J-1 Visa, Exchange Visitors

PLEASE NOTE: Effective June 20, 2005 the duration of program participation for professors and research scholars will be five (5) years instead of three (3) years.

Exchange Visitors (EVs) are only permitted to engage in activities identified on the DS-2019 visa document. Case sponsors an exchange visitor program for students, researchers, visiting faculty, short-term scholars or specialists. The source and the amount of financial support for the EV are listed on the Form DS-2019. Please note that the Code of Federal Regulations (22 CFR, Part 62) specifies that J-1s may not be candidates for tenure track appointments. Printable version of this document (pdf)

Many J-1 visa holders are subject to rule 212(e) - Two year foreign residence requirement. This means the visitor must return to and be physically present in their home country for the two years immediately following the completion of their program in the United States. Prospective J-1 visitors and sponsors should keep this in mind when considering a J-1 visa. For current J-1s seeking a waiver of 212(e), please visit this State Department site.

Since September 1994, all Exchange Visitors and their visa dependents (J-2) are required under regulations to purchase and maintain health care insurance of at least the following amounts:

  • $50,000 medical benefits per accident or illness;
  • $10,000 medical evaluation;
  • $7,500 repatriation of remains; and
  • $500 maximum deductible for each occurrence.

Exchange Visitors who receive university fringe benefits are automatically covered. Research Scholars and those Exchange Visitors who are self-funded or funded by external sources can purchase insurance at University Health Service or any other company that covers international visitors/students. (see Garnett-Powers & Associates) Brochures are available from the office of Immigration and Human Resource Services (IHRS).

The office of IHRS issues DS-2019(s) for all appointees, other than students. Please allow a reasonable period of time before the start date of the EV(s) employment so that IHRS may process your request in a timely manner. EVs who come as visiting faculty, researchers, and short-term scholars may receive funding from a variety of sources, which are identified on the DS-2019. Please note that any amount identified as a Sponsor obligation must be paid to the appointee, and no reduction of either the amount or the dates of appointment is permitted. Transfer from one Sponsor to another must follow a procedure specified by the U.S. Department of State (DOS). Please contact IHRS for assistance in the event that a J-1 EV will be transferring from another institution to Case. EVs who are sponsored by colleges and universities to participate in teaching, research or specialist activities have a minimum stay of 21 days and a general maximum stay of 60 months in the United States. DOS may permit an Exchange Visitor's stay to be extended for additional periods of time. This is referred to as an Extraordinary Extension and may be requested for the period of up to one year.

Universities may sponsor graduates of foreign medical schools to participate in teaching and/or research activities as long as patient care is incidental to the primary goals of the appointment. Please note that federal law prohibits these graduates of foreign medical schools from principally practicing medicine. Exchange Visitors cannot generally change the activity that is described on the Form DS-2019. In addition, some, but not all. Exchange Visitors, including J-1 students and J-2 dependents are subject to the two year home country physical residence requirement, (212(e)). This means that they may not change their nonimmigrant status while in the U.S., enter the U.S. in certain other nonimmigrant classifications, or becoming an immigrant/permanent resident until 212(e) is satisfied or waived.

J-1 Short-term Scholars are in the U.S. lecturing, consulting, observing, demonstrating special skills, participating in professional meetings, etc., and have a minimum stay of one day and a maximum stay of six months. Please fill out the Appointment for Short-Term Scholar pdf) form and send it to IHRS. No Appointment Letter/Offer Letter from the Dean is required. The Short-term Scholar will receive a Form DS-2019 for a J-1 visa.

J-2 Visa dependents of J-1; can accept employment after applying for and receiving an Employment Authorization Document (I-766) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS); employment is not employer specific; J-2s are liable for FICA tax and are not eligible for tax treaty benefits.