Amending a J-1 Visitor's Program
Step 1: Complete the EV Amendment Request Form
The EV Amendment Request Form is an all-purpose form for all possible amendments. After filling out the top section, which includes the Exchange Visitor’s biographical information, department contacts should complete the form by going through each check box and checking off all applicable amendments. For any box that is checked off, please also complete the corresponding fields and/or signatures for that amendment. Please note that the maximum duration for Short-Term Scholars is six months, while the maximum duration for Research Scholars and Professors is five years.
Once all amendments are checked off and their fields are completed, the financial information should be filled out if “Change of Funding” was checked off.
The signature page must be completed with signatures from all relevant parties.
Step 2: Draft an amendment offer letter
A new offer letter must be included for all amendments. Exchange visitors often need new visa stamps during their J-1 program, and it’s important that they have up-to-date offer letters for visa renewal. Please use our amendment request offer letter templates. The templates are below under the each type of amendment.
Step 3: Check that the Exchange Visitor’s health insurance is up to date
EVS will not process amendment request for visitors whose insurance will expire in a month or less. Please have the Exchange Visitor take care of their health insurance renewal before submitting amendment requests. All insurance for any J2 dependents must also be up to date. All insurance updates should be sent directly to email@example.com.
Step 4: Include third-party funding documents (if applicable)
If the amendment is to add a source of funding other than UF funding, the department contact must include such documentation as part of the amendment request packet. Third-party funding must follow these guidelines.
Step 5: Submit completed amendment request packet to firstname.lastname@example.org
Attach the completed amendment request form, the amended offer letter, and external proof of funding (if applicable). Insurance updates should be sent separately to email@example.com. If everything is complete, the amended DS2019 should be ready shortly. We will contact you if there are any issues or questions.
Special Instructions for J-1 Student Interns
In addition to the above steps, Student Interns must also submit a revised DS-7002 Form. Student Intern programs cannot exceed 12 months, and the amendment offer letter should refer to them specifically as a “Student Intern” rather than “Research Scholar” or “Short-Term Scholar.” It will also be necessary for the Student Intern to seek approval from their home institution to extend their stay at UF. A letter from their home institution approving the extension should be included.
Amendment Request Procedures
Amendment Requests inform EVS of important updates to an Exchange Visitor’s EVS file, SEVIS record and/or DS-2019. Keeping information up-to-date and accurate is crucial for EVS to administer a sound J Program, show UF host department responsibility as well as ensure the Exchange Visitor remains in good immigration status.
Most Amendment Requests will utilize the EV Amendment Request Form. Other documents may be required such as a new UF invitation/offer letter and proof of funds.
The procedures below will detail how to request amendments to:
- Change Program Dates Prior to EVS Check-In (deferring attendance)
- Change/Add Worksite Location (site of activity)
- Change of a Supervisor
- Change of Funding (amount and/or source)
- Extension of Program End Date (DS-2019 extension)
- Reduction in Length of Program (shorten a program currently in progress)
Extension of Program End Date
To request an extension of an on-going J-1 program (DS-2019 extension) the UF host department completes the EV Amendment Request Form, provides the extension invitation/offer letter and any needed proof of funds to support the extension. The “Dates Requested” should be the day after the EV’s current DS-2019 would expire, to the newly requested end date. These dates should reflect in the extension UF offer/invitation letter. Once a DS-2019 expires EVS cannot extend the program further. If a J-1 has an approved 212e waiver EVS cannot extend the DS-2019. Appropriate letter templates are linked below.
