IME and Immunization Clearance (CLINICAL SPACE ONLY)

If your prospective exchange visitor will not have access to UAB Hospital or any other clinical setting, please proceed to the next step.

If your prospective exchange visitor will have access to the OR, animal labs, or any clinical setting, please send a copy of the offer/invitation letter to International Medical Education (IME) for appropriate clearance first. IME controls the number of individuals allowed in UAB clinical spaces and is responsible for ensuring that the immunization and workplace safety protocols are followed. It can take approximately 90 days to clear IME and receive the immigration document necessary for the exchange visitor to enter the US.

  • What Documents are Needed: Initial Appointment – 20-21 Postdocs

    We cannot issue the DS-2019 until we receive all the documents and forms from the Exchange Visitor and the Department. We request to receive ALL documents at least 2 months before the desired start date.

    As the Department inviting the Exchange Visitor on campus, you are responsible for providing:

    The Department remains responsible to create a profile in Oracle and check the I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification document) with HR or our office. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information about I-9.

  • What documents are needed: Initial Appointment – 02-04-60 Others

    Request can now be made for International Visitors appointed in 02 Temporary, 04 Irregular, and 60 Volunteer positions with a start date of 8/23/2021 or later. Read general information about these categories.

    For those who will be coming in J-1 status, please FIRST contact International Education (IE) in the Office of the Provost (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). You can also see an overview of the process.

    After IE gives its greenlight, you can complete:

  • What Documents are Needed: Extension

    If the J-1 scholar is currently in 02/04 or 60 status, please contact Alyette Nixon (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Molly Stout (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for additional instructions.

    J-1 Research Scholars and Professors can remain in the US for a maximum of 5 years. The position held at UAB must remain compliant with the J-1 regulations to seek an extension.

    J-1 Short-Term Scholars can remain in the US for a maximum of 6 months. No extension beyond the 6 months can be granted.

    J-1 Student Interns can remain in the US for a maximum of 12 months per degree.

    To request an extension, please contact our office at least 1 month before the current end date as listed on the DS-2019. Please note that this end date is the last day the Exchange Visitor will be authorized to work on UAB campus. ISSS office will need:

    • J-1 Reappointment Packet (pdf) - to be completed by UAB department
    • Extension offer letter – to be issued by UAB – the extension letter must list the new dates of appointment, the subject of the research (it should be the same as before) and the salary.
      • Postdoctoral fellows – you can request an extension letter from the Office of Postdoctoral Education (OPE)
      • Other – as indicated before, please contact ISSS J-1 advisors for additional instructions
    • Proof of Funding
      • Postdoctoral fellows – OPE letter is sufficient – be sure to list the source of funding on the reappointment form
      • Other – to be discussed with ISSS
    • Proof of continuous health insurance – to be provided by the Exchange Visitor for him/herself and his/her family (if any).

    Once the DS-2019 is extended, the Exchange Visitor is authorized to stay in the US and continue to work.

    The Department remains responsible to update Oracle and check the I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification document) with HR or our office. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information about I-9.

  • What Documents are Needed: Transfer within UAB

    If an J-1 Exchange Visitor transfers lab within UAB, ISSS Office must ensure that the transfer complies with the Federal Regulations and update the government database SEVIS to reflect the correct appointment. Please contact ISSS Office immediately at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject “J-1 scholar – lab transfer.”

    ISSS will assess the situation and collect the appropriate documents.

    After the SEVIS record is updated, ISSS will issue and updated form DS-2019 for the J-1 Exchange Visitor and his/her family (if any).

    The Department remains responsible to update Oracle and check the I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification document) with HR or our office. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information about I-9.

  • Five-Point Letter

    As a Research Scholar, Professor, Short-Term Scholar or Student Intern, the Exchange Visitor is normally NOT authorized to have patient contact.

    However, in certain cases, an Exchange Visitor physician participating in a program of observation, consultation, teaching or research may need to have limited patient contact in order to carry out those objectives. If the patient contact is incidental to those objectives, a physician participating in a non-clinical exchange program can engage in incidental patient contact.

    Example of acceptable activities:

    • doing a diagnostic examination in the presence of a senior physician who repeats the examination or ensures at every step that it is done correctly and the proper diagnostic information is obtained;
    • being present during therapies and treatment with opportunities for hands on experience in ways that do not compromise the care of the patient;
    • being present in the operating room and having limited patient contact, but not performing procedures.

    If the Exchange Visitor needs to be authorized to have incidental patient contact, we need to collect a specific document called Five-Point Letter, signed by the Faculty Sponsor, the Faculty Chair and the Dean of the School of Medicine or his designee. The letter will specifically define the boundaries of the authorized patient contact.

    Please contact the ISSS Office if you need to get such a letter.

  • When Can the Exchange Visitor Be on Campus?

    Exact start dates can be hard to pinpoint. ISSS must receive all forms and documents AT LEAST 2 MONTHS prior to the exchange visitor’s scheduled start date at UAB.

    ISSS can issue the DS-2019 approximately two weeks after receiving ALL necessary documents from both the exchange visitor and the department. Once we generate the DS-2019, the exchange visitor can go online and book a visa interview appointment at a US embassy or consulate abroad. Visa appointment wait times vary widely depending on the time of year and the embassy or consulate chosen. Wait times can be viewed on the Department of State website.

    It can take a week or so to receive the visa after the appointment, and some exchange visitors may be selected for administrative processing (more information about administrative processing is available on the Department of State website – scroll to get to the appropriate question). A good rule of thumb is to plan on a start date and then add 30 days. In case of an unforeseen event, we may be able to change the dates, however, the start date listed on the DS-2019 is meant to be a firm start date at UAB.

    The Exchange Visitor may enter the US up to 30 days before or after the start date listed on the DS-2019. We advise that they arrive about 1 or 2 weeks early to get settle and accomplish various administrative tasks before starting their research or internship.

  • How Much Will It Cost?

    For appointments in 02 temporary, 04 irregular or 60 volunteer HR categories, there will be a cost of $350 attached to the IE clearance process. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details.

     

    There is still no costs to issue the form DS-2019 unless the department wishes to reimburse the exchange visitor for the cost of the:

    • J-1 SEVIS fee (or I-901 fee) – this fee is only paid once for initial J-1
    • Visa application fee – this fee is due every time the Exchange Visitor applies for a new visa at the US Consulate/Embassy. Please see the difference between visa vs. immigration status on the International Exchange Visitors J-1 FAQ web page.
    • and/or English Proficiency Test fee
  • After the DS-2019 Is Generated

    We ship the DS-2019 and a pre-arrival packet of information, including a free SIM card, to the exchange visitor using the departmental UPS/FedEx account. Exchange visitors must present the blue-ink signed hard copy DS-2019 at their visa appointment at a US embassy or consulate abroad in order to obtain a J-1 visa to enter the US.

    The Department is responsible to create the ACT document in Oracle and request a dummy SSN to the financial affairs. Our office can assist for the I-9 (please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information).

    Please keep in touch with the Exchange Visitor and ISSS Office about the arrival in the US so we can schedule an Orientation.