The purpose of the J-1 Exchange Program is to provide exchange visitors with "opportunities to participate in educational and cultural programs in the United States and return home to share their experiences, and to encourage Americans to participate in educational and cultural programs in other countries." CFR § 62.1 (b)

As the J-1 Exchange Program is sponsored by the Department of State (DOS) for the purpose of cultural and professional exchange, it may not be used for the sole purpose of employment.


J-1 Eligibility

J-1 status is very flexible. J-1 exchange visitors at Oregon State University can range from a professor or researcher, a foreign student doing an internship at OSU, a scientific collaborator, a guest lecturer, or a professor or researcher. J-1 exchange visitors may be paid by OSU when such activities are part of his/her program.

The US Department of State has approved OSU to provide J-1 programs in the following categories: Professor, Research Scholar, Short-Term Scholar, Student Intern, and Specialist. Each category has requirements that a scholar must meet in order to be classified within the category. Please contact an International Scholar Advisor with information about the scholar and their position at OSU to determine which category best fits the exchange visitor's program.


Length of J-1 Authorization

The maximum period of time authorized for an exchange visitor depends upon the category into which their program is classified.

  • Research Scholar: 5 years
  • Professor: 5 years
  • Short Term Scholar: 6 months
  • Student Intern: 1 year
  • Specialist: 1 year

J-1 Program Categories


Employment Restrictions

The terms of employment for the J-1 visa are very specific. The Department of State (DOS) approves the J-1 program for the specific department, salary, duties, and dates listed on the initial J-1 program. The exchange visitor is not authorized to participate in a program or change employment without authorization from OIS ; this restriction includes working for a different department within OSU, changing position duties, or changing pay rates. If there is a change in the research or employment of the exchange visitor, the department should notify OIS immediately.



Please allow 8 weeks between OIS' receipt of the completed application and your exchange visitor's program start date.   While OIS takes only 10 business days to issue the DS-2019s, exchange visitors need time to schedule their visa interviews and for the U.S. Consulate abroad to issue the visa stamp.


Department Responsibilities

The sponsoring department is responsible for providing:

  • has conducted an evaluation of English, done by an interview through videoconferencing. More information and Resources.
  • cultural and professional exchange opportunities for the exchange visitor
  • campus privileges (such as use of the library, computing, parking, etc) These benefits can be extended to exchange visitors who will not be paid by OSU by offering the them a courtesy faculty or affiliate or associate appointment. Courtesy faculty appointments for visiting scholars should follow the same OHR processes as domestic appointees. Associate ID type is managed by OIS.
  • evaluation of English, program evaluation, and Training/Internship Placement Plan required of exchange visitors in the student intern category. Requirements explained here.


Health Insurance

The Department of State (DOS) requires that all J-1 exchange visitors (and their dependents) maintain health insurance that meets DOS requirements for the entire length of their program. Exchange visitors are provided health insurance information by the Office of International Services (OIS) at the time that they receive their visa documents. If the department has questions they should contact an International Scholar Advisor in OIS.


Extensions of the J-1 Program

Sponsoring professors are responsible to submit applications for extensions on behalf of the exchange visitor. Applications for extensions should be submitted to OISone month before the end date of the original program. Contact OIS for more information about procedures for extensions of a scholar's program.


Mandatory Visa Check-In

It is a requirement of the Department of Homeland Security that all J-1 Exchange Visitors must check-in with the J program Responsible Officer in order to validate the program within 30 days of the Program Start Date on the DS-2019. This is vital to the Exchange Visitor's ability to enter, work, and do research in the US. If the Exchange Visitor does not attend the visa check-in appointment within 30 days of the program start date listed on the DS-2019, the Department of Homeland Security will terminate his/her J-1 status and the Exchange Visitor will not be eligible to enter the US. In addition, this can have negative affects on the Exchange Visitor's ability to secure future visas to the US.


J-1 Application Procedures

Complete applications only if you have contacted an International Scholar Advisor in OIS and the J-1 visa category has been approved for your prospective international visitor. Documents for scholar applications are now being accepted through IP Connect, our new online data management system. Please contact us with details on how to get started.