ISSS Administrative Fee

ISSS charges an administrative fee in the amount of $100 for each visiting scholar. ISSS requires that the $100 fee be paid directly by the sponsoring department. The fee is assessed when ISSS creates the DS-2019.


The SEVIS fee is the charge assessed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to supplement federal government expenses involved in the maintenance and administration of the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). The current fee for J-1 exchange visitors is $220, which must be paid prior to the scholar applying for a J 1 visa. It is not a requirement that the host department pay this fee; it is responsibility of the scholar. However, departments may elect to pay this SEVIS on behalf of the scholar. For more information about paying the fee for a scholar, visit the SEVIS FAQ page, section 4.D.18.

Living Expenses

Scholars must demonstrate proof of funding to cover the following expenses for the duration of their stay:

  • $1000/month scholar cost of living
  • $500/month for spouse cost of living
  • $500/month for each child cost of living
  • Monthly insurance premium (see section below)
  • Any fees assessed by the department or college to host the scholar, if applicable

Acceptable forms of funding proof include an offer letter from the UI if paying the scholar, a funding letter from the scholar's home institution or sponsoring program, personal bank statements, etc.

Health Insurance Requirement

J-1 Scholar Health Insurance - University of Iowa Requirements

  • All new J-1 scholars and J-2 dependents must be covered by either the University of Iowa SHIP or UIChoice insurance program.
  • Paid scholars on the University of Iowa payroll will enroll in a UI insurance plan through their department. For information about plans for J-1 scholars who are paid by the University of Iowa, please visit the University Benefits website.
  • Unpaid scholars will choose a University of Iowa insurance plan during the J-1 scholar check-in with ISSS. Health insurance options for J-1 scholars who are not paid by the University of Iowa are described in the "Unpaid J-1 Scholar" site.
  • Scholars who are already in the U.S. and invite J-2 dependents to join them must add the spouse and/or children to their UI insurance plan within 10 days of their arrival in the U.S.
  • No exceptions will be granted by International Programs and the Benefits Office; all J-1 scholars and their J-2 dependents who are on a University of Iowa DS-2019 must purchase and maintain the University of Iowa insurance. ISSS and Benefits track insurance payments each month; scholars or dependents who cancel their University of Iowa insurance before the program ends will lose legal status as per U.S. law.
  • University departments and programs may choose to pay for J-1 scholar and/or J-2 family insurance even if the scholar is not on a paid appointment; interested departments may contact ISSS for information.
  • Questions regarding J-1 scholar insurance policy should be directed to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) at