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J Scholar Visa

J Scholar Visa

An Overview of the J -1 Exchange Visitor Program

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program allows academic institutions and other educational exchange programs to sponsor foreign nationals to participate in educational and cultural programs in the United States. Harvard University has been approved by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to serve as the visa sponsor for international visitors to participate in research, teaching and degree programs at Harvard and its affiliates. The J-1 visa program is managed by a shared database called SEVIS.

Eligibility for J-1 Visa Sponsorship by Harvard

To be eligible for the J-1 visa an individual must meet the following criteria:

must have a temporary academic appointment at Harvard University such as a postdoctoral/research fellow, or a faculty member.

must have adequate financial support for all living expenses, including additional financial support for any accompanying family members either from Harvard or any other sources.

must maintain health insurance which covers for sicknesses or accidents during the period of time when they are in J status. Failure to maintain health insurance coverage may jeopardize a J visa holder's status.

Categories of J-1 Visa at Harvard

J-1 Research Scholar/Professor
J-1 visa holders in the Research Scholar or Professor category may remain in the United States for up to five years on the J-1 visa. There are some restrictions to this category. Research scholars and/or professors who complete their J-1 programs and leave the United States are not eligible to return as J-1 visa holders in the Research Scholar or Professor Category for 24 months.

Paid employment for J-1 research scholars or professors is permitted only if it is described on the Form DS-2019 issued to the J-1 visa holder. In most cases, it is not possible for a J-1 visa holder to accept paid employment outside of Harvard. However, there are occasional exceptions. Please consult the HIO for more information regarding the possibility of employment outside of Harvard.

J-1 Short Term Scholar
A professor, research scholar, specialist, or a person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the United States on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special may remain in the United States for up to six months. No extensions are permitted beyond six months. Access to University facilities may be limited. Check with the hosting department for details. Paid employment for J-1 short-term scholars is permitted only if it is described on the Form DS-2019 issued to the J-1 visa holder.

J-1 Specialist
A J-1 specialist is an individual who is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill coming to the United States for observing, consulting, or demonstrating special skills. J-1 visa holders in the Specialists category may stay for the length of time necessary to complete their program, not to exceed one year. Extensions beyond the 1-year program are not permitted.

Paid employment for J-1 Specialists is permitted only if it is described on the Form DS-2019 issued to the J-1 visa holder. In most cases, it is not possible for a J-1 visa holder to accept paid employment outside of Harvard. However, there are occasional exceptions. Please consult the HIO for more information regarding the possibility of employment outside of Harvard.

 

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