Information for the Exchange Visitor
WHAT IF MY ARRIVAL IS DELAYED?
You must notify our office that there will be a delay in your arrival. Please email Maria Beebe with updated travel plans. If your arrival will be delayed by more than 20 days, a new DS-2019 will be issued.
WHAT DO I DO WHEN I ARRIVE IN MANHATTAN?
Exchanges Visitors (EV) must check in with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). You must have health insurance and complete an Insurance Compliance Form. (See "What are my responsibilities as an Exchange Visitor" below for information on Health Insurance.) In addition, you must bring the following:
- Manhattan residential address. A departmental address is not acceptable;
- Print out of the I-94. You can retrieve your I-94 at www.cbp.gov/i94. If you are unable to do this prior to checking in with ISSS, our staff will assist you.
WHAT ARE MY RESPONSIBILITIES AS AN EXCHANGE VISITOR?
- Report address changes to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). U.S. federal regulations require that all J-1 scholars report a change of address within 10 days. To comply, you must notify ISSS in writing via email. ISSS will provide this information electronically to USCIS through SEVIS.
- Report departure date and reason for departure to ISSS. There are times when a scholar will leave the university prior to the Program End Date listed on the DS-2019. The scholar must notify the ISSS of the date of departure and the reason for ending their program at Kansas State University. J-1 Professors or Research Scholars will be unable to re-enter the U.S. as a J-1 Professor or Scholar for 24 months after the completion of their program at Kansas State University. If the scholar is not maintaining a continuous and collaborative relationship with Kansas State University and is not transferring to another J-1 program, the 24-month bar to re-enter the U.S. in the J-1 Professor or Research Scholar category will be triggered. Therefore, it is very important for the scholars to keep ISSS informed of future plans and intentions.
- Report the early departure of dependents. If your dependents depart the U.S. before the end date on the DS-2019 and do not plan to return, their departure must be reported to ISSS.
- Report changes in Program to ISSS. Scholars must notify ISSS whenever there is a change in their program. These changes include new locations, new funding sources, new laboratory or department.
- Abide by employment regulations. J-1 scholars and professors may conduct research or teach only at Kansas State University unless specifically authorized in advance and in writing by ISSS to give a lecture or consult at another institution. Therefore, scholars must contact ISSS if invited to speak or consult at another institution. Interns may only participate in the activity described on the DS-2019 in the department listed on the DS-2019.
- Maintain adequate health insurance. J-1 scholars must maintain adequate health insurance for themselves as well as their dependents throughout their entire stay in the U.S. Failure to do so renders the scholars and their dependents "out of status" and the scholars may be removed from the J-1 program. Minimum insurance requirements are show in the table below. Please note that the requirements will change as of May 15, 2015.
Minimum Health Insurance Required by the U.S. Department of State
|Medical Benefits - per accident or illness||$100,000|
|Deductible||Cannot exceed $500|
(return of your remains upon death)
- Obtain travel signature prior to traveling outside of the U.S. Scholars and their dependents must obtain the signature on their DS-2019 from a Responsible/Alternate Officer at ISSS prior to traveling outside the U.S.
- Apply for a program extension prior to the DS-2019 expiration date Extensions are granted if the scholar is eligible for the additional time requested and the funding is adequate. Research Scholars and Professors are limited to 5 years; Short Term Scholars are limited to 6 months; and Student Interns are limited to 12 months.
- Receive transfer authorization prior to leaving. Scholars must notify ISSS of plans to transfer in advance. In order to process the transfer, the scholar must complete and submit the J Transfer Out form. It is recommended that this be submitted at least two weeks prior to the date of transfer.
- Depart the U.S. within the 30-day grace period. All Exchange Visitors and all their dependents must depart the U.S. within 30 days of the Program End Date listed on the DS-2019 or the date the program is completed if prior to the end date listed on the DS-2019.
WHERE CAN I PURCHASE HEALTH INSURANCE?
If you need to purchase health insurance…
If you do not bring health insurance with you from your home country and do not or cannot subscribe to an insurance plan offered by the University, you can investigate the companies listed below. From these sites, you can print a brochure, send an email or enroll, if you choose to do so.
If you will receive health insurance through Kansas State University…
This insurance is not available until the first of the month following 30 days of employment and therefore you will need to enroll in another plan until that date. Remember, you must have health insurance that covers you beginning on your arrival date in the U.S. In addition, the insurance provided by Kansas State University does not include Evacuation  and Repatriation , which is required by the U.S. Department of State. Therefore, you must purchase this coverage separately. See below for a listing of insurance providers.
