Incoming Scholars

Congratulations on your acceptance to Oregon State University! This section gives pre-arrival information for new and incoming scholars, faculty, and department sponsors.

As a sponsor of the Exchange Visitor Program (the program that oversees J visa types), Oregon State University must provide pre-arrival information to J-visa Exchange Visitors on topics that prepare scholars for their program at Oregon State.

Pre-Arrival Information

Current Scholar Orientation

Purpose of Exchange Visitor Program

The Exchange Visitor Program (J-visa types)  provides countless opportunities for international candidates looking to travel and gain experience in the United States. The multifaceted programs enable foreign nationals to come to the U.S. to teach, study, conduct research, demonstrate special skills or receive on the job training for periods ranging from a few weeks to several years.

The general purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program is to promote international educational and cultural exchange to develop mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. As a non-immigrant visa type, all exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program in order to share their exchange experiences.

Program Categories

The J-1 visa has different categories of Exchange Visitors; each category has different expectations and regulations that must be followed. Follow the links to learn more about program information, qualifications, and expectations. 

At Oregon State University, there are several types of J-1 Exchange Visitor categories:

Program Expectations

Each category of the Exchange Visitor program has different expectations that the participants must follow. For a brief overview, select your program category type from the Exchange Visitor Program website.

212(e) Home Country Presence Requirement

The two-year home country physical presence requirement is one of the most important requirements of Exchange Visitor status (J visa types).  The two-year home residency requirement is different and separate from the 24-month bar on repeat participationOnly some J exchange visitors and their dependents are subject to the 212(e).

When you agree to participate in an Exchange Visitor Program and your program falls under the conditions explained below, you will be subject to the two-year home-country physical presence (foreign residence) requirement. This means you will be required to return to your home country for two years at the end of your exchange visitor program. This requirement under immigration law is based on Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Two-year Home-country Physical Presence Requirement Conditions

An exchange visitor is subject to the two-year home-country physical presence requirement if the following conditions exist:

  • Government funded exchange program - The program in which the exchange visitor was participating was financed in whole or in part directly or indirectly by the U.S. government or the government of the exchange visitor's nationality or last residence;
  • Graduate medical education or training - The exchange visitor entered the United States to receive graduate medical education or training;
  • Specialized knowledge or skill: Skills List - The exchange visitor is a national or permanent resident of a country which has deemed the field of specialized knowledge or skill necessary to the development of the country, as shown on the Exchange Visitor Skills List. Review the Exchange Visitor Skills List 2009.

An exchange visitor who falls into one of these groups will continue to be subject, even if funding or field of study changes. If the principal J-1 exchange visitor is subject to the two-year residence requirement, dependents in J-2 status are subject as well.


When you, as an exchange visitor are subject to the two-year home-country physical presence requirement, you must return to your home country for a cumulative total period of at least two years before you can do any of the following:

  • Change status while in the United States to the nonimmigrant categories of temporary worker (H) or intracompany transferee (L);
  • Adjust status while in the United States to immigrant visa/lawful permanent resident status (LPR);
  • Receive an immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate; or
  • Receive a temporary worker (H), intracompany transferee (L), or fiancé (K) visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

What does it mean to be subject to the 212(e)?

Exchange Visitors who are subject to the two-year residence requirement must “reside and be physically present” in their "home" country for an aggregate of two years before being eligible for certain immigration benefits. 

Note that former exchange visitors are eligible for all other nonimmigrant visa types, even if subject to the two-year residence requirement; Only lawful permanent residence (PR), H and L visas, are prohibited.

Exchange visitors subject to the two-year residence requirement are eligible to leave the U.S. and apply for visas to return as tourists, or as F-1 students. The usual visa requirements must be met.

Persons with a two-year residence requirement are eligible for program transfers and extension of their J status up to the limits of time for their particular exchange visitor category unless they have previously applied for a waiver of the 212(e).

Waiver of Two Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement

If you are not able to fulfill the home country presence requirement, you may be able to apply for a waiver. Select Waiver of the Exchange Visitor Two-Year Home-Country Physical Presence Requirement to learn more about this requirement and how to request a waiver.

An exchange visitor may request that the two-year home residence requirement be waived only on the following basis:

  1. Statement from the exchange visitor's home country that it has no objection to the waiver;
  2. Request for waiver made by an interested U.S. government agency;
  3. Interest of a state agency (only for alien physicians);
  4. Exceptional hardship to the U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or child of the exchange visitor;
  5. Fear of persecution on account of race, religion, or political opinion.

If the State Department recommends a waiver of the two-year foreign residence requirement, the exchange visitor cannot extend his or her program beyond the expiration date of the current DS-2019 form or transfer to another Exchange Visitor program.

