International Student Researchers

Departments are often interested in bringing international students from institutions outside the U.S. to Washington University to conduct research. To do so, a visa is required. There are different choices of visa options, depending upon the specific situation. This chart summarizes the most commonly used options for visa statuses for students who intend to conduct research at Washington University.
  J-1 Student Intern J-1 Non-Degree Student J-1 Research Scholar
Activities defined by the Department of State for the category Enrolled in and pursuing a degree outside US; primarily in the US to engage in a student internship program rather than to engage in employment or provide services to an employer. A student from overseas may conduct research as the internship activity. Studying; must be engaged full-time in a prescribed course of study. Note that research work can be a prescribed course of study, if the student is registered as a full-time student to conduct this research. Primarily conducting research, observing or consulting with a research project
Conditions to Maintain Status Pursue J-1 activities as Student Intern, as outlined in documentation and on DS-2019/DS-7002 Enrolled full-time during academic year Pursue J-1 activities as outlined in documentation and on DS-2019
Dates of Program/Time limits May come throughout the year. Maximum of 12 months per academic level. Must come in January or August, consistent with beginning of student academic programs. Limited to 24 months total May come throughout the year. Maximum of 5 years
Special Requirements Various requirements apply to be certain that the internship is designed to complete the requirements of the degree at the home institution. Main requirement is that the activity is for a learning experience, rather than productive employment.

The requirements are listed in the J-1 Student Intern Overview on the OISS departmental website (see below).

Cannot have primary funding as personal or family funds; must be substantially funded by employer, sponsoring agency, University or government agency Must have earned at least a Masters degree or be enrolled in a doctoral degree program.
Process Accepted to internship program by sponsoring department. Departmental immigration/visa liaison is in contact with international scholar advisor at OISS. Admitted as non-degree seeking student.

Undergraduate Students- admitted through academic division

Graduate Students: admitted through academic division (GSAS for Arts and Sciences, and DBBS)

Accepted for research position by sponsoring department. Departmental immigration/visa liaison is in contact with international scholar advisor at OISS.
Process to obtain visa documents Immigration/Visa liaison in sponsoring department enters data into ISD documents to OISS; OISS issues DS-2019 & DS-7002 Admitting area enters data into WebISS, submits documents to OISS;

OISS issues DS-2019

Immigration/visa liaison in sponsoring department enters data into ISD, submits documents to OISS; OISS issues DS-2019
Documents Required Checklist on OISS departmental website (see below) – J-1 link to Student Intern Checklist Checklist in Appendix B of WebISS Manual (on OISS departmental website (see below) – Information for Admitting Departments Checklist on OISS departmental website (see below) – J-1 link to Research Scholar/Professor Checklist
System of Record (Obtain IDs, how OISS tracks data) HRMS/ID obtained from HR SIS/Student Records HRMS/ID obtained from HR
Benefits WU employment benefits if J-1 is receiving compensation from WU; if not paid by WU, limited eligibility, depending on the benefit. Contact Benefits Office, Library, Athletics, etc. Same benefits as provided to full-time students, including U-Pass, library access, AC use WU employment benefits if J-1 is receiving compensation from WU; if not paid by WU, limited eligibility, depending on the benefit. Contact Benefits Office, Library, Athletics, etc.
Bar to future J study/research May not return as J research scholar or professor for 12 months after program, if J program exceeds 6 months. May not return as J research scholar or professor for 12 months after program, if J non-degree program exceeds 6 months.

May not change to degree-seeking student as a J.

May not return as J research scholar or professor for 24 months after program is completed.
Orientation Group orientation conducted by OISS Group Orientation as part of school’s orientation Group orientation conducted by OISS
Health Insurance – required by regulation. Can be on a WU plan (if qualified under an employee plan) or insured with an outside provider. Enrolled automatically in student health program Can be on a WU plan (if qualified under an employee plan) or insured with an outside provider
Bar to future J study/research May not return as J research scholar or professor for 12 months after program, if J program exceeds 6 months. May not return as J research scholar or professor for 12 months after program, if J non-degree program exceeds 6 months.

May not change to degree-seeking student as a J.

May not return as J research scholar or professor for 24 months after program is completed.
Other issues All J-1s must report to the OISS upon arrival for validation in SEVIS. Some J-1 will be subject to a two-year home country return requirement. Anyone paid by WU will receive an email to enter data required for the foreign national payroll process. For information on the process for payroll,see the OISS departmental website (see below) under Payroll Process.
OISS Website for Departments Contains links for admitting departments, visa processes for departments sponsoring J-1 Student Interns and Research Scholars, health insurance requirements, and the process for payroll and HRMS appointments for foreign nationals.
Departments should consult with the Office for International Students and Scholars (OISS) about the appropriate visa status for the specific situation, or with other questions related to visas and immigration issues.