The J-1 Exchange Visitor Category
According to the Department of State (DOS), the purpose of the J-1 Exchange Program is to increase mutual
understanding between the people of the United States (US) and the people of other countries by means of
educational and cultural exchanges.
The exchange of visiting scholars promotes interchange, mutual enrichment, and linkages between research
and educational institutions in US and foreign countries. Participants in this program will enter the US with a
J-1 visa, identified as “exchange visitors.”
J-1 Categories at the Johns Hopkins University: Medical Institutions
J-1 scholar appointments at the Johns Hopkins University: Medical Institutions fall into one of the following
Research Scholar: a research scholar is an individual primarily conducting research, observing, or
consulting in connection with a research project. The research scholar may also teach or lecture,
unless disallowed by the sponsor.
Minimum stay of three weeks required
Maximum stay of five years
Short-term Scholar: a short-term scholar is an individual coming to the US for a period of up to six
months to lecture, observe, consult, and participate in seminars, workshops, conferences, study tours,
professional meetings, or similar types of educational and professional activities.
No minimum stay required
Maximum stay of six months (NOTE: no extensions beyond six months under any
Professor: a professor is an individual primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting. A
professor may also conduct research, unless disallowed by the sponsor.
Minimum stay of three weeks required
Maximum stay of five years
** The Johns Hopkins University: Medical Institutions also has the ability to sponsor students who meet the
Exchange Visitor Program’s eligibility requirements.
Limitations for J-1 Professor and Research Scholar Categories
An individual who is participating in the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program in the Professor or Research Scholar
category will be eligible for 5 years of program sponsorship. However, an individual will immediately, upon
entry to the U.S. in as a J-1 Professor or J-1 Research Scholar, become subject to a 24 month bar on “repeat
participation” in those categories (and only those categories), after completing or breaking the continuity of
the 5 year period of eligibility.
Under the U.S. Department of State’s interpretation, the 24 month bar applies in two circumstances:
(1) If the J-1 Professor or J-1 Research Scholar completes a full five years of program participation with
one or more sponsors; or
(2) If, before the full five-year program is over the J-1 Professor or J-1 Research Scholar “completes” his
or her program. In this case, the continuity of the five-year period is broken, the five-year window is
“closed,” the individual is not eligible to access the remaining unused time, and the individual must
wait for 24 months before beginning a new program as a J-1 Professor or J-1 Research Scholar.
NOTE: The new 24 month bar is an independent bar. The two-year home residence requirement [commonly
referred to as 212(e)] remains in place and is unchanged.
** On the JHU/JHH medical campus, institutional policy requires that J-1 Exchange Visitors complete all time
eligible to them under their J-1 program before departments may sponsor them for the H-1B1
J-1 sponsorship will only be extended to individuals who will hold a University Academic Appointment. To
this end, positions posted through University Human Resources, Johns Hopkins Hospital or Johns Hopkins
Health Systems are not eligible for sponsorship under the Johns Hopkins University: Medical Institutions
Exchange Visitor Program. Additionally, the Professor and Scholar category is intended for short term
academic engagements. Our J-1 program cannot be used for tenure-track faculty positions.
It is the responsibility of the Professor or Research Scholar to review and understand the policy for the School
who has sponsored their Exchange Visitor Program. Each School on the JHMI campus develops its own
policies under the guidance of the School’s Academic Standards.
Similarly, the J-1 program of the Johns Hopkins University: Medical Institutions may not be used for
appointment into any JHU clinical training program. Foreign Medical Graduates [FMG’s] who wish to
participate in clinical programs of graduate medical education or training cannot be sponsored by the
University's exchange visitor program. The only exchange program authorized to sponsor FMGs as J-1
exchange visitors for internships, residencies, specialized clinical training, and in other positions involving
more than incidental patient contact, is the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).
Minimum Funding Requirements
A minimum of $24,000 a year * is required to support a scholar at Johns Hopkins University: Medical
Institutions; an additional $3,300 a year is required for an accompanying spouse, and an additional $3,300 a
year for each accompanying child. * All postdoctoral fellows must meet the School’s PGY appropriate funding
level. The Schools of Medicine and Public Health follow NIH funding guidelines. All postdoctoral fellows
should refer to the Sponsoring School’s Student Affairs Office for specific funding information. For
sponsorship in the Student category, the OIS strictly adheres to each School’s estimated tuition and living
These funds may come from Johns Hopkins University, an outside organization, or the individual may be
supported by his or her own resources. Immigration regulations require proof of sufficient supporting funds
before an immigration document can be issued.
