Volume 1, Number 3

October 31, 2004

Greetings from the ISSO scholar team!

The Communiqué is an on-going series of messages to departments who sponsor international scholars at Boston University. With the Communiqué, we will offer information that will help make more effective — and streamline — the processing of scholar immigration-related documents and petitions. We hope you find the Communiqué a useful tool in working with the ISSO and in successfully hiring and sponsoring scholars from around the world.

Spotlight on the Timing of J Requests:

As you are well aware, Form DS-2019 is a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (J) and contains a start date, end date and other vital information about the J scholar’s anticipated activity at Boston University. It is the key document your international scholar uses to obtain a J visa and to enter the U.S. When deciding on a start date to request for the DS-2019, the ISSO recommends that you choose a date at least six (6) weeks from the date the completed request packet will arrive at the ISSO. This time frame takes into account the ISSO’s two-week estimated turnaround, plus four (4) weeks for the scholar to receive the document, obtain the visa, and enter the U.S. Now is the optimum time to be sending your applications for January 2005!

It is VERY IMPORTANT for you to know that J-1 scholars and J-2 dependents are permitted to enter the U.S. no earlier than 30 days before the DS-2019 start date and no later than 30 days after this start date. In addition, the ISSO must “validate” the scholar’s record in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) — the government’s student/scholar tracking database — no later than the 30th day after the start date of the DS-2019. If you discover that it will not be possible for the scholar to enter the U.S. AND REPORT TO THE ISSO within 30 days of the start date, please notify the ISSO immediately to obtain a new DS-2019 with a later start date. Failure to notify the ISSO of a delay in travel to the U.S. could jeopardize the J-1 scholar record in SEVIS and the scholar’s ability to enter the U.S. in valid J-1 status.

As a courtesy, on a weekly basis, the ISSO generates an internal report of scholars whose DS-2019 start dates have passed and who have not yet reported to the ISSO for J Scholar Orientation. We use the data to notify sponsoring BU departments, laboratories, and centers via memos in email format. It is important to respond to these memos at the first opportunity so that we can advise on the best action to keep the scholar’s SEVIS record “alive” and to prevent serious consequences at the port of entry or even after the scholar enters the U.S. This service is indeed a courtesy and may, from time to time, not be offered due to staffing and other reasons. So, we ask that you please do your best to monitor start dates and the travel plans of your J-1 scholars.

Department Administrator Information Sessions

You will soon receive an email inviting you to attend one of two newly scheduled information sessions designed to help you understand the work of the ISSO, how to put together complete requests packages, and other important information with regard to hosting and employing international scholars. The sessions will be held Friday, November 5th and Friday, November 12th (10am – 1pm both days). Please watch for the invitation for more details.

As always, if there are any questions or concerns, please feel free to call us at (617) 353-3565 or to e-mail Naomi Moca at njmoca@bu.edu or James Leck at jleck@bu.edu.

Your ISSO Scholar Services Team

James Leck
Assistant Director for Scholar Services

Naomi Moca
International Scholar Advisor