Also, be aware that Plan C offered by K-State does not meet the minimum requirements of the U.S. Department of State.
ISSS has created a website in conjunction with International Student Insurance to help you enroll in and pay for health insurance. The website is available at www.internationalstudentinsurance.com/schools/kansas-state-university.php. There are multiple plan options, and online enrollment and payment are available. Please note that if you need health insurance for dependents, you must contact the company directly to learn about coverage options.
You have many health insurance provider options, and ISSS does not endorse or recommend any one insurance provider over another. We encourage you to thoroughly investigate all of your options by exploring the providers below and/or conducting an online search for "insurance for foreign visitors."
The following website is for purchasing Evacuation/Repatriation insurance ONLY http://www.internationalstudentinsurance.com/schools/kansas-state-university-evac.php
Name of Company
Providers that offer plans for Repatriation
& Evacuation only
Cultural Insurance Services International
Compass Benefits Group
The Harbour Group
International Medical Group
International Student Insurance
Rust and Associates
Wallach & Company, Inc
 The medical evacuation coverage provides benefits for transportation in the event the insured suffers a medical emergency and adequate medical facilities are not available nearby. It’s important to understand that this coverage is not medical coverage. Instead, it is coverage for medically necessary transportation.
 Repatriation coverage means that the insurance company arranges for and handles the transportation necessary to return a covered person’s body to his or her home in the event of death.
WILL THE INSURANCE PROVIDED THROUGH MY DEPARTMENT BE SUFFICIENT?
This insurance is not available until the first of the month following 30 days of employment and therefore you will need to enroll in the other coverage until that date. In addition the insurance provided by Kansas State University does not include Evacuation and Repatriation, which is required by the U.S. Department of State. Therefore, you must purchase this coverage separately.
The medical evacuation coverage provides benefits for transportation in the event the insured suffers a medical emergency and adequate medical facilities are not available nearby. It’s important to understand that this coverage is not medical coverage. Instead, it is coverage for medically necessary transportation. Repatriation coverage means that the insurance company arranges for and handles the transportation necessary to return a covered person’s body to his or her home in the event of death.
Below is a listing of additional insurance providers that have plans for J-1 Scholars/Professors.
Cultural Insurance Services International
CMI Insurance Worldwide*
Compass Benefits Group*
The Harbour Group*
International Student Insurance
Rust and Associates*
United Healthcare (Application forms and brochures available at International Student and Scholar Services)
Wallach & Company, Inc
*These companies offer a separate plan for just Repatriation and Medical Evacuation.
WHAT IS THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA) AND MUST MY INSURANCE PLAN BE COMPLIANT WITH THE ACA?
International scholars at K-State should be aware that they may be responsible for meeting health insurance requirements set by different government agencies under:
- The Affordable Care Act
- The U.S. Department of State's J-1 Exchange Visitor Program
The Affordable Care Act (ACA)
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as “Obama Care,” is a national health care law that took effect January 1, 2014. Under this law, every person who is a RESIDENT ALIEN for tax purposes (see https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/determining-alien-tax-status for more information) is required to have health insurance that meets "minimum essential health coverage" guidelines. Minimum essential health coverage includes:
Ambulatory patient services; Emergency services; Hospitalization (such as surgery); Maternity and newborn care (care before and after the baby is born); Mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; Prescription drugs; Rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; Laboratory services; Preventative and wellness services and chronic disease management; Pediatric services.
Failure to get ACA compliant minimum essential health coverage will result in the individual being required to pay a penalty called a “shared responsibility payment” at the time of filing tax forms. For more information, see https://www.irs.gov/affordable-care-act/individuals-and-families/individual-shared-responsibility-provision.
J-1 exchange visitors in non-student categories (such as Research Scholar/Professor/Short-term Scholar) are exempt from the ACA mandate if their federal tax residency status is NONRESIDENT ALIEN (see https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/determining-alien-tax-status). J-1 exchange visitors are usually nonresident aliens for the first two calendar years (the year they first enter the U.S. and the following year). However, this may not be true if the exchange visitor has a previous U.S. visa history. Determining your tax residency status is rather complicated (see https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/determining-alien-tax-status for more information). Once you and your family members become “resident aliens” for federal tax purposes, you are required to have health insurance that meets the ACA requirements in order to avoid paying the penalty (see “ACA Tax Penalties” below).
- International scholars who are benefits-eligible and have health insurance coverage through the plan offered by K-State will be ACA compliant and no further action is necessary.
