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J-1 Exchange Visitors (EVs) in the Research Scholar/Professor and Short-Term Scholar categories are invited to JHU to engage in a specific activity or “program objective”, agreed upon between the EV and their hosting department. The J-1 program objective” typically involves academic/research-based activities that take place at a pre-approved site of activity. Occasionally, EVs may receive offers to engage in paid activities beyond the scope of their primary program objective. Prior to engaging in any additional activities, EV’s must carefully review the information provided below:

  • EVs under J-1 sponsorship of JHU are not allowed to engage in work outside of their JHU hosting department or for any other U.S. institution without prior written approval by the OIS.
  • EVs are not allowed to receive payment outside of the funding specifically noted on their Form DS-2019 [box 5] unless given prior written authorization from the OIS before accepting such payment.

OIS must review any activities occurring outside of an EV’s primary program objective, to determine that the activity is consistent with J-1 regulatory requirements. Activities may include limited extracurricular activities on-campus (such as teaching), as well as occasional lectures or short-term consultations occurring off-campus. Prior to beginning and activity, OIS must confirm that the activity meets the following regulatory requirements:

  • is directly related to the objectives of the J-1 EV’s program;
  • is incidental to the J-1 EV’s primary program objectives;
  • will not delay the completion date of the J-1 EV’s program;
  • is documented in SEVIS.

If activity can be authorized, an OIS advisor will provide written confirmation to the EV. With this prior written authorization, an EV may be compensated, paid, or reimbursed for limited extracurricular activities on-campus OR occasional off-campus lectures, consultations, or seminars. For paid activities off-campus, the EV must act as an independent contractor, as such term is defined in 8CFR 274a.1(j).

*Scholars sponsored by Fulbright, or other Exchange Programs must contact their program sponsor for specific information and instructions.

Instructions for Requesting Incidental Activity Authorization

Follow the steps below at least 10 business days prior to the proposed activity. Authorization cannot be given after the activity has occurred. (Receiving unauthorized payment is a violation of J-1 status and may result in OIS reporting a “minor or technical infraction” on the EV’s SEVIS record per 22 CFR 62.45(c)(3).

  1. Obtain a signed letter from the prospective employer on the employer’s letterhead that includes the following items :
    • Your name
    • Exact start and end date of prospective activity
    • Number of hours/week
    • Amount of compensation
    • Physical address where activity will take place
    • Field of study or subject of the activity
    • Description of the activity for which you are being hired/invited to participate
    • Terms and conditions of the proposed employment, if applicable
    • If the position is contractual, employer must confirm it will not be extended, if applicable
  2. Obtain a signed letter from the faculty supervisor at JHU on departmental letterhead that includes the following items:
    • Refers to the letter from the proposed employer
    • Confirms that the proposed employment is directly related to the scholar’s principal reason for being at JHU, is incidental, and will not delay completion of the J-1 program
    • explains how the proposed employment would enhance the scholar’s overall academic and professional objective
    • Recommends approval of the proposed employment
  3. EV must submit the Incidental Activity Request eForm (and upload both letters referenced above) at least 10 business days PRIOR to the proposed activity.

    To Submit the Incidental Activity Request:
    • Go to
    • Click “Login” under “Active JHED Login”
    • Login with your JHED ID and password
    • Once logged in, click on “J-1 Scholars Services” in the menu on the left, then click on “Incidental Activity Request” eForm
    • You will be required to upload both the letters stated above and submit the eForm

*Email [email protected] for any iHopkins login or eForm issues.

If you have questions about J-1 Exchange Visitor status, contact the OIS at [email protected].