Additional Resources

Travel to the U.S. and Oregon

Information for When You Arrive in Oregon

Welcome to the United States! This page has information for scholars first arriving in the United States and transportation options for getting to your final destination in Oregon.


Making Travel Plans

Important things to remember when booking your incoming flight to the US:

  • Book your flight after your US visa is confirmed.
  • J visa holders may not enter the US more than 30 days prior to the program start date listed on their DS-2019 (Box #3).
  • The nearest airports to the Corvallis campus are Portland International Airport (PDX) and Eugene Airport (EUG).
    • The Portland Airport is a large international airport with many international flights and is approximately 1.5 hours from Corvallis.
    • The Eugene Airport is a small airport with only a few domestic flights available and is approximately 1 hour from Corvallis. From either airport, you can arrange transportation to Corvallis.
  • If you are located at an Extension Service location which is not on the Corvallis campus, contact your sponsor for information about the closest airport and transportation options.
  • Inform the ISFS office and your sponsor of your arrival and schedule your attendance for the mandatory check-in and orientation meeting. Scholars not on the Corvallis campus may check-in remotely.
  • If you cannot attend by the Program Start Date on your DS-2019, contact ISFS immediately.
  • Some programs are not located on the Corvallis campus but may be in other locations in Oregon at OSU extension locations. Check with your sponsor on location and remote check-in process.

Important things to remember when booking your return flight out of the US:

  • J visa holders have a 30 day grace period following the Program End Date on the DS-2019 or the completion of the program (whichever comes sooner) to prepare to depart the US.
  • After the J-1 scholar's program has completed and the scholars leaves the US during the grace period, scholars will not be able to reenter the US on an expired DS-2019 or J visa. If you plan to travel in and out of America following your J program you may need to apply for a visitor visa or Visa Waiver Program in order to reenter the US.
  • J-2 dependents may not stay in the US after the primary J-1 scholar departs.


Getting to OSU

You will need to arrange transportation to Corvallis.

To get to and from the Portland Airport

  • Hut Shuttle (from Portland): The Hut Shuttle is a comfortable, convenient way of getting to and from PDX. This shuttle bus leaves Corvallis almost every two hours, every day of the week.
  • Omni Shuttle (from Eugene): The Omni Shuttle will transport you from the Eugene airport to Corvallis.
  • Taxi: You may take a taxi cab from the airport but it may be expensive.  
  • Car Rental: Most rental companies allow visitors to rent a car at the Portland or Eugene Airport and return the car to their office in Corvallis. Reservations can be made online with a credit card and a valid driver’s license (see the “transportation” section for more information about driver’s licenses). You will also be required to purchase temporary auto insurance at the car rental agency. Rental companies at the Portland Airport. Rental companies at the Eugene Airport.
  • Bus or Train: Greyhound bus and Amtrack train also has service from the airport but you may have to take the light rail system (MAX) or the public bus system (TriMet) from Portland, or shuttle or taxi from the Eugene Airport to the bus or train station.


Entering the U.S. Border

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP): CBP  is part of the Department of Homeland Security and is responsible for securing the border and facilitating lawful international trade, travel, and U.S. laws and regulations- including immigration.

Housing Resources

Finding Housing

Housing is a primary concern for anyone coming to a new place.  Here you will find links to resources and descriptions of common types of housing and housing-related terminology.

On-Campus | Short-Term | Long-Term | Housing Types | Housing Terminology


On Campus Housing

OSU  offers a limited amount of on-campus housing for visiting scholars.  Visit the University Housing & Dining (UHDS) Scholar Housing Program website for more information.


Short-Term Housing

Corvallis has several options for short-term stay within 5 miles (8 kilometers) of the Oregon State University campus. Contact the proprietor or business directly to make a reservation using a credit card.

You can find more hotels in the Corvallis' visitor's guide or in the Corvallis telephone directory.


Long-Term Housing

If you plan to live in off-campus housing, you should expect to spend several days locating and settling in to an apartment or room in a house. Off-campus rental housing is advertised in the following places:

  • The Corvallis Gazette Times: local newspaper. Find advertisements for rentals in the classified section.
  • Dex Yellow Pages: online directory. Search for "property management companies" and "Corvallis" for listings of many useful companies.
  • OSU faculty occasionally rent their homes out while on sabbatical.
  • Craigslist: online local classifieds and forums for 450 cities worldwide.
  • Corvallis ihouse: a home for international and U.S. undergrad and grad students, postdocs, and interns
  • The Depot Suites: fully furnished beautifully decorated apartments provide the perfect temporary housing, walking distance from OSU. For rent by the week or by the month.
  • At Home in Oregon: offering fully-furnished 2-4 bedroom apartments and condominiums for rent by the week or by the month.
  • Visit Corvallis: a listing of long and short term housing options.
  • Rental Agencies in Corvallis: advertises vacancies and available units in the area.
  • Renter's Guide available at the Memorial Union on campus.
  • City of Corvallis Rental Housing Program - a resource for people who have rental issues or concerns.


