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J-1 Exchange Visitors (EVs) 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 EVs 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 EVs 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.*

Address Reporting

EVs are required to maintain a residential address in the U.S. at all times while in J-1 status. They must 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, EVs must email [email protected] with ADDRESS UPDATE in the subject line. EVs 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 EVs (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 EVs 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 EVs maintain a consistent program objective throughout the duration of their J-1 status.

The U.S. Department of State requires J-1 Exchange programs to take place primarily in-person at the approved activity site(s), which are listed in section 1 of the form DS-2019 (allowing a maximum of 2 days remote work/week). Virtual or fully remote exchange programs are not permitted.

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).

EVs 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).

Patient Contact Restrictions

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, may be possible with prior approval from the Office of International Services (OIS). For information about the Incidental Patient Contact approval process, please consult the OIS at [email protected].

Any J Exchange Visitor who engages in any Patient Contact and/or Clinical Activity without the express written consent of the Associate Dean of Graduate Medical Education and the knowledge and consent of the OIS will be immediately dismissed from JHU Exchange Visitor Program sponsorship.

J-1 Incidental Employment

Occasionally, EVs 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 Incidental Activities section of our website before engaging in any off campus activities.

For on campus opportunities, contact [email protected] 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 EVs 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 EVs 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. EVs 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 EVs, 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 [email protected].

J-1 End of Program Requirements

The J-1 program end date is listed in box 3 of the DS-2019 form. EVs should be aware of the time limitations specific to their J-1 Category. EVs who are nearing their program end date should review the information below:

J-1 Extension:

  • EVs 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.

J-1 Transfer:

  • EVs 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: EVs 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. EVs 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 EVs may not be permitted re-entry in J-1 status.

Early Completion:

  • 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.

  1. Go to
  2. Click “Login” under “Active JHED Login.”
  3. Login with your JHED ID and password
  4. Once logged in, click on “J-1 Scholar Services” in the menu on the left, then click on ” End of Program Departure Information “
  5. Complete the eform and submit.

For questions about maintaining J-1 Exchange Visitor status, please contact the OIS at [email protected].