- International scholars who have health insurance from sources in their home countries may not meet the ACA requirements. If you become residents for tax purposes, and still have health insurance through a source in your home country then you will have to pay a penalty at the time of filing federal tax forms. Although health insurance from companies and governments abroad may meet the Department of State J-1 requirements, it is NOT likely to the "minimum essential coverage" guidelines established in the ACA.
ACA Tax Penalties (Whichever is Higher):
- 2016: 2.5% or your yearly income or $695 per person for the year; $347.50 per child under 18. Maximum penalty is $2,085. For more information, see https://www.healthcare.gov/fees/fee-for-not-being-covered/
Options to Avoid the Tax Penalty:
- If you are in a benefits-eligible position at K-State, you can enroll in the health insurance plan offered through the University.
If you are enrolled in a health plan through K-State, you will receive Form 1095-B/1095-C by mail between January and March of the following year. These forms show the period you (and your family members, if any) were covered by health plans; this information is needed for your Federal and state tax returns.
- You may enroll in a health plan that meets the ACA requirements through the www.healthcare.gov. It provides four levels of coverage (Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze). “Platinum” plans require higher premiums but provide better coverage than “Bronze” plans. The co-insurance percentages and deductibles vary within each level.
Since the health insurance plans offered here were designed for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, J-1 exchange visitors will have to purchase separately any coverage required under the J-1 regulations that are not typically included in standard health plans (such as medical evacuation and repatriation coverage). ISSS has a short list of health insurance providers that provide medical evacuation and repatriation coverage separately.
Open enrollment through healthcare.gov is normally from the beginning of November through the end of January of the following year for the health insurance coverage of the following year. After this date, you may be eligible only when you have certain “life events.” See https://betterhealthconnector.com/help-center-answers/when-is-open-enrollment-and-when-do-health-connector-plans-start for more information
Failure to have health insurance that meets the J-1 requirements may result not only in international scholars paying “out-of-pocket” for extremely high medical costs, but also in termination from K-State’s J-1 program. As a J-1 program sponsor, ISSS is required by the regulations to terminate a J-1 exchange visitor’s immigration status if the exchange visitor does not comply with this requirement.
Please contact ISSS if you have any questions.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER?
You are eligible to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) only if you will be employed by K-State. If you will not be paid by K-State, then you cannot apply for an SSN. Dependents can only apply for a SSN if they have been approved for work authorization. (See dependents page for more information on applying for work authorization.)
J-1 Exchange Visitors must check in with International Student and Scholar Services AND be in the U.S. for 10 calendar days before applying for a Social Security number. Please take the following documents.
- A letter from your employing department that states you will be employed at K-State. The letter must specify your start date.
- Your passport
- Your I-94. You can print this out at www.cbp.gov/i94.
- Your DS-2019
HOW DO I REQUEST A DS-2019 TO INVITE MY DEPENDENT(S)?
Only the spouse and unmarried minor children (under 21 years of age) of the exchange visitor are eligible for J-2 status. If you are already in the U.S. and would like to request a DS-2019 for a dependent, you must submit to the ISSS a Request for J-1 Services and a Request for a Dependent DS-2019. Please be aware that you will need to demonstrate that you have the funding to support additional dependents.
WHERE CAN I FIND ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR MY DEPENDENTS?
Please see our page, Information for Dependents.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO IF I AM TRAVELING OUTSIDE THE U.S.?
If you will return to the U.S. within the program period on the DS-2019 and will continue your work at K-State, you (and your dependents, if applicable) must obtain a travel signature on the DS-2019s from a staff member at ISSS prior to traveling outside the U.S. Please bring your document in at least 2 weeks prior to traveling.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR A DRIVER'S LICENSE OR STATE-ISSUED ID?
Visit our web page, Driver's License in Kansas
HOW DO I REPORT A CHANGE OF ADDRESS?
U.S. federal regulations require that all J-1 scholars report a change of address within 10 days. To comply, you must notify ISSS in writing and then ISSS will provide this information electronically to USCIS through SEVIS. To notify ISSS, email Maria Beebe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW DO I FILE MY U.S. TAXES?
For more information on how to file U.S. income taxes, go to our web page, Income Taxes
HOW CAN I TO MOVE/TRANSFER MY J-1 STATUS TO A NEW ACADEMIC INSTITUTION?
To request a transfer, you should submit our J-1 Transfer-Out Request Form . On your transfer release date, your SEVIS database record will be moved from Kansas State University sponsorship to your new institution. After that, your new school will be able to prepare an updated, "transfer" DS-2019 reflecting your new sponsorship. Once your SEVIS record has been transferred, you will no longer be affiliated with our institution from an immigration perspective, so you should no longer work here unless given authorization from your new sponsor.