Health Insurance Requirements
Exchange Visitors are required to carry medical insurance [as well as any dependents in J-visa status] for the
duration of your program. Some sponsors provide the required insurance for their participants. Other
sponsors may allow you to make your own arrangements or may help to identify insurance carriers. Consult
with your responsible officer before the start of your program.
Minimum Coverage — Insurance shall cover: (1) medical benefits of at least $50,000 per person per accident
or illness; (2) repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500; and (3) expenses associated with medical
evacuation in the amount of $10,000.
Additional Terms — A policy secured to fulfill the insurance requirements shall not have a deductible that
exceeds $500 per accident or illness, and must meet other standards specified in the regulations.
Maintenance of Insurance — Willful failure on your part to maintain the required insurance will result in the
termination of your exchange program.
Two-Year Home Country Residence Requirement
When you agree to participate in an Exchange Visitor Program and your program falls under the conditions
explained below, you will be subject to the two-year home-country physical presence (foreign residence)
requirement. This means you will be required to return to your home country for two years at the end of your
exchange visitor program. This requirement under immigration law is based on Section 212(e) of the
Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, and Title 22 Part 40 and Part 41 in the Code of Federal
Two-year Home-country Physical Presence Requirement Conditions - An exchange visitor is subject to the two-
year home country physical presence requirement if the following conditions exist:
Government funded exchange program - The program in which the exchange visitor was participating was
financed in whole or in part directly or indirectly by the U.S. government or the government of the exchange
visitor's nationality or last residence;
Graduate medical education or training - The exchange visitor entered the U.S. to receive graduate medical
education or training;
Specialized knowledge or skill: Skills List - The exchange visitor is a national or permanent resident of a
country which has deemed the field of specialized knowledge or skill necessary to the development of the
country, as shown on the Exchange Visitor Skills List. Review the Exchange Visitor Skills List 2009.
Change of Status and Waivers of Requirement - If the exchange visitor is subject to the two-year home-country
physical presence (foreign residence) requirement, he or she cannot change his/her status to that of H, L, K, or
immigrant lawful permanent resident (LPR) until he or she has returned to his/her home country for at least
two-years or received a waiver of that requirement. Such waivers may be requested and if approved, obtained
under these five separate bases:
No Objection Statement;
Conrad Program, or
Interested Government Agency
For information about waivers, eligibility and process, see Waiver of the J Visa Two-Year Foreign Residence
Required Qualifications for Exchange Visitor Sponsorship as a Research Scholar or Professor
All J-1 scholars at Johns Hopkins University: Medical Institutions are required to have at least a bachelor’s
degree in a related field study and have demonstrated relevant experience in their field of expertise. The OIS
relies on the sponsoring school to ensure all credentialing requirements are met in addition to this
Special Documentation for Foreign Physicians
The Johns Hopkins University: Medical Institutions’ Exchange Visitor program does not permit clinical activity
under our J-1 sponsorship. Participation in an exchange program where patient contact is incidental to the
physician's primary activity of teaching, research, or observation, will only be permitted with the express
written consent of the Associate Dean of Graduate Medical Education.
For information about the Incidental Patient Contact approval process, please consult the Office of
International Student, Faculty & Staff Services.
Payment of SEVIS Fee
All Exchange Visitors are required to pay the SEVIS fee. Detailed information on paying the SEVIS fee is
available at: Paying the SEVIS Fee
J-1 Exchange Visitor Arrival
When you arrive at Johns Hopkins University, you must report to the Office of International Student, Faculty
& Staff Services [OIS]. Failure to report to the OIS will result in a termination of your SEVIS record and a
failure to maintain status.
Maintaining Legal Status
It is the responsibility of the Exchange Visitor to understand the regulations that govern their status and
comply with those regulations. To assist you with this obligation, each Exchange Visitor must read and sign
the Maintaining your Student/Scholar status statement.
Employment Options for Scholars
Professors and Research Scholars may give occasional lectures and short-term consultations incidental to
their primary activities, if approved by the OIS in advance. Please review the Employment Options for
Scholars information on the OIS website for detailed information or visit the OIS during Walk in Advising
Extensions or Stay, Changes in Program or Transfer of J-1 Sponsorship
You must consult the OIS in advance of any change in your Exchange Visitor Program. The OIS encourages
Students and Scholars to meet with an advisor during Walk in Advising. Offered Monday – Thursday, Walk in
Advising is intended to address these kinds of questions, and guide Students and Scholars through the each
of these processes.
Completing your J-1 Program
You must notify the OIS if you prior to completion of your J-1 program. The OIS requires a properly
completed Departure Notification Form. Failure to notify the OIS will directly affect a Scholars ability to
return to the U.S. in another Research Scholar or Professor program.