U.S. Visa

Nakatani RIES Fellowship for Japanese Students – U.S. Visa

Rice University requires that all undergraduate students conducting research in university laboratories enter the U.S. on a nonimmigrant, J-1 Non-Degree Undergraduate Student visa.  You cannot use the visa waiver program to enter the U.S. to participate in the Nakatani RIES Fellowship program. You will be required to apply for and receive a J-1 visa to be able to participate in this program.

Selected participants will receive detailed information on the J-1 visa application process and documentation required from Rice University and all documentation must be submitted to Rice at least 90 days prior to arrival in the U.S.

Submitting Documentation to Rice University for DS-2019 Form
Selected participants will be required to submit all of the following documentation to Rice University. After review and approval, Rice’s Office of International Students and Scholars will issue you the DS-2019 form you will need to apply for your J-1 Non-Degree visa. This form will be sent to you in Japan via express mail and you must keep it in a safe place as you will need to show it at your J-1 visa interview and to enter the U.S. (see below).

  • Certification of English Language Ability by:
    • Passing the CWOVC English Language Interview or
    • Submission of minimum English Language test scores
  • Scanned copy of the photograph page of your passport
  • CV/Resume
  • Current University Transcript/Grade Report in English
  • Letter of Support & Verification of Good Academic Standing Letter from University in Japan
  • DS-2019 Request Form: Student
  • J-1 Statement of Understanding Form
  • Rice Visiting Student Researcher Application Form & Application Fee*
  • Proof of Meningococcal Vaccination (only required for students 22 or younger)**

* Paid for by program

** Immunizations: Students under the age of 22 will be required to provide proof of meningococcal vaccination per Texas State Law for enrollment in the Rice University Summer School. No other immunizations are required to enter the U.S. We do recommend all regular immunizations be up to date prior to departure. See the CDC: Health Information for Traveler’s to the U.S. for more details on recommended travel vaccinations.

Applying for Your J-1 Non-Degree Student Visa & Paying Visa Fees 
After you receive your DS-2019 form from Rice University, you will need to individually schedule your J-1 visa interview with your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Students typically completed their J-1 visa interviews in June or early July but exact date/time will vary by individual. You must pay all associated J-1 visa application and SEVIS processing fees individually.

Detailed instructions on how to complete the visa application forms will be provided to selected participants in the Assignments section of Canvas. For more information on the process of applying for a non-immigrant, J-1 visa in Japan see the following sites from the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo:

You should check with the U.S. Embassy websites above for the most up to date cost information, but estimated costs for a J-1 visa application include:

  • Visa application costs for J-1 visa (~ $160)
  • SEVIS Fee (~ $180)

Immigration Documents Necessary to Enter the U.S. 
Once participants have received their U.S. visas, they will be required to submit a scanned copy of their visa to Rice University prior to arrival. Students must keep their original DS-2019 form in a safe place and bring this with them to the U.S.  You will need to show your passport, U.S. visa, and the DS-2019 form to the immigration official when you enter the country.

As a requirement of your J-1 visa, students must also have approved health insurance for the duration of their stay in the U.S.  The Nakatani RIES Fellowship will pay for your health insurance directly and information on your health insurance policy will be provided during the Pre-Departure Orientation program in Kyoto.

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