Changing the program dates for an incoming Exchange Visitor (EV), is often required due to a variety of factors; this is commonly referred by EVS as a “Push Back”. Should it be necessary to change the program start and/or end date on a DS-2019 for an incoming EV prior to EVS check-in/SEVIS validation, the UF host department may submit a revised UF invitation/offer letter to EVS. The EV should be provided a copy of the revised invitation/offer letter by the department. EVS will defer the program date/s in SEVIS and issue the amended DS-2019 to the department. The department will need to collect the amended DS-2019 to ship to the incoming EV. The department may provide a FedEx or DHL waybill to EVS for direct shipping from EVS. Should there not be enough time to get the amended DS-2019 to the incoming EV prior to their UF arrival, the department may collect the amended DS-2019 and give to the EV upon their UF department check-in. All updates in SEVIS can be viewed by the adjudicating U.S. consular as well as the U.S. Port of Entry. Deferring program dates does not require the use of the EV Amendment Request Form. Changing program dates on the initial SEVIS record/DS-2019 does not change anything about the immigration record except for the program dates. This change will not affect any previous action conducted or in-progress by the EV such as paying the SEVIS I-901 fee, a visa appointment in-progress or a visa they has already been approved. Appropriate letter templates are linked below.
Amendment requests are strongly encouraged to be submitted to EVS at least 30 days in advance to the desired action. Requests to update site of activity and change of supervisor which would be related to an EV changing UF host supervisors/departments will be completed closer to the requested date of the proposed change.
Please note, the top section of the EV Amendment Request (J-1 Exchange Visitor’s Information) should be current information about the J-1. Address requested is the EV’s current U.S. address and current U.S. phone number (not information for the EV outside of the U.S. or the UF host department).
Change or Addition of Worksite Location
The worksite location or primary site of activity is important and reflects on the EV’s DS-2019. This information can be used by various federal entities should they have a need to directly locate the EV, and is a requirement for the EV to maintain their J-1 visa status. The primary site of activity is the name/location of where the EV conducts a majority of their UF program activities, and is a key location to be contacted should the EV need to be located. If a department wishes to change the primary site of activity the EV Amendment Request is used. Should an EV use a secondary site of activity 20% or more during the UF program, then a secondary site of activity needs to be provided. Only the primary site of activity reflects on the DS-2019. Secondary sites of activity are important however are only viewed within SEVIS. A revised UF invitation/offer letter would only be required if this amendment also is included with a change of primary faculty host supervisor.
Change of Supervisor
Should an EV wish to switch UF faculty host sponsors this is permitted providing the change will not affect the original program objectives which the EV was first invited to UF to perform. A change in program objectives is not permitted, and must remain consistent. The “new” department (if there is a change in UF College/department) should complete page A-3 of the EV Amendment Request. A change in supervisor may also require updates to the primary site of activity, program end date (extension or shorten), and funding. This request will require the EV Amendment Request and new UF invitation/offer letter. Appropriate letter templates are linked below.
The above amendment requests will use the EV templates:
Change of Funding
Requests an update to funding amount and/or funding source. If UF funding provided a copy of the EVS offer letter is required. Back-up documentation will be required along with the EV Amendment Request for this update. Changes in funding amount and/or source does reflect on the DS-2019. If a J-1 has an approved 212e waiver EVS cannot change a funding source to a new third party non-personal source. Appropriate letter templates are linked below.
The letter template is to be used if an amendment request for a change of funding only is requested and the update/new funding is UF funding. If multiple amendments are being requested please use the templates above.
Reduction in Length of Program
If an Exchange Visitor will end their UF program 15 days or more prior to the end of the originally requested program end date the department will need to inform EVS of the new program end date and why the program will be shortened. The drop down for on the EV Amendment Request contains a variety of reasons as required from SEVIS.
If the host department selects “HAS NOT” in the program objectives statement, they must explain why the program objectives were not met.
If an EV will end their UF program less than 15 days prior to the end of the originally requested program end date the EV Amendment Request is not required. The EV may provide exit flight itinerary (in English) to their EVS J Program Advisor. Upon receipt of exit flight itinerary the program end date can be shortened.
Shortening a program end date retroactively is certainly permitted however doing so in advance is highly desired. If a retroactive shortening of program end date is conducted, this amendment section is used by the UF host department to request or decline a copy of the DS-2019.
J-1 categories may not exceed total program time (including time spent at another U.S. institution if the EV transferred-in to UF) as noted below.