Types of Housing

Apartment: A set of rooms with separate bedroom(s), bath, kitchen, living room. Some apartments are advertised as "furnished". This means that a minimum amount of furniture is included with the rental. Most apartments are rented unfurnished (without furniture).
Studio Apartment: An apartment with a separate bathroom and kitchen. The living room and bedroom are combined into one room.
Quad: A set of four apartments grouped together with shared bathroom and kitchen.
Duplex: Two separate houses that join together at one of the outer walls.
Condominium: Similar to an apartment, but each unit is privately owned.
House: Multi-room living area (bedrooms, kitchen, dining room, living room, family room) plus a private yard and garage.


Common Housing Terminology

Apartment manager: The person in charge of your apartment building. Managers are paid to take care of problems and financial issues (collecting rent, deposits, etc.).
Cleaning deposit: Money that you must pay before you move into the housing for cleaning the rental property before and after you move in. This deposit is normally non-refundable.
Landlord: The property owner who rents houses or apartments to tenants.
Lease or rental agreement: A contract between you and your landlord in which you agree to pay a specific amount of rent for a certain number of months. If you move out before the ending date of the agreement, your landlord may require you to continue paying rent for the months remaining in the lease or until another tenant moves in.
Property management company: A company that is paid to manage a rental property for the property's owner. The company finds renters and makes sure the renters follow the lease. The company may also provide basic maintenance service.
Security deposit: Money that you must pay before you move into the housing. If you damage anything in the rental property this money will be used to repair the damage to the property. This deposit is sometimes refundable if you have not damaged the property. The refundability of security deposits will be listed in the lease agreement.
Tenant: The person who rents a house or an apartment.
Utilities: Services such as water, gas, electricity and garbage pick-up. Sometimes these services are included in the rent--usually they are separate. Your lease will define if utilities are included.

Housing Essentials

Upon finding housing, scholar may need to set up utility accounts and buy housing essentials such as furniture, housing goods, and groceries. Below are some areas that you can find housing essentials.

Public Sale at the OSUsed Store

The OSUsed Store is open for its public sale every Wednesday, and on the thurd Saturday of the month. Surplus property for sale includes bikes, desks, bookcases and other office materials for discount prices.

Craigslist for Sale

Craigslist offers a variety of items for sale in the Corvallis or other Oregon area. Review information on avoiding scams and fraud, and personal safety tips prior to using this site.

Corvallis Furniture

 A furniture re-use store created by local college students with the goal of making affordable furniture available to other students and residents.

Furniture Rental

If you are here for just a short time, you may be able to rent furniture through a furnature rental company. Search for "Furniture Rental" in your city in the Yellow Pages.

Second Hand and Resale Stores

Goodwill Industries

1325 NW 9th St, Corvallis and other Oregon locations

The Arc Thrift Stores

982 NW Beca Ave, Corvallis

Donating Items at the Completion of your Program

At the end of your program, don't throw away what you bought. Donate items to local donation collection locations.

Disclaimer: This page contains information and links outside of OSU. OSU makes no warranty, guarantee or representation to the accuracy of the information posted here nor the accuracy or compliance with applicable laws of sites external to the OSU website. OSU does not in any way endorse services or products promoted by sponsoring organizations or websites listed here. We encourage users to verify the legitimacy of information and organizations cited here.

Estimated Expenses

Exchange Visitor scholars must have sufficient finances to support themselves and any dependents for their entire stay in the United States. Funding must cover the costs of the program, fees, housing and living expenses, and mandatory health insurance coverage.

Actualy costs for attending Oregon State may be higher. The minimum amount of funding that is considered sufficient for support at Oregon State is:

$1,200 / month            scholar

$1,620 / month            scholar + 1 dependent 

$ +420 / month            each additional dependent

Estimate of Expenses and Fees to Consider for Oregon State University: 2013-2014

The figures listed below are estimates and used for budgeting purposes only.

Room and Board $1,175 This amount is an average figure based on double occupancy for campus and off-campus living arrangements.
Miscellaneous and Personal $286 This is an estimate of what you might spend on personal items, clothing, cell phone, recreation, and travel.
Required Health Insurance
$80 to over $150 Cost of health insurance may vary by provider and length of coverage. The Department of State (DOS) requires that ALL J-1 Exchange Visitors have medical insurance in effect for themselves and any dependents in J-visa status for the duration of their stay in the United States.

Additional costs you may need to budget for depending on your program/situation are bench mark fees, immigration application fees, tuition, conferences, additional dependent costs, travel, and other costs. These costs vary by program, sponsor, and scholar. Check with your sponsoring department about additional fees.

