J-1 Exchange Visitor Guidelines

J-1 status is appropriate for many research positions at UMMS.  Requests for J sponsorship, must be sent to Immigration Services at least 3 months in advance of the desired start date. If less notice is given, it is possible that the individual will not arrive at UMMS by the requested date.

Health Insurance - Non-UMMS Funded Sponsorship Requests - Research Scholar/Professor - Short-term Scholar - SEVIS Record - 24-month bar

Health Insurance Coverage

J-1 Exchange Visitors and their J-2 dependents must be covered by sickness and accident insurance for the duration of their stay in the United States, including the 60 - 90 days before UMMS health benefits commence. Failure to purchase such insurance may lead to loss of legal immigration status and termination from the Exchange Visitor Program. J-1 Health Insurance Requirements

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Non-UMMS Funded Sponsorship Requests

J-1 Research Scholars or J-1 Short-term scholars not fully funded by UMMS, must be funded by a foreign grant, institution or government. Proof of the funding source is required prior to document issuance.

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Researcher Scholar/ Professor Category

UMMS will sponsor J-1 Researcher visas for professional level research positions. Positions that allow for sponsorship include the following:

  • Postdoctoral Research Associate
  • Instructor

Other position titles will be considered on an individual basis, but must meet the minimum federal credential guidelines. All positions must also meet salary minimums as stated in institutional guidelines.

There are three factors considered when determining an individual’s eligibility as a J-1 researcher or professor:

  • Must possess a graduate degree or a Bachelor’s degree and significant experience in the field of the proposed activity.
  • May not be a candidate for a tenure-track position. [22 C.F.R. 62.20(d)(1)]
  • Can not be subject to bars on repeat participation in a J program

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J-1 Short Term Category

Under certain circumstances, individuals who plan to enter the United States for short periods of time may be eligible for J sponsorship in this category.  The eligibility requirements include:

  • The individual must possess a graduate degree or a Bachelor’s degree and significant experience in the field of the proposed activity.
  • The period of stay will not last for more than 6 months
  • The work will be limited to lecturing, observing, consulting, participation in seminars, study tours, professional meetings, or similar types of education and professional activities.

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SEVIS Records

Immigration Services must create a SEVIS record for an incoming exchange visitor prior to issuing the Form DS-2019.  Immigration Services must report certain information about the J-1 exchange visitor to SEVIS throughout the J program and upon completion of program at UMMS.  SEVIS Information

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24 Month Bar on Repeat Participation

An individual who participates in the Exchange Visitor Program as a Professor or Research Scholar becomes subject to a 24-month bar on "repeat participation" in those categories after completing his or her program. Under DOS's interpretation, the 24-month bar applies under two circumstances:

  1. If the Professor or Research Scholar completes a full five years of program participation with one or more sponsors; or
  2. If, before the full five-year period is over, the Professor or Research Scholar completes his or her program. In this case, the continuity of the five-year period is broken, the five-year window is "closed," the individual is not eligible to access the remaining unused time, and the individual must wait for two years before beginning a new program as a J Professor or Research Scholar.

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