- Exchange Visitors can work in the U.S. only, if authorized under the regulations governing their particular Exchange Visitor category.
- Each Exchange Visitor category has specific rules regarding employment.
- Employment without authorization is considered a violation of Exchange Visitor Program status.
J-1 Program Activity Location
The location (off Pomona or Lebanon campus) where the J-1 scholar’s research/education activity will take place must be clearly defined on the Department Request for DS-2019 Form.
Please read the following statement from the US. Dept. of State Regulations:
22 CFR 62.20(f) – “Professors or research scholars shall conduct their exchange activity at the location(s) listed on the Form DS-2019 which could be either at the location of the exchange visitor sponsor or the site of a third party facilitating the exchange. An exchange visitor may also engage in activities at a location not listed on the Form DS-2019 if such activities constitute occasional lectures or consultations.”
To work for any employer, other than WesternU as named on the visiting scholar’s Form DS-2019, approval in writing must be obtained from the J1 RO/ARO at J1Program@westernu.edu the office that represents WesternU as a desisgnated J-1 sponsor issuing the Form(s) DS-2019 in SEVIS.
The proposed employment must be evaluated in terms of the scholar’s program objectives and his/her individual circumstances. Then, it is decided whether the incidental employment would be appropriate or not. The proposed employment must:
- Be directly related to the objectives of your Exchange Visitor program;
- be short-term and incidental to your primary program activities; and
- not delay the completion of your Exchange Visitor program purpose.
To obtain authorization for incidental employment, please present the following documents to the J-1 RO/ARO:
- A letter of offer from the prospective employer describing the terms and conditions of the proposed employment, including the duration, the number of hours, the field or subject, the amount of compensation, and a description of the activity for which you are being hired.
- A letter from your department head or supervisor:
- Referring to the letter from the prospective employer
- Confirming that the employment is directly related to your principal activity, is indeed incidental