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International and Postdoctoral Services Office newsletter for J-1s and J-2s. 
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The J Connection

March 2020

IPSO open for business, taking precautionary measures due to COVID-19

The ISPO office remains open for business, but as a result of precautionary measures concerning COVID-19, all in-person meetings are being significantly reduced. Rest assured that we are on the job full-time and coming to the office when necessary. 

If you need us, the best way to reach us is by submitting an appointment request
Whenever possible we will communicate with you via email or phone and use your Box folder for document exchange. Should original documents be required, we will arrange for you to either drop off or pick up the documents in our office at specific times. 

COVID-19 Resources

Minimum funding amount for J Exchange Visitors to increase

Effective September 1, 2020, for the first time in over a decade, the AU J program minimum funding amount will increase to $27,000 per year. The funding amounts for J-2 dependents will remain the same.

If you are an Exchange Visitor Affiliate (not paid by Augusta University), this means that if you request an extension of your J program on or after September 1, 2020, you will need financial documents to show that you have at least $27,000. If you have dependents, you will need to show additional funding for them as well.  

If you are a J-1 Exchange Visitor who is employed by Augusta University, this means that if you request an extension of your J program on or after September 1, 2020, your salary will need to be at least $27,000. If you have dependents, your salary will also need to cover the additional funding required for dependents or you will need to show proof of personal funds.

Please note that this increase aligns the minimum funding amount for J-1 Exchange Visitors with the Graduate Research Assistant stipend amount set annually by The Graduate School at Augusta University. The effective date for the future adjustments will be September 1 each year.
 

 Status
 (Visa Type)
 J Exchange Visitor Program Minimum Funding
 Current  Effective
 September 1, 2020
 Per year  Per month  Per year  Per month
 J-1 Exchange Visitor   $ 23,660  $ 1,972  $ 27,000  $ 2,250
 J-2 spouse  $ 6,000  $ 500  $ 6,000  $ 500
 Each J-2 child
 (under 21 years old)
 $ 2,400  $ 200  $ 2,400  $ 200

PROTECT YOUR INFORMATION
What and where is PII?

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is any information that may be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity.

Examples of PII include, but are not limited to:
  • SEVIS identification number
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) case number
  • USCIS identification number
  • Passport or citizenship document number
  • Visa
    • Control number
    • Unique visa stamp number (in red on visa)
  • Form I-94 number
  • Social Security number
  • Personal identification number from other government-issued documents
Examples of documents related to your immigration status that contain PII include, but are not limited to, your:
  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Form DS-2019
  • Form I-94
  • Social Security Card
  • Employment Authorization Document (J-2)
  • Form DS-2019 Request Forms
  • Applications to USCIS
  • Funding documents
Before providing documents containing PII or PII to anyone confirm that:
  • You are required to provide the information.
  • The person or entity receiving the information is
    • required to have the information.
    • authorized to receive the information.
  • You are providing the information though a secure transmission or in-person. 
Use only secure, verified means of transmission. Email, text, during telephone conversations or on voicemail may not be secure, verifiable means of transmission.

CENSUS
Yes, you should participate in the Census 2020

"The Census is a questionnaire that asks about the number of people living in the United States. Knowing the number of people in a city, county, or the whole state allows for the planning of day-to-day operations, the future, and even emergencies."
- Georgia Census 2020
You may have received a document in the mail asking you to participate in the Census 2020 and wondered if you — as a J-1 Exchange Visitor — should participate. The answer is yes. The Census 2020 is for everyone. See the FAQs about counting the foreign-born population on the Census 2020 website.

For more information, you may also visit Georgia's Census 2020 website or the national Census 2020 website

TAXES
Deadline for filing taxes extended due to COVID-19

The deadline for filing your taxes has been extended to July 15 due to the COVID-19 virus. 

As a J-1, you are required to complete a tax form — even if you don't earn income in the U.S. Each of your J-2 dependents also needs to complete this form.

For details, email Rebecca Wagner, Augusta University Tax Specialist. 

SCAM ALERT
Beware of scam phone calls during tax season

The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) will not call you or email you demanding an immediate payment. Do not give out your credit or debit card number over the phone, and do not agree to send money via a wire transfer or prepaid debit card. If you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, hang up.

If you're not sure if you owe taxes, you can call the IRS directly at 800-336-4484. For more information, visit the IRS webpage about phone scams

REMINDER
Moving? Don't forget to update your address

If your address changes, please let us know by filling out our Information Change Request Form.

You are also required by regulation (8 CFR 265) to notify USCIS of your address change within 10 days after you move - even if you change from one apartment number to another - by filling out the Form AR-11 online.
Copyright © 2020 Augusta University IPSO, All rights reserved.


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