J-1 Exchange Visitors (EV’s) must familiarize themselves with the responsibilities and obligations of their J-1 Exchange Visitor immigration status. The information on this page provides more information on maintaining J-1 status for EV’s who have arrived to the U.S. and are actively participating in their J-1 program.
Additional information about the J-1 status and general information about the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is provided in our J-1 Pre-Arrival Guide.
Understanding J-1 Status
It is important for J-1 EV’s to understand both the nature and purpose of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program as described on the Current Scholars section of our website, as well as the laws, regulations and university-specific policies affecting their immigration status.
J-1 Immigration Documents
J-1 Exchange Visitors are required to maintain valid immigration documents at all times throughout the duration of their J-1 program. This includes:
- Passport (valid for 6 months in the future)
- J-1 entry stamp in passport
- I-94 record with class of admission as J-1 and “Duration of Status” or “D/S”
- J-1 DS-2019 form (Program dates in box 3 must be current, EV must request timely extension through department in advance of DS-2019 expiration)
*For individuals in possession of a J-1 VISA stamp- note that the Visa acts as an entry permit to the U.S., can expire while the individual is in the U.S., and must only be renewed for re-entry in J-1 status.*
EV’s are required to update their residential address with the OIS within ten days of moving. OIS is required by regulation to record the new address in SEVIS (the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System). To notify OIS of an address change, EV’s must email J1-Scholars@jhmi.edu with ADDRESS UPDATE in the subject line. EV’s should also notify their department of the address update. Postdoctoral Fellows and students should provide address updates to their school's registrar as well.
J-1 Health Insurance Requirement
J-1 EV’s (and any J-2 dependents) are required to maintain health insurance for their entire period of stay in the U.S. Health insurance coverage must meet specific criteria as outlined by J-1 federal regulations, and detailed on the Health Insurance Requirements section of the OIS website.
J-1 Program Objective & Site of Activity
J-1 EV’s are invited to the U.S. to engage in a specific activity, agreed upon between the EV and their hosting department at Johns Hopkins. Typically for J-1 Scholars, these activities involve a specific academic or research objective. J-1 regulations require that EV’s maintain a consistent program objective throughout the duration of their J-1 status. Additionally, activities must occur at approved activity site(s), which are listed in section 1 of form DS-2019.
OIS must be consulted prior to any changes to an EV’s appointment (including a change in faculty sponsor, change of lab, change of department, change in title or responsibilities, change in work location, etc.) so that OIS can ensure that the change is consistent with the EV’s original program objective and authorized activity site(s).
EV’s should also consult OIS prior to enrolling in courses not originally included in the J-1 program plan. Study pursuant to a degree is not permitted for J-1 Research Scholars, Professors or Short-Term Scholars.
Clinical Training Prohibition
The Exchange Visitor program of the Johns Hopkins University may not be used for appointment into any JHU clinical training program. The only exchange program authorized to sponsor foreign medical graduates as J-1 exchange visitors for medical internships, residencies, specialized clinical training, and in other positions involving more than incidental patient contact, is the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).
J-1 Incidental Employment
Occasionally, EV’s may be presented with professional opportunities occurring outside of their department OR outside of Johns Hopkins. The J-1 program limits these opportunities to require that the activity is both related and incidental to the EV’s program objective. Any work-related activity occurring outside of the EV’s hosting department must be pre-approved in writing by an OIS advisor before the date of the proposed activity.
For opportunities off campus, please review the J-1 Scholar Employment section of our website before engaging in any off campus activities.
For on campus opportunities, contact J1-Scholars@jhmi.edu before engaging in any additional activities. On campus activities may require a Department Administrator to submit a J-1 Amendment request in iHopkins.
J-1 Leave Time & Program Continuity
The J-1 Exchange Visitor status is a U.S.-based immigration status and EV’s must ensure J-1 program continuity by engaging full-time in their program objective while in the U.S. A break of 30 days or less does not represent a break in J-1 program continuity, and EV’s are permitted to take leave or travel for up to 30 days, as long as it is consistent with departmental leave policies and has been pre-approved by the department.
Individuals traveling outside of the U.S. should review the Travel Information section of the OIS website.
Very limited circumstances exist in which OIS would approve an extended period of leave/travel for an EV on an active J-1 program. EV’s who anticipate leave time or travel in excess of 30 days must consult OIS and their department in advance to determine whether it will be possible to maintain their appointment and their J-1 immigration status. Note that Leave of Absence (LOA) is not permitted for EV’s, except in limited circumstances where the health and welfare of the J-1 exchange visitor or their family members is at risk. Such cases require the completion of an LOA request form by the EV and their hosting department. Please contact OIS for inquiries about travel/leave time in excess of 30 days at J1-Scholars@jhmi.edu.
J-1 End of Program Requirements
The J-1 program end date is listed in box 3 of the DS-2019 form. EV’s should be aware of the time limitations specific to their J-1 Category. EV’s who are nearing their program end date should review the information below:
- EV’s with time remaining who wish to extend their program should work with their Department Administrator, who can initiate a J-1 Extension/Amendment request through iHopkins on the EV’s behalf.
- EV’s Transferring to another J-1 Program (outside of JHU) OR transferring to another JHU Department (interdepartmental transfer) should review the instructions on the J-1 Transfer Out section of the OIS website.
End J-1 Program:
- 30 Day Grace Period: EV’s who reach the end date listed on their DS-2019 form are allowed to remain in the U.S. for an additional 30 days during a time period referred to as the "Grace Period." During this 30-day grace period, participants may travel within the U.S. and prepare to return to their home countries. EV’s may no longer continue their J-1 program activities during this time. Travel outside of the United States is not recommended during the grace period as EV’s may not be permitted re-entry in J-1 status.
- J-1 Research Scholars, Professors or Short-term Scholars planning to complete their J-1 program more than 15 days prior to the end date on their DS-2019 form should notify the OIS by submitting the End of Program Departure Information form.
To submit the completed form, log into iHopkins to complete the “End of Program Departure Information” eform. EV will receive a confirmation email once their DS-2019 is updated.
- Go to http://ihopkins.jhu.edu
- Click "Login" under "Active JHED Login."
- Login with your JHED ID and password
- Once logged in, click on "J-1 Scholar Services" in the menu on the left, then click on " End of Program Departure Information "
- Complete the eform and submit.
For questions about maintaining J-1 Exchange Visitor status, please contact the OIS at J1-Scholars@jhmi.edu.