J-1 Exchange Visitors

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program allows Washington University to bring international scholars to the United States. The university has been approved by the U.S. State Department to serve as the visa sponsor for these individuals. The information provided in this section is intended for J-1 exchange visitors sponsored by Washington University.

Federal regulations govern the J Exchange Visitor and the J visa sponsor. The intent of the program is exchange of knowledge; the assumption is that the international scholar is coming temporarily to the U.S. and expects to return home. The J-1 exchange visitor classification is appropriate for many educational and research activities.

Note about J-1 Sponsors

To apply for the J-1 visa stamp overseas, scholars are issued a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) status, commonly referred to as form DS-2019. The OISS requests and processes the DS-2019 form via the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). When the OISS processes the DS-2019 for an exchange visitor, Washington University is acting as the J-1 visa sponsor.

If the scholar comes to WashU with a DS-2019 issued by another organization, that organization is responsible for processing the scholar’s J-1 program. A scholar may be sponsored by an organization such as Fullbright Commission, Institute for International Education (IIE), National Institute of Health (NIH), World Health Organization (WHO), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Educational Commission for Foreign Medical graduates (ECFMG). If you are sponsored by an organization other than Washington University, please refer to the Other Visa Types section of our website.

Incident Reporting

The Office of Private Sector Exchange Administration Academic and Government Programs (OPA-AG) monitors and enforces full compliance with Department regulations and policies with a focus on exchange visitors’ health, safety, and well-being; and responds to complaints and incidents.

Incidents are defined as situations that have or could endanger the health, safety, or welfare of an exchange visitor or otherwise could be expected to bring the Department of State, the Exchange Visitor Program, or Washington University’s exchange visitor program into notoriety or disrepute.
Examples of reportable incidents or allegations include, but are not limited to:

  • J-1 Death
  • J-1 is Missing
  • J-1 Suffers Serious Illness or Injury (e.g., brain injury, severe burn, major surgery, communicable disease, serious mental health incidents, any condition requiring hospitalization of 48 hours or more, etc.)
  • Litigation (related to a sponsor’s exchange visitor program, in which sponsor or an exchange visitor may be a named party)
  • Incident Involving the Criminal Justice System (e.g., arrest, charges, law enforcement, etc.)
  • Sexually-Related Incidents or Abuse (an incident or allegation involving sexual exploitation, harassment or abuse)
  • Negative Press involving Washington University or a Washington University department
  • Foreign Government Involvement (including embassy officials)
  • Other Situations Impacting J-1 Safety (e.g., natural disasters, civil unrest, outbreaks of violence)

J-1 Exchange Visitors can report these incidents to the OISS or contact OPA-AG directly.