J-1 Exchange Visitors in the Research Scholar, Professor, and Short-Term Scholar categories are permitted to receive payments for occasional lectures/conferences and reimbursement for travel/incidental expenses. They may also engage in short-term research consultations with an off-campus host. The term occasional is defined as a single event and not to an on-going activity.

 The Office of International Students & Scholars may issue an authorization letter if the off-campus activity meets the following requirements:

  • Be directly related to the objectives of the J-1 program
  • Be incidental to the primary program activities at UCSB
  • Will not delay the completion of the J-1 program (i.e. current program end date on the J-1 DS-2019 form)
    • J-1 program will not be extendable solely for the purpose of additional time for off-campus activity.

For short-term research consultations – the off-campus institute/company must pay the Scholar as an “Independent Contractor” and not as an employee.

  • Independent Contractor status is not required for reimbursement of travel/incidental expenses.
  • This authorization may not be used as a form of employment authorization with a secondary employer.

The request must be approved and documented by OISS prior to the start of the off-campus activity.

Such examples of off-campus activities (but not limited to) are:

  • Reimbursement of travel/incidental for attending a lecture/conference
  • Honorarium received for presenting a talk
  • Guest lecturer with another institution
  • Short-term research consultation with an off-campus company

How to request the authorization letter

The J-1 Exchange Visitor must submit the following documents to the Office of International Students & Scholars at least 10 business days in advance of the activity start date:

  1. An invitation letter or research consultation offer letter from the off-campus institute/company describing the terms and conditions of the activity. (see sample letter)
  2. J-1 Off-Campus Activity Request Form
  • Completed by the J-1 Exchange Visitor
  • Reviewed and approved by the J-1 Exchange Visitor’s Supervisor and Dept. Chair/Institute Director.

Once approved, the Office of International Students & Scholars will issue a new J-1 DS-2019 form and Authorization Letter to allow for the start of the approved off-campus activity.

Any changes to the initial authorization must first be reported to the Office of International Students & Scholar prior to the start of the new off-campus activity.