University of California, Riverside

International Students and Scholars Office


It is a U.S. Federal Government requirement that exchange visitors and their dependents have adequate medical insurance coverage for the period of their stay while in the United States.

Garnett-Powers & Associates offers a Visiting Scholar Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan (UCR-VSP) for Visiting Scholars at University of California, Riverside. This comprehensive medical plan is offered through Student Resources, a United Healthcare company specializing in university health programs.

As a new Visiting Scholar on UC Riverside (UCR) campus, you are required to have medical insurance, either through UCR Visiting Scholar Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan (UCR-VSP) program, from another insurer or provided by your home country. If you have other insurance, it must meet what is considered "comparable coverage" to the insurance offered through UCR-VSP program. This comparable coverage is meant to ensure adequate coverage for both the visiting scholar and any eligible dependents. The minimum levels of coverage that must be offered through your own insurance are: 

  • $100,000 per accident or illness in medical coverage
  • Deductible of no more than $500 per accident or illness
  • Coinsurance cannot exceed 25%
  • Medical evacuation coverage must be at least  $50,000
  • Repatriation  coverage must be at least $25,000
  • Plan must include a waiting period for pre-existing conditions of no longer than 12 months
  • Carrier must be at least A- rated or backed by the full faith and credit of the Exchange Visitor's government


Additionally, “sponsors must inform all exchange visitors that they, and any accompanying spouse and dependent(s), also may be subject to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.” [22 CFR 62.14(a)]. 

Garnett Powers will verify that your insurance plan will cover all requirements. If your insurance meets these requirements, you may waive (decline coverage) for this plan. Please complete the appropriate sections of the Enrollment Form in order to waive the coverage. You must provide proof of comparable insurance coverage by providing a copy of your insurance policy or schedule of benefits written in English. If your policy is not written in English, you must provide an official translation of the insurance. You may either scan and email your document to or fax it to 949-215-2275, attention UCR-VSP Services. If you waive coverage for yourself and/or your eligible dependents, you will not be eligible for coverage until September 1, 2015, unless you experience a qualifying event, such as marriage, birth or adoption of a child, or a loss of other coverage.

The insurance should cover sickness or accident during the entire period of participation in UCR’s exchange visitor program.  A J-1 exchange visitor who willfully fails to maintain the insurance coverage or who makes a material misrepresentation concerning such coverage shall be deemed to be in violation of these regulations and shall be subject to termination of their J-1 visa status.

J-1 exchange visitor visa holders who are ineligible for UCR insurance coverage, or only need a stand-alone policy for medical evacuation and repatriation; can enroll in UC Riverside Visiting Scholar Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan (UCR-VSP)The plan meets the minimum medical coverage required by the U.S Department of State for the J-1 visa category.

Please visit the Garnett-Powers website and enroll in the insurance program or apply for a waiver.

J-1 exchange visitor visa holders who are postdocs hired in title code 3252 (Postdoc-Employee) are eligible for medical, dental, and vision insurance as soon as they begin. They are also provided with repatriation and evacuation insurance, which meets the minimum medical coverage required by the U.S Department of State for the J-1 visa category. More information is available at

For more information about the UC Riverside Visiting Scholar Plan (UCR-VSP), go to Should you have any questions about this program, please contact Garnett-Powers & Associates by phone at 1-888-441-3719 or via email at

Proof of health insurance is required upon arrival at check-in with ISC and when the DS-2019 form is extended.

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Office Hours

Regular office hours: Monday through Thursday: 08:00 AM - 12:00 PM & 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Open advising hours:
Monday - Friday
10:00am - 12:00pm and 1:00 - 4:00pm

*Appointments are also available.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

International Students and Scholars Office
0321 Surge Building

Tel: (951) 827-4113
Fax: (951) 827-3248