Western University of Health Sciences

Policies & Procedures

Policy: J-1 Program Administration
Policy Information

Title: J-1 Program Administration

Responsible Department: International Scholar Relations (ISR) J-1 Program

Policy Contact

Campbell, Brenda Sue

International Scholars Program Administrator


Policy Dates

Effective Date: 2008-04-01

Next Review Date: 2019-11-01

Approval Date: 2016-01-07 09:30:39.0

Legislation :

62.10 Program Administration
Subpart A General Provisions
Accreditation and Licensure 22 CFR 62.9 (c)
Staffing and Support Services 62.9 (f)
Appointment of Officers 62.9 (g) and 62.11
Screening and Selection of Program Participants 62.10 (a)
Insurance 62.14
Orientation 62.10 (c)
Pre-Arrival Information 62.10 (b)
Monitoring of Participants 62.10 (d)
Accountability to the Department of State 62.13
Annual Report 62.15
Changes in Participants' J-1 Status 62.13 (b)
Serious Problems or Controversy 62.13 (d)
Program Category Requirements 22 CFR 62, Subpart B, Sections 20-32
Redesignation 62.7

J-1 Visa general information :  http://j1visa.state.gov/basics/

Policy Statement

It is the policy of WesternU, as a designated J-1 Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor, to cultivate certain foreign born personnel with whom the University has identified an opportunity for an educational and cultural exchange.    

Purpose of Policy

To expand the University's humanistic tradition and mission of global awareness by preparing its students and scholars through mutual cultural exchange and educational research programs.

Related Policy Information

J-1 Exchange Visitor Program Sponsorship at WesternU July 3, 2007 - The Department of State approved J-1 Exchange Visitor Program Sponsorship at WesternU.

J-1 Program Creation The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program was created in 1961 as part of the Fulbright-Hayes Act, a public law written to "increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges." The U.S. Department of State has authority over the J-1 program. Currently, there are 13 categories of J-1 visitors, including students and scholars of which WesternU has permission to use four of 13 categories.  

International Scholar Relations  All relevant documentation for the exchange visitors (EV's) is processed through the office of International Scholar Relations (ISR) by:

J-1 Program Responsible Officer (J-1 RO) as appointed by the University, shall be the designated authority for the WesternU J-1 Program sponsorship in accordance with Department of State/Homeland Security regulations. Only one J-1 RO per program is permitted.
J-1 Alternate Responsible Officer (J-1 ARO(s)) as appointed by the University has the authority to create a DS-2019 in SEVIS and sign all J-1 visa legal documentation in accordance with the U. S. Department of State/Homeland Security regulations. Up to ten J-1 AROs per program are permitted.

For information regarding the J-1 visa application process contact: J1Program@westernu.edu

Please see the International Scholars' webpage for additional information: http://www.westernu.edu/exchange-visitors/exchange-visitors-welcome/

Program Administration [22 CFR 62.10]
Sponsors are responsible for the effective administration of their exchange visitor programs. These responsibilities include:

(a) Selection of exchange visitors. Sponsors shall provide a system to screen and select prospective exchange visitors to ensure that they are eligible for program participation, and that:
(1) The program is suitable to the exchange visitor's background, needs, and experience; and
(2) The exchange visitor possesses sufficient proficiency in the English language to participate in his or her program.

(b) Pre-arrival information. Sponsors shall provide exchange visitors with pre-arrival materials including, but not limited to, information on:
(1) The purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program;
(2) Home-country physical presence requirement;
(3) Travel and entry into the United States;
(4) Housing;
(5) Fees payable to the sponsor, if applicable;
(6) Other costs that the exchange visitor will likely incur (e.g., living expenses) while in the United States;
(7) Health care and insurance; and
(8) Other information which will assist exchange visitors to prepare for their stay in the United States.

(c) Orientation. Sponsors shall offer appropriate orientation for all exchange visitors. Sponsors are encouraged to provide orientation for the exchange visitor's immediate family, especially those who are expected to be in the United States for more than one year. Orientation shall include, but not be limited to, information concerning:
(1) Life and customs in the United States;
(2) Local community resources (e.g., public transportation, medical centers, schools, libraries, recreation centers, and banks), to the extent possible; (3) Available health care, emergency assistance, and insurance coverage;
(4) A description of the program in which the exchange visitor is participating;
(5) Rules that the exchange visitors are required to follow under the sponsor's program;
(6) Address of the sponsor and the name and telephone number of the responsible officer; and,
(7) Address and telephone number of the Exchange Visitor Program Services of the Department of State and a copy of the Exchange Visitor Program brochure outlining the regulations relevant to the exchange visitors.

