J-1 International Exchange Visitors

Registering J-1 International Exchange Visitors

The J-1 Exchange Visitor program under the U.S. Department of State was created to implement the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act (Fulbright-Hayes Act) of 1961. The overall purpose of that Act, and the objective of the Exchange Visitor category, is "to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges."

On May 24, 2018 the U.S. Department of State sent an e-mail to all sponsors asking them to know longer refer to the programs as J-1 programs but to refer to them as "Exchange Visitor Programs". They stated the purpose of this is to better align the public understanding of these programs with the State Department's mission and goals of promoting educational and cultural exchange. 

OHSU conducted an internal review of J-1 Exchange Visitor program to ensure that we were meeting the requirements of the J-1 exchange visitor program established by the U.S.. Department of State. In addition to these requirements, we reviewed compliance with U.S. Department of Labor laws, and our own internal policies and procedures. As a result we made some changes to the process of issuing J-1s for exchange visitors at OHSU.

The changes made to the process at OHSU help to ensure that we are following the requirements of the Department of State by making sure our visitors are coming for the purpose of an exchange and have the intent of returning home at the end of their programs.

The Office of Visitors & Volunteers (OVV), the Office of International Affairs (OIA), and the Provost's Office work collaboratively with your work area to process and register your J-1 Exchange Visitor's application. 

Your responsibilities for hosting an Exchange Visitor include: 

  • Assessing the applicant to ensure they are a good match for your department
  • Accurately following the registration process (see "Starting paperwork process" below) resubmitting as needed if changes occur
  • Only assigning duties that have been cleared through the OVV
  • Requiring and tracking completion of any further training needed for the visitor to perform their duties safely and responsibly
  • Informing OVV and OIA when a volunteer leaves or takes a leave of absence
  • Informing OVV if any problems or concerns regarding the visitor
  • Maintaining a department file for all visitors located in your area

The Office of Visitors &Volunteers (OVV), the Office of International Affairs (OIA), and the Provost's Office work collaboratively with your work area to process and register your J-1 Exchange Visitor's application. 

Registration Process

Please see the J-1 International Exchange Visitor & Volunteer Registration Process Flow Outline for step by step instructions on how to register your J1 Exchange Visitor.

Items of Note

  • Be sure to start this process at least 4-6 months prior to your visitors anticipated arrival.
  • Do not send an invitation letter until is has been reviewed by OVV (see invitation letter templates in sidebar)
  • J-1 Exchange Visitors who are intending to stay for multiple years require prior approval: Provide a statement to OVV@ohsu.edu addressing the need for multiple years, along with a detailed description of the activities to be performed each year.
  • It is the responsibility of the Hosting Site to work with the J-1 Exchange Visitor's home institution to obtain an Affiliate Agreement. The Hosting Site will be notified when to begin this process by OIA at the appropriate time.