Volume 7, Number 4

August 31, 2011

The Communiqué is an on-going series of messages to departments who sponsor international scholars at Boston University. With the Communiqué, we offer information that helps in 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. Past Communiqués are archived on our web site. Click here to go to the archive page.

New Estimate of Financial Minimums for Scholars in J-1 Status

The ISSO has updated the minimum funding levels required for J-1 Exchange Visitor sponsorship, based on the annual Board of Trustees’ Estimate of Academic and Living Expenses. The new figures will be required for any scholar in J-1 status beginning their research, teaching or exchange activities under Boston University sponsorship on or after September 1, 2011.

The new estimates are as follows:

Funding Requirement Figures for Scholars

Beginning September 1, 2011 through August 31, 2012

Per Month Per Year
Scholar only $ 2,215 $ 26,582
Scholar plus first dependent (spouse or child) $ 3,198 $ 38,371
Scholar plus two dependents $ 3,822 $ 45,863
Scholar plus three dependents $ 4,229 $ 50,752
For each additional dependent beyond three, add $ 407 $ 4,889

Proposed Changes to J-1 Insurance Requirements May Increase Funding Requirement

Please be advised that this estimate of minimum funding requirements is subject to change at any time. The current minimum funding requirements established by the ISSO for Boston University scholars in J-1 status include an estimate of expenses covering insurance requirements that meet criteria established by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) Exchange Visitor Program as defined by 22 C.F.R. § 62.14 . The DOS has proposed changes to these minimum insurance requirements for J-1 exchange visitors which may go into effect in the near future and which would immediately — and significantly — increase the actual cost of living for J-1 scholars.

Verification of Financial Support Required for J-1 Program Eligibility

J-1 exchange visitor categories (including Research Scholar, Professor, Short-Term Scholar, Specialist and Student-Intern) allow significant flexibility with regard to source of funding. While immigration sponsorship in employment-based categories generally require that the individual receive a salary from the sponsoring employer, scholars sponsored by Boston University in a J-1 category may receive full or partial funding from Boston University, Boston Medical Center (as a BU affiliate), US or foreign government sources, foreign universities or employers, or other sources. Alternatively, scholars may fund their research in the US based on personal or family funds.

In order for the ISSO to issue a DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status, the scholar and/or the host department must demonstrate financial support to meet or exceed an established minimum funding requirement for the full period of the scholar’s academic appointment. If dependents will accompany the scholar, we must establish that the funding is sufficient to support them too.

Boston University salary, per diem, stipends, grants and other non-salary funding should be all reflected in the appointment letter and on page 3 of the scholar’s Form B. If funding from other sources is to be considered (e.g., private or family sponsor, ministry of the scholar’s government, scholar’s savings), original documentation must be submitted to the ISSO. All documents must be translated into English and figures converted to US dollars.

Reminders Regarding the Minimum Financial Requirements

Purpose of Financial Minimums

The annual estimates established by the ISSO are intended only as a guideline for minimum eligibility for J Exchange Visitor Program participation at Boston University. These figures are estimates only and actual costs may be higher depending on lifestyle. Scholars should expect that actual living expenses will increase annually.

Financial Estimate in Relation to BU Salaries

For scholars in J-1 status who will be paid by Boston University, this funding estimate should not be used as a standard to calculate the scholar’s salary. Researchers, faculty members and other visiting scholars paid by Boston University should be awarded a salary that meets department and university equity standards and is commensurate with the scholar’s related experience.
Further information on the minimum funding requirements for J-1 scholars at Boston University can be found at: http://www.bu.edu/isso/scholars/minimum-funding.html.

Your Scholar Services team,

Olivia K. Whitman
International Scholar Advisor

Margaret Wheeler
International Scholar Advisor—CharlesRiver Campus

M. Andrea Popa
Assistant Director for Scholar Services

Jeanne E. Kelley

International Students & Scholars Office
Boston University
888 Commonwealth Avenue, 2nd Floor
Boston, MA 02215

Tel: (617) 353-3565
Fax: (617) 358-1170


Are you a new BU department contact or new host to an international scholar? Are you a BU affiliate who wants to receive the ISSO Communiqué? To update your department’s contact information or to sign up for the ISSO Communiqué, please complete a Department Contact/Host Update Form on-line at: http://www.bu.edu/isso/administrators/contacts/index.html