- Short-Term Scholar: 6-months
- Research Scholar: 5-years
- Professor: 5-years
- Student Intern: 12-months
- J-1: $1,500 per month
- J-2 Spouse: $1,000 per month
- J-2 Child: $500 per child, per month
Additional Funding Information
Proof of financial support is required to show the applicant (and any requested J-2 dependents) has sufficient funding for EVS’s estimated monthly cost of living for the length of the program. EVS only pro-rates the funding at half-month intervals (rounded up to the next interval), meaning if the applicant’s UF program dates would be 4-months and 5-days, the funding proof would need to be shown for 4 ½ -months); if an applicant’s UF program dates would be 4-months and 17-days, the funding proof would need to be shown for 5-months. EVS is not asking for the applicant to pay the required funding amount, we simply must verify the applicant (and any requested J-2 dependents) have sufficient means of financial support while in the U.S. The cost of living is an estimate based on a UFIC formula which includes a variety of factors such as housing, utilities, transportation, food, entertainment, health insurance, minor medical expenses as well as personal and miscellaneous expenses.
All funding proof must be in English. Currency noted on the support proof can be noted in any currency as long as the currency is clearly noted (EVS can convert the currency). Combinations of funding are permitted.
Funding of any type provided by the applicant’s UF host department would be noted in the UF offer letter. In-kind housing provided by a UF host department is acceptable towards the overall proof of funds (example, if a UF Research and Education Center will allow the applicant to live in their on-site housing, the UF invitation letter can state “we will offer you on-site housing accommodations equivalent to $500 per month.” If the applicant has program dates equal to 4-months in which $1,500 per month in funding would be required, the $500 per month of in-kind housing would then reduce the applicant’s additional monthly funding proof down to $1,000 per month). A UF host department is not required to offer an hourly wage, stipend, or any type of funding or housing accommodations for an Exchange Visitor, but may do so if desired.
If the applicant will be showing personal funds, a bank statement/letter is sufficient proof. Funds can be shown from accounts such as checking, savings, and/or money market accounts. Third-party non-personal translations of personal/family funding documents are acceptable. EVS will not accept translations conducted by the applicant or a parent/family member. Notarized translations by a UF host faculty supervisor/staff member are accepted.
Sometimes funding will be provided from a parent, family member or spouse, in such instances the Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) would be required. The applicant will need to input their name and the amount of support in the first two sections of the CFR, as well as sign and date the bottom. The applicant’s personal sponsor providing the support will need to complete the next section (name of funding party, relationship and address) as well as sign and date. Proof of funds can be the same as noted in the personal/family funds paragraph above. The applicant’s personal sponsor can choose to have their financial institution complete the Bank and Sponsor’s Certification of Funding Sources on the CFR to substitute for the back-up proof of funds (fully completed CFR may substitute for back-up proof such as the bank statement/letter, etc.). The financial institution that verifies the CFR is noting the funds, as noted on the CFR, are available from the indicated personal sponsor. If the financial institution section is not completed, actual back-up documentation (bank statement/letter, etc.) would be required with the CFR (most common). A CFR would be required for each third-party personal funding source (such as if funds were shown by and parent and another family member for a combination of funding). Third-party non-personal funding sources do not require a CFR.
Third-Party Non-Personal Funding
Applicants funded by a scholarship, home/U.S. government/government entity, employer, home institution, or international organizations would need to provide the funding letter, in English, on appropriate funding source’s letterhead. The letter will need to contain: 1) applicant’s name, 2) the amount of financial support (noted as a monthly amount or as an overall sum), 3) length of time for funding support, and 4) statement the funds are to be given to the applicant for their time inside the U.S. for their UF J-1 visit. The CFR is not required for a third party non-personal sponsor.
Amounts provided for travel support to and from the U.S./airfare cannot be counted towards funding proof for the DS-2019.
Pay stubs or proof of current salary for personal sponsor sources are not accepted as proof of funds. If the applicant is being supported by foreign employer salary or by funds from a current scholarship from their foreign degree program in progress, a support letter from the provider would have to indicate salary/scholarship funds would continue to be paid (amount) to the applicant during their UF J-1 visit. UF compensation as reflected in the UF offer letter is an acceptable funding source.