Health Insurance and Care

The Department of State (DOS) requires that ALL J-1 Exchange Visitors have medical insurance in effect for themselves and any dependents in J-visa status for the duration of their stay in the United States.

Mandatory Insurance Requirements

  • Minimum Coverage
    Insurance shall cover: (1) medical benefits of at least $50,000 per person per accident or illness; (2) repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500; and (3) expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of $10,000.

  • Additional Terms
    A policy secured to fulfill the insurance requirements shall not have a deductible that exceeds $500 per accident or illness, and must meet other standards specified in the regulations.

  • Maintenance of Insurance

    Willful failure on your part to maintain the required insurance will result in the termination of your exchange program.


  • Postdoctoral Scholars: See the OSU Postdoctoral Scholar Insurance page for details on insurance coverage offered as part of this training category.
  • Other positions (faculty or staff): Faculty or staff may be eligible for PEBB health insurance. Scholars should review their offer of employment to determine whether or not insurance coverage will be offered.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: additional insurance coverage is necessary to satisfy U.S. Department of State requirements namely Emergency Medical Evacuation & Repatriation. Scholars must purchase this supplemental coverage, as it is not included in Public Employees’ Benefit Board coverage.


  • OSU Student Health Center’s International Medical Plan: Scholars may enroll in the OSU International Medical plan on a self‐pay basis. This plan meets DOS minimum requirements. Scholars may not use the Student Health Center for treatment, but the plan can be used to pay for medical treatment at off‐campus medical institutions. Contact Mary Lloyd-Rex for more information.
  • PEBB: Qualifying scholars may enroll in Public Employees' Benefit Board (PEBB) coverage on a self‐pay basis.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: additional insurance coverage is necessary to satisfy U.S. Department of State requirements namely Emergency Medical Evacuation & Repatriation. Scholars must purchase this supplemental coverage, as it is not included in Public Employees’ Benefit Board coverage.


IMPORTANT NOTE: additional insurance coverage may be necessary to satisfy U.S. Department of State requirements namely Emergency Medical Evacuation & Repatriation. Scholars must purchase this supplemental coverage, as it is not included in OSU staff benefits or some other insurance plans.

Check-in and Orientation

Mandatory J-1 Visa Check-in & Orientation for New International Scholars

All J-1 Exchange Visitors must check in with the International Scholars and Faculty Services (ISFS) upon arriving in the United States. The ISFS office will validate and activate your J Exchange Program and update your address with the SEVIS immigration system.


Why is this required?

It is a requirement of the Department of Homeland Security that all J-1 Exchange Visitors must check-in with the J program Responsible Officer in order to validate the program.

Failure to complete your registration will result in the Department of Homeland Security terminating your J-1 status; you will not be eligible to legally enter the U.S. nor work at OSU. You are not eligible for services on campus (for example receiving an OSU ID card or campus benefits), nor can you be added to payroll before completing your check-in and orientation.

At check-in, the ISFS office will:

  • make copies of your immigration documents (and any accompanying dependents),
  • update your physical address in the US in the SEVIS immigration system,
  • sign your DS-2019 allowing you to travel outside the US,
  • validate your Exchange Visitor program, and
  • offer an orientation to campus


What must I bring with me?

Scholars must bring the following documents and information for themselves and any J-2 dependents who have accompanied them to the US:

  • DS-2019
  • Passport
  • J Visa stamp
  • Paper copy of I-94 Arrival Record (you can access and print the I-94 from this website:
  • Training/Internship Placement Plan or T/IPP (Student Interns only)
  • Completed Biographical Information Form (pdf) which requires the scholar's physical living address in the U.S. and agreement to follow the responsibilities of a J-1 Exchange Visitor at OSU


When can I check-in?

Orientations are held almost every Thursday morning beginning at 10:00 am in University Plaza- Suite 190 (corner of 15th and Western on the northwest corner of the building) at 1600 SW Western Boulevard, Corvallis.

  • You must register for the Check-in and Orientation with OSU's International Scholar & Faculty Services (ISFS) as soon as you arrive on campus and within 30 days of the Program Start Date on the DS-2019.
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) allows exchange visitors to enter the U.S. up to 30 days before or 30 days after the Program Start Date on the DS-2019.
  • If you cannot arrive and report to ISFS within 30 days of your Program Start Date, notify an International Scholar Advisor immediately.


How do I register for check-in?


Remote check-in process?

Exchange Visitors that are not able to make it to the OSU Corvallis campus for check-in may check-in remotely and access all orientation materials online. This is commonly done for scholars based in OSU extension locations.


The following resources are reviewed during check-in. Please contact us if you have any questions.