J-1 Scholars (Exchange Visitor Visa)

The J-1 exchange visitor program is designed to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills between the U.S. and other countries in the fields of education, arts, and sciences. Participants come to The Research Institute as students; visiting professors; research scholars; professional trainees in the medical and allied fields; and other international visitors coming for the purpose of observation, consultation, research, teaching, sharing, or demonstrating specialized knowledge or skills, or participating in organized people-to-people programs.

Exchange visitor applicants must meet specific requirements to qualify for an exchange visitor (J) visa under immigration law. The consular officer will determine whether you qualify for the visa. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate that they properly meet requirements, including the following:

  • That they plan to remain in the U.S. for a temporary, specific, limited period;

  • Evidence of funds to cover expenses in the U.S.;

  • Evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad; and other binding ties which will insure their return abroad at the end of the visit

To fulfill the ideal exchange, exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country after completion of their J-1 program.

Principal Investigator Checklist

  • Notify Human Resources of intent to hire person and submit job description for posting on the Children’s Hospital Web site.

  • Determine a realistic start date and duration of sponsorship (due to the length of time it takes to obtain a visa, the start date should be at least 30 days into the future from the time OIA receives the completed request)

  • Complete the letter template for Inviting a J-1 Scholar, and submit it to the Paralegal - Immigration Specialist (request a letter template here)

Scholar Checklist

  • Fill out application form from the e-Scholar invitation e-mail

Additional Procedures

Length of Status

Research Scholars: Minimum 3 weeks with maximum duration of stay 5 years.

The five-year period is not an aggregate of five years. It is a continuous five-year period given to a scholar on a “use or lose” basis. In order to take advantage of the full five-year period, J-1 Research Scholars and/or Professors must have a continuous academic appointment, at a J-1 Program Sponsor in the United States. They must maintain J-1 immigration status, and they must have a continuous J-1 immigration record in SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System), an academic tracking system, which is maintained by the scholar’s home institution.

Change from a J-1 VISA to an H-1B

If in J-1 status, a copy of each form DS-2019 issued.

A final waiver approval notice from USCIS or the letter of recommendation for a waiver from the US Department of State, of any two-year home residency requirements must be submitted.

Before a J-1 Exchange Visitor can change status he/she may be subject to the two year foreign residence requirement of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Act states that the J-1 Exchange Visitor must return to their home country for two years. If the J-1 Exchange Visitor who is subject to but does not wish to comply with the two year foreign residence requirement, may apply for a waiver. The J-1 exchange Visitor must complete the on-line Department of State Form DS-3035, J-1 Visa Waiver recommendation Application. (The processing fee is $215 plus a $297 OSU processing fee)

At the conclusion of the review process, the Waiver Review Division will forward its recommendation directly to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the Department of Homeland Security. The J-1 Exchange Visitor will receive a copy of that recommendation. USCIS has the responsibility for making the final determination on the waiver request.

Processing J-1s

The Paralegal - Immigration Specialist works closely with the Office of International Affairs (OIA) at The Ohio State University (OSU) through the process e-Scholar.