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The J-1 Exchange Visitor visa is meant to facilitate international exchange between the U.S. and other countries.  Acceptable activities in J-1 Exchange Visitor status include research and teaching or a combination of those activities. Individuals applying for J-1 Exchange Visitor status must have earned at least a Bachelor's degree.

ALL new Postdoctoral Research Fellows, Research Trainees, and Non-tenure track Faculty members will be advised to request DS-2019s for J-1 status.  For exceptions, please contact an OIS advisor at

Academic Appointment Requirement

All J-1 Scholars are required to hold a full-time academic appointment with the Johns Hopkins University. To this end, positions posted through University Human Resources (non-academic staff positions), Johns Hopkins Hospital or Johns Hopkins Health Systems are not eligible for sponsorship under the JHU Exchange Visitor Program. The J-1 program cannot be used for tenure-track faculty positions or for part-time academic appointments.


In 2019, the University established a policy for Visiting Faculty, Scholars and Students. Schools and Departments should be familiar with the requirements this places on all Visiting appointments, for both foreign and domestic visitors. As a result of the policy, some Schools may need to revise or develop internal processes to comply with the new policy, and in some circumstances, the OIS may be unable to extend immigration sponsorship where a School is unable to comply with all requirements set forth in the policy.


Requesting J-1 Scholar Sponsorship

J-1 sponsorship requests must be initiated by the hiring department.  Before beginning the J-1 request, it is important to review the Request Process, Funding Requirements and Timeline.  In addition, the Exchange Visitor is required to possess English language proficiency to successfully participate in his/her program and function in the U.S. on a day-to-day basis.  Proficiency must be determined by an acceptable objective measurement.  Please review the process for determining English proficiency prior to beginning a J-1 request.

Health Insurance

J-1 Exchange Visitors and their J-2 dependents are required to carry health insurance for the duration of the J-1 program. Failure to maintain health insurance is a violation of their Exchange Visitor Status. 

Patient Care/Contact

The Johns Hopkins University's 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 OIS.

OIS should be consulted if a Leave of Absence (LOA) is being considered

LOAs are typically not permitted for J-1 Exchange Visitors.  Department of State considers a J-1 exchange visitor SEVIS record status of “active” to be indicative of continued program participation.  In addition, while a J-1 record is in active status, the University (as the J program sponsor) is required to monitor the progress and welfare of the exchange visitor and the exchange visitor is required to maintain health insurance.  An LOA represents a break in program participation and is therefore not permitted while in J-1 status.  Department of State has indicated that program sponsors shall terminate the J-1 record if the exchange visitor is no longer pursuing activities for which he or she was admitted to the U.S.  The OIS strongly encourages exchange visitors to contact our office if they are considering an LOA as it may have negative effects on his or her J-1 status and the ability to return to the U.S. in J-1 status.  The only exceptions that may be made are in cases when the LOA is because of a personal medical issue or family medical issue. 

If you have questions about sponsorship of a J-1 Exchange Visitor, please contact the OIS at