(D) Monitoring of exchange visitors. Sponsors shall monitor, through employees, officers, agents, or third parties, the exchange visitors participating in their programs. Sponsors shall:
(1) Ensure that the activity in which the exchange visitor is engaged is consistent with the category and activity listed on the exchange visitor's Form DS-2019;
(2) Monitor the progress and welfare of the exchange visitor to the extent appropriate for the category; and
(3) Require the exchange visitor to keep the sponsor apprised of his or her address and telephone number, and maintain such information.

(e) Requests by the U. S. Department of State. Sponsors shall, to the extent lawfully permitted, furnish to the U. S. Department of State within a reasonable time all information, reports, documents, books, files, and other records requested by the U. S. Department of State on all matters related to their exchange visitor programs.

(f) Inquiries and investigations. Sponsors shall cooperate with any inquiry or investigation that may be undertaken by the U. S. Department of State.

(g) Retention of records. Sponsors shall retain all records related to their exchange visitor program and exchange visitors for a minimum of three years.

J-1 Approved Categories
WesternU’s J-1 designation is not for the purpose of education and training toward the completion of a health sciences professional degree. Exchange visitors in one of WesternU’s four approved categories may be involved in research and training related to medical fields but without patient care, either direct or incidental. In the case of visits from Medical Providers, a statement of no patient care will be provided to the visitor for their visa appointment and entry inspection into the United States.

WesternU has been approved for the following J-1 categories:

Research Scholar or Professor (two separate categories with same guidelines) Appointment for three (3) weeks to five (5) years duration. Appointments of less than 5 years are eligible for extensions only with "evidence of funding" documentation from host College/Department or from J-1 scholar's funding resources.

Short-Term Scholar For appointments up to six (6) months in length - no extension allowed.  

Specialist Category (An expert with specialized knowledge or skills) For appointments no longer that one year - no extension allowed. 

Regulatory requirements for Program Administration:
a) Size of program. Sponsors, other than Federal government agencies, shall have no less than five exchange visitors per calendar year. The U. S. Department of State may in its discretion and for good cause shown reduce this requirement.
(b) Minimum duration of program. Sponsors, other than federal government agencies, shall provide each exchange visitor, except short-term scholars, with a minimum period of participation in the United States of three weeks.
(c) Reciprocity. In the conduct of their exchange programs, sponsors shall make a good faith effort to achieve the fullest possible reciprocity in the exchange of persons.
(d) Cross-cultural activities. Sponsors shall: 
(1) Offer or make available to exchange visitors a variety of appropriate cross-cultural activities. The extent and types of the cross-cultural activities shall be determined by the needs and interests of the particular category of exchange visitor. Sponsors will be responsible to determine the appropriate type and number of cross-cultural programs for their exchange visitors. The Department of State encourages sponsors to give their exchange visitors the broadest exposure to American society, culture and institutions; and,
(2) Encourage exchange visitors to voluntarily participate in activities which are for the purpose of sharing the language, culture, or history of their home country with Americans, provided such activities do not delay the completion of the exchange visitors' programs.  

Minimum Financial Resources for Exchange Visitors
Participants in the Exchange Visitor Program must provide evidence of sufficient funding to cover all expenses, including WesternU parking fees. Funds may be provided by WesternU, or an outside foreign source - who must provide funding documentation that has been translated into English.  

Scholastic Preparation
J-1 exchange visitors must have sufficient scholastic preparation to participate in the designated program. Federal regulations now mandate that each Exchange Visitor must demonstrate sufficient English language proficiency so as to function successfully in everyday activities as well as in their respective exchange program activities (CFR 62.10 (a) (2).  Program Sponsors have the responsibility to maintain documentation of the methodology chosen to access English language proficiency for each Exchange Visitor,

Exchange Visitors coming to WesternU will be provided with a form DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility and pre-arrival information as well as post arrival orientation and meeting with the J-1 Responsible Officer to assure understanding of benefits and limitations to their visit.

Medical Insurance Requirement [§ 62.14 Insurance]
Sponsors shall require each exchange visitor to have insurance in effect which covers the exchange visitor and their J-2 family members for sickness or accident during the period of time that an exchange visitor participates in the sponsor's exchange visitor program. WesternU BETA plans when supplemented by associated Blue Shield and Kaiser Plans meet these minimum regulatory requirements for exchange visitors who are  WesternU employeee.  Scholars being funded by their home university, government and/or personal funds must provide evidence of medical insurance that meets the DOS/DHS's mandatory minimums,in English prior to entering the U.S.

