Western University of Health Sciences International Scholar Relations Western University of Health Sciences
International Scholar Relations

Overview for Faculty

Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there also is love of humanity.   ~ Hippocrates ~


Federal regulations affecting nonimmigrant employment in the United States are complex and because of the frequent changes in these regulations these pages are considered “a living document” requiring ongoing updates.

These pages will provide basic information about immigration classifications and procedures and discuss in some detail the roles and responsibilities of the host department and meant to advise departments, not serve as a substitute for individual consultation.

We urge you to consult International Scholar Relations J1Program@westernu.edu prior to making any offer for a J-1 scholar to come to WesternU.

International Scholar Program

The J-1 International Scholar Program is administered by the Office of Exchange Coordination and Designation, in the Bureau of Educational ad Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State. The J-1 Program at WesternU is overseen by the Academic and Government Division.

J-1 Visa Status/Purpose

Those who enter the United States with a J-1 or J-2 (family members) visa are called International Scholars. The J-1 Visa may be used by those coming to the U.S. to study, teach, conduct research, or receive training. The purpose of the J-1 Visa Program is to provide foreign nationals with opportunities to participate in educational and cultural programs in the U.S. and return home to share their experiences, and to encourage scholars to participate in educational and cultural programs in other countries. WesternU, as a J-1 sponsor, must make a good faith effort to achieve the fullest possible reciprocity in the exchange of persons. The term reciprocity is interpreted broadly and does not require a one-for-one exchange of persons or activities.

The J-1 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa, and participants in the J-1 International Scholar Program are expected to return to their home countries when they complete their programs. Entry into the United States as a participant in the International Scholar Program is granted with the understanding that participants will complete the objectives of a single program category.

Exchange Visitor Eligibility

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is very specific with regard to the requirements, which must be met by applicants to qualify for the exchange visitor (J) visa. The consular officer will determine whether you qualify for the visa. Applicants must demonstrate that they properly meet the requirements to be issued an exchange visitor visa, including the following:

A minimum of $2000 per month for non-academic expenses (housing, transportation, insurance, WesternU parking $470 annual fee, etc.). In addition, $500 for spouse and $250 for each dependent should be allowed per month;

Professor and Research scholar programs are subject to the following conditions:

 Exchange Program Duration

The minimum duration of any exchange program is three weeks, except for participants in the Short Term Scholar category with no minimum up to 6 months or those exchange visitors sponsored by the Federal Government. The maximum duration varies by category. See “J-1 Catagories” for a detailed description for each category.

International Scholar Selection

Research scholars, professors, short-term scholars and specialists, hereinafter, referred to as International Scholars, may be invited to WesternU only if they have the appropriate academic credentials and will participate in activity that furthers interchange, mutual enrichment, and linkages between WesternU and research and educational institutions of other countries.

One of the important characteristics of the J-1 International Scholar program is its temporary nature, which means the International Scholar’s appointment to a position at WesternU must be temporary, even if the position itself is permanent. The International Scholar cannot be a candidate for a tenure-accruing position. Of course, the candidate s background and field of expertise should also be relevant to the proposed activities a WesternU.

In all cases, the international visitor must have a faculty sponsor who is willing to take responsibility for hosting the visit. Individuals who join the University in J-1 status are not eligible for degree study at WesternU.

It is the responsibility of the nominating College’s department faculty to make four primary determinations prior to extending an invitation to a foreign national:

The International Scholar s proposed activity is permitted by the regulations.The inviting college/ department will need to provide documentation in support of these determinations by submitting a Request for DS-2019 Form. The Department of State (DOS) uses the DS-2019 Form to collect and maintain information about J-1 International Scholars throughout the USA. The J-1 RO must log into the SEVIS web site to generate the DS-2019 which will then be returned to the department to forward to the International Scholar. The DS-2019 will be utilized for WesternU record keeping and for the J-1 RO to ensure WesternU remains in full compliance with the laws and regulations of the variety of government agencies involved in this International Scholar process.  

Advantages/Limitations of J-1 Visa

A J-1 International Scholar is an individual primarily conducting research, observing research, or consulting to researchers in connection with a research project. The research scholar can also teach or lecture unless disallowed by the program sponsor.

Benefits to the J-1 classification include:

Limitations of the J-1 classification include:

Important Note for Repeat Visitors

Individuals who participate in the J-1 Program in the Research Scholars or Professors categories are subject to a 24-month bar between program participation. This means that an individual who has completed a program in Professor or Research Scholar Status cannot return to the US as J-1 Professor or Research Scholar until they have been outside the US for 24 months. Individuals who have been in the US in ANY “J” category, including J-1 Student and J-2 dependent are subject to a 12 months bar for subsequent participation as a Research Scholar or Professor.

For additional information regarding temporary visa types, please visit: http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1267.html#9

If Your Scholar will be a WesternU Employee

If the prospective scholar will be an employee of the University, the inviting college must first submit a position request in the Human Resources People Admin system confirming College approval and funding before submitting the J-1 documentation to International Scholar Relations (ISR).

Updated 7/2015