term scholars - no minimum, maximum six months

Visa Application Process

  • One day to two weeks for the scholar to obtain the visa from the United States Consulate.
  • Transfer within the United States takes about two additional weeks.

Special Conditions/Requirements

  • must be a temporary position
  • maximum stay of three years
  • Some J-1s are subject to the two year home residence requirement, which bars them from changing to any other status while in the United States and from obtaining an H, L or immigrant visa outside the United States.  This applies if they:
    1. receive funding from their own government or ours;
    2. their country has a skills list that includes the activity in which they are engaged in here; or
    3. obtain graduate medical education under the sponsorship of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.
  • A waiver is possible in some instances, but it is particularly difficult in the cases of government funding and Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates sponsorship.
  • Change of category within J-1 program (student to scholar etc.) is generally not possible.
  • Anyone who was in J status (J-1 or J-2) for more than 6 months during any part of the 12 months preceding a proposed entry as a J-1 Researcher or Professor is ineligible for J-1 status for a period of 12 months.  This bar does not apply if the person was here as a Short-Term Scholar or if the person is transferring from another Exchange Visitor Program.
  • All J-1s and dependents must have health insurance that meets United States Information Agency criteria.
  • All J-1’s must have sufficient command of the English language to achieve their program objectives.
  • Foreign Medical Graduates who wish to pursue a residency or clinical fellowship must obtain Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates sponsorship.

Required Documents Summary

  • Evidence of formal UW-Madison appointment or invitation to consult, give a guest lecture, etc.
  • Evidence of adequate financial support.
  • IRS Form W-8BEN for tax reportable payments

Forms Needed for Non-Payroll Payments (Non-employees paid through Accounting Services)

Fellowships, Scholarships and Participant Support

  • Use a Payment to Individual Report (PIR)
  • IRS Form W-8BEN for tax reportable payments.
  • Social Security Number, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or copy of completed/signed/filed ITIN application required.

Policy:

Honorarium (Payment for Services)(with Travel Reimbursement included in Honorarium Payment)  

  • Use a Payment to Individual Report (PIR)
  • IRS Form W-8BEN for tax reportable payments.
  • Social Security Number, Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or copy of completed/signed/filed ITIN application required.
  • Note:   If the person is either a Professor, teacher, researcher, or scientist with a J-1 or H-1 visa doing teaching or research, or a student/trainee with an F-1 or J-1 visa, receiving compensation for personal services and a resident of a tax treaty country listed on the appropriate Revenue Procedure Statement (see statements at PDF), they can claim exemption from withholding of tax by completing a Form 8233 and applicable Revenue Procedure Statement. Individuals who are on student visas use Revenue Procedure Statement 87-8. Individuals who are on non-student visas use Revenue Procedure Statement 87-9.
  • Note: Any J-1’s who are on a J-1 Program from other than the paying UW campus must have the paying UW campus indicated as a source of support on the DS-2019, or have written authorization from the Responsible Officer of the Program to receive any form of fee for service.

Travel Reimbursement

Forms Required for Payroll Payments (Employees paid through Human Resource System (HRS)

Salary

  • Contact you Dean’s Office Payroll Representative for additional documentation required for completing the I-9 Verification and other required documents to set up the employee on the Human Resources System (HRS).

Fellowships, Scholarships and Participant Support

  • Contact you Dean’s Office Payroll Representative for additional documentation required for completing the I-9 Verification and other required documents to set up the employee on the Human Resources System (HRS).

Tax Liability/Withholding:

Social Security Tax

  • Contact you Dean’s Office Payroll Representative for additional documentation required for completing the I-94 Verification and other required documents to set up the employee on the Human Resources System (HRS).

Federal Tax

Payroll (Salary):

  • Contact you Dean’s Office Payroll Representative for additional documentation required for completing the I-94 Verification and other required documents to set up the employee on the Human Resources System (HRS).

Non-Payroll (Accounting Services Payments)

Scholarships, Fellowships and Participant Support:

14% withholding, unless tax treaty exemption applies and Form W-8BEN is filed.  To determine if tax treaty applies refer to IRS Publication 901, Table 2 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p901.pdf) or Accounting Services Policy and Procedure: 601-Tax Compliance, Reporting, and Withholding on Non-Salary Payments under Nonresident Aliens (NRA), Visas, Restrictions and Tax Treaties (direct link is Restrictions and Tax Treaties).

Travel Reimbursement:

None

Payment for Services:

Honorariums (Payment for Services) require withholding of 30% federal tax, unless tax treaty exemption applies and Form 8233 is filed.  To determine if tax treaty applies refer to IRS Publication 901, Table 2 (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p901.pdf) or Accounting Services Policy and Procedure: 601-Tax Compliance, Reporting, and Withholding on Non-Salary Payments under Nonresident Aliens (NRA), Visas, Restrictions and Tax Treaties (direct link is Restrictions and Tax Treaties).

State Tax

Payroll (Salary):

  • Contact you Dean’s Office Payroll Representative for additional documentation required for completing the I-94 Verification and other required documents to set up the employee on the Human Resources System (HRS).

Non-Payroll (Accounting Services Payments)

  • Scholarships, Fellowships and Participant Support:

    None.
  • Travel Reimbursement:

    None.
    • Payment for Services:

      None, except entertainers or public speakers paid over $3,200, which are taxed at 6%.