The regulatory language regarding the health insurance requirement is listed below. Please note section (i) and (j) where it states the consequences to the Exchange Visitor of not meeting these requirements.

a. Sponsors shall require each exchange visitor to have insurance in effect which covers the exchange visitor for sickness or accident during the period of time that an exchange visitor participates in the sponsor's exchange visitor program. Additionally, sponsors must inform all exchange visitors that they, and any accompanying dependents, also may be subject to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Minimum coverage shall provide:

1. Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness;

2. Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000;

3. Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000; and

4. A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.

b.  The period of required coverage is the actual duration of the exchange visitor's participation in the sponsor's exchange visitor program as recorded in SEVIS.

c. An insurance policy secured to fulfill the requirements of this section:
1. May require a waiting period for pre-existing conditions which is reasonable as determined by current industry standards;
2. May include provision for co-insurance under the terms of which the exchange visitor may be required to pay up to 25% of the covered benefits per accident or illness; and
3. Must not unreasonably exclude coverage for perils inherent to the activities of the exchange program in which the exchange visitor participates.

d. Any policy, plan, or contract secured to fill the above requirements must, at a minimum, be:
1. Underwritten by an insurance corporation having an A.M. Best rating of “A–” or above, a McGraw Hill Financial/Standard & Poor's Claims-paying Ability rating of "A-" or above; a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of "B+" or above; a Fitch Ratings, Inc. rating of "A-"or above; a Moody's Investor Services rating of "A3" or above; or such other rating as the Department of State may from time to time specify; or
2. Backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor's home country; or
3. Part of a health benefits program offered on a group basis to employees or enrolled students by a designated sponsor; or
4. Offered through or underwritten by a federally qualified Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) or eligible Competitive Medical Plan (CMP) as determined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.

e. Federal, state or local government agencies, state colleges and universities, and public community colleges may, if permitted by law, self-insure any or all of the above-required insurance coverage.

f. At the request of a non-governmental sponsor of an exchange visitor program, and upon a showing that such sponsor has funds readily available and under its control sufficient to meet the requirements of this section, the U. S. Department of State may permit the sponsor to self-insure or to accept full financial responsibility for such requirements.

g. The U. S. Department of State may, in its sole discretion, condition its approval of self-insurance or the acceptance of full financial responsibility by the non-governmental sponsor by requiring such sponsor to secure a payment bond in favor of the U. S. Department of State guaranteeing the sponsor's obligations hereunder.

h. Accompanying spouses and dependents are required to be covered by insurance in the amounts set forth in paragraph (b) of this section. Sponsors must inform exchange visitors of this requirement, in writing, in advance of the exchange visitor's arrival in the United States.

i. Exchange visitors who willfully fail to maintain the insurance coverage set forth above while a participant in an exchange visitor program, or who make material misrepresentations to the sponsor concerning such coverage, will be deemed to be in violation of these regulations and will be subject to termination as an exchange visitor.

j. Sponsors must terminate an exchange visitor's participation in their program if the sponsor determines that the exchange visitor or any accompanying spouse or dependent willfully fails to remain in compliance with this section.  

Employment Authorization


Record Retention
Sponsors must retain all records related to their exchange visitors (and dependents, if any) for a minimum of three (3) years following the completion of the exchange visitor’s (J-1) program. [22 CFR 62.10(h)]

Annual Report [22 CFR 62.15]
Sponsors must submit an annual report to the U. S. Department of State. Upon generation of the Annual Report via SEVIS, the report must be signed before being mailed to DoS. The due date for the annual report for the Academic year (July 1 – June 30) is  due by July 31st of the applicable year.

§ 62.7 Redesignation
Prior to the expiration of a given term (1 or 2 years, unless restricted by the U. S. Department of State) a sponsor must seek redesignation for another term.  In order to apply for redesignation, the sponsor must file an application through SEVIS. Redesignation requests are evaluated based upon the criteria established in 22 CFR 62.6  and take into account the sponsor's annual reports and other documentation reflecting its record as an exchange visitor program sponsor.


Exchange Visitor (EV) - a foreign citizen coming to the United States to participate in a particular program in education, training, research, or other authorized exchange visitor category.

Letter of Invitation – a letter from the host college dean and/or faculty member inviting a scholar to WesternU to  participate in research at the University.

Request for Issuance of a DS-2019 Form – a University document to be completed by the host college and prospective scholar that provides scholar's personal information including financial support and program objective.  The Dean of the College ("Dean" does not refer to an associate or assistant dean) for the host college must sign the Departmental Request for a DS-2019.

DS-2019 Form – certificate of eligibility for exchange visitor J-1 status for the scholar to present at their appointment at the U.S. Embassy in their homeland.

J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa issued by the United States to exchange visitors participating in programs that promote cultural exchange, especially to obtain medical or business training within the U.S. All applicants must meet eligibility criteria and be sponsored either by a private sector or government program.

DOS -  Department of State

DHS - Department of Homeland Security -  which has three primary organizations, related to immigration and customs laws, within the DHS:

USCIS - U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service

CBP - U.S. Customs & Border Protection

ICE - U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement Agency    



Related Procedures:
J-1 Visa Application Procedures - View