Salk Institute
Immigration/Visa Terminology
Immigration/Visa Terminology

A program of the US Department of State (DOS) created to promote mutual understanding between the people of the US and other countries through educational and cultural exchanges. Participants are classified as J-1s and their dependents as J-2s. The Salk Institute sponsors individuals in the J-1 Research Scholar or Short-Term Scholar categories. The DOS Welcome Brochure provides general information about the EVP and the rules Exchange Visitors must follow.

  • + Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
  • + (Alternate) Responsible Officer
  • + DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status
  • + J-1 Two-Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement

US immigration law presumes that each foreign national wishing to come to the US intends to immigrate or remain indefinitely in the United States. Therefore, certain applicants for nonimmigrant US visas and/or nonimmigrant admission to the US, including J-1s and TNs must prove nonimmigrant intent (i.e., that their stay in the US is intended to be temporary and they intend to return abroad rather than remain in the US at the end of their nonimmigrant status).

These applicants must:

  1. demonstrate eligibility for the particular nonimmigrant classification for which they seek to enter the US
  2. maintain a residence in a foreign country which they have no intention of abandoning

A US visa is a permit issued by a US Consulate or Embassy used for admission to the US within a specified period of time for a particular purpose. It is a multicolored stamp/sticker that is affixed to a page in your passport. It contains your photo and specifies the visa classification that fits the purpose of your intended stay (e.g., to temporarily participate in a research project), as well as the period of time in which you may seek admission to the US. Every time you enter the US you must have a valid US visa appropriate for the purpose of your stay. Canadian citizens do not normally require a US visa.

Note: A US visa is only issued for the purpose of requesting admission to the US; it has no bearing on the period of time you may temporarily remain in the US.

Immigration status is the legal condition allowing one to remain in the US for a specific purpose and period of time. Your class of admission (nonimmigrant status, e.g. J-1, J-2, H-1B, etc) and admitted until (expiration) date, which should be D/S for Js, are specified on the CBP admission stamp given in your passport by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) upon arrival in the US and your I-94 record.

The I-94 is the Arrival/Departure Record, which contains your Admission Number and documents your permission to stay in the US in accordance with your nonimmigrant status. It is created electronically upon arrival at an air (or sea) Port of Entry by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP)/Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The I-94 records your date of admission to the US, class of admission (status), admitted until (expiration) date, and later your departure from the US.

If your I-94 record was created electronically at an air (or sea) Port of Entry, you can obtain your Admission Number and print out the electronic record of your I-94 from the CBP webpage: It is a good idea to review and print out the electronic record of your I-94 shortly after reentry to the US.

Paper I-94s will only be issued in limited circumstances, most commonly upon arrival at land border crossings from Canada and Mexico or upon approval from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a change or extension of status.

Note: If you were issued a paper I-94 upon admission to the US, it is very important that you not lose it. You will need to submit it at the airport or seaport upon departure from the US.

A dependent is the spouse or unmarried child under the age of 21 who accompanies (or later joins) an individual who is coming to the US temporarily for a specific purpose and period of time. (The dependent of a J-1 Exchange Visitor is classified as J-2.)

A grace period is a specific period of time during which an individual may remain in the US after completing a particular nonimmigrant program. Particular grace periods are available for specific nonimmigrant statuses.

  • + J-1s and J-2 dependents
  • + H-1Bs and H-4 dependents
  • + E-3s, TNs, O-1s, and their dependents

Each foreign national, eighteen years of age and older, are required by US law to carry evidence of registration document. Your valid, unexpired US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security (DHS) admission stamp or I-94(A) satisfies this requirement. You should also carry valid government-issued identification, such as your unexpired passport, and your DS-2019 (J-1) or I-797 approval notice (H-1B).

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