Volume 2, Number 3

May 3, 2005

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.

New J-1 Exchange Visitor Financial Minimums

Last year, the ISSO re-evaluated the minimum funding levels required for J-1 Exchange Visitor sponsorship after several years without a change. The figures were derived from estimated expenses established by the Board of Trustees. We announced then that, in the future, we would update our figures each year based on the Board’s estimates for that given year. The Board issued its estimates a short time ago and we have now updated the 2005-2006 J-1 sponsorship figures. They are below. They can also be reviewed on our web site at http://www.bu.edu/isso/scholars/minimum-funding.html.

Background on J-1 Financial Requirements

Before the ISSO can issue a Form DS-2019, we are obligated by law to establish that the scholar has available to her/him the financial means to live in the Boston area for the length of the appointment indicated on Form DS-2019. If dependents will accompany the scholar, we must establish that the financial means are available to support them, too.
Funding sources can include Boston University salary; the scholar’s personal funds (e.g., from a savings account or continued salary from her/his home-country employer); from a personal or organizational sponsor; or even from the scholar’s home government. The funds can come from any source, as long as the source and amount can be clearly documented with original (not copied) banks statements, funding agreements, sponsorship letters, etc.

Adequate funding can also be established through a combination of sources. For example, if the BU department will pay a salary and that salary meets the minimum for the scholar alone but not his wife and child, the scholar could present bank statements to show that he has enough in his savings account to cover the balance.

It is important that you, as a BU department requesting J-1 sponsorship, review the financial documentation before you send the J request package to the ISSO. If the financial minimums are not covered, please work with the scholar to obtain further financial assurances. Once you are certain the scholar’s sources are adequate, submit the J request to our office.

Minimum Funding Requirements for Scholars in J-1 Exchange Visitor Status

Scholar only
$1,732 per month
$20,789 per year

Scholar plus first dependent (spouse or child)
$2,500 per month
$29,995 per year

Scholar plus two dependents
$2,929 per month
$35,147 per year

Scholar plus three dependents
$3,144 per month
$37,725 per year

For each additional dependent beyond three, add
$215 per month
$2,578 per year

Best Wishes to Naomi

As you are undoubtedly aware by now, Naomi Moca has left the ISSO. She gave birth to healthy, happy little boy on April 10th and has decided to change professions from international scholar advisor to full-time mother. We appreciate the work she did assisting you with our J-1 scholars and will miss her after nearly four years at the ISSO.

The now vacant international scholar advisor position was posted today and we hope to have a new advisor on board sometime early this summer.

Feel Free to Contact Us

As always, if there are any questions or concerns, please feel free to call us at (617) 353-3565. You can also e-mail us at the addresses below.

Your ISSO Scholar Services Team

James Leck
Assistant Director for Scholar Services