J1 Scholor Procedural Overview

This category is for a foreign national who enters the United States for the primary purpose of conducting research, observing or consulting in connection with research projects at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited academic institutions, or similar types of institutions. A research scholar may also teach or lecture, unless disallowed by the sponsor.

The research scholar or professor’s appointment to a position shall be temporary, even if the position itself is permanent. Incidental lectures or short-term consultations are permitted with the approval of the responsible officer so long as they are directly related to the objectives of the participant's program, and do not delay the exchange program’s completion date.

The J1 visa program is to allow the exchange visitor an enriching cross-cultural opportunity to gain mutual understanding of diverse backgrounds and customs. They will learn new skills and techniques that can be taken back to their home country to enhance it's growth and development.

Overview of Procedure
  • PI wants to bring an Exchange Visitor (EV) to work in their lab.
  • Departmental Assistant (DA) starts the process.
  • Forms needed:
  • These forms need to be completed and sent to the Dean’s office. The Dean’s office will prepare a letter of appointment. The Dean’s office prepares all J1 appointment letters unless it is for a Short-term scholar. The Short-term scholar appointment letter is prepared by the Chair’s office and signed by the Chairperson. (Check with your Dean’s office. Some of the schools have all appointments go through the Dean’s office.)
  • Dean/Chair’s office sends all these documents to the Office of Immigration and Human Resource Services (IHRS) for the J1 paperwork to be processed.
  • IHRS needs time to receive the documents, enter all information into the Government’s SEVIS program and generate the DS-2019; usually 5 - 8 business days.
  • The departmental contact listed on the Recommendation form is notified that the documents are ready.
  • It is the responsibility of the department to send these documents to the EV, preferably by Federal Express or similar delivery company.
  • It is the EV’s responsibility to obtain their Visa. If there are delays for any reason, it is the EV’s responsibility to contact the department and inform them about the delay. The department needs to inform IHRS about the delay too.
  • When the EV arrives, they have 10 days to check in with our office to have their program validated.

The total time for this process is about ninety business days. This means the start date requested should be at least ninety days out from when the paperwork is started in the department. These ninety days are needed to move the paperwork through the department, Dean’s office, IHRS office, mailing, and obtaining a visa.

J1 Visa Extensions

It is the responsibility of the department to request an extension to a J1 program. IHRS asks that all paperwork is in their office two weeks before the end of the appointment to allow time to complete the extension in a timely manner. To do an extension send a new J1 recommendation form and a new Dean’s appointment letter to IHRS.

What is the difference between a J1 scholar and a Short-term J1 scholar?
J1 Scholar Short-term J1 Scholar
Maximum stay of 5 years Maximum stay of 6 months
Can extend program - 1 year validation at a time No extensions allowed
Can face a 2 years home rule Can come back on another Short-term appointment without the 2 year rule. Must return home before starting another program.
Appointment letter comes from the Dean Appointment letter comes from the department Chair
J1 recommendation form Short-term recommendation form

What title should be used for an EV?

The Government system only recognizes a few title designations: research scholar, short-term research scholar, or visiting professor. Most of the appointments will be one of the first two.
Within the Case Western Reserve University system there are a few different titles that are used: research assistant, research associate, research scholar, and post-doctoral fellow. These are internal designations used to distinguish pay benefits.

What should the EV do when they arrive on campus?

The EV should make it a top priority to come to the Office of Immigration and Human Resource Services to check in. Please call to set up an appointment; 216-368-4289.

They will need their passport, visa, current local address, and I-94 card. To obtain the I-94 card the exchange visitor will need to visit https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html.

There will be some documents to fill out so they should plan on a 10-15 minute visit. This needs to be done within 10 days of arrival. Both J1 scholars and Short-term J1 scholars need to check in, regardless of the length of their stay.

It is the responsibility of the EV to carry appropriate health coverage for their stay per regulation [22 CFR 62.14].

    Participants and any J-2 dependents (spouses and minor unmarried children under the age 21) accompanying them are required to carry medical insurance at the minimum benefit levels stated in the program regulations. Program sponsors are required to ensure that all participants have the appropriate medical insurance. Sponsors will verify that the participant's medical insurance meets the regulatory requirements, and will facilitate the purchase of coverage for participants who do not have their own insurance, or whose coverage does not meet the requirements. Participants interested in obtaining appropriate medical insurance should contact the responsible officer of their sponsor organization sponsoring their program. Willful failure on the part of the participant and/or any J-2 dependents to maintain active insurance coverage is grounds for termination from the program. Please refer to the regulations for details. [22 CFR 62.14]

    They will need to bring a receipt of their paid health insurance when they check in.

If the EV is going to be on the payroll at Case Western Reserve University, they will need a social security number. The U.S. Social Security office is asking EVs to be in the country 10 days before applying for a social security number. Once the EV has received their social security number, they should report it to the Office of Immigration and Human Resource Services

IHRS offers an orientation for new J1 scholars. These will be offered every six weeks. If a J1 scholar is unable to make it to an orientation, they can review the powerpoint presentation; J1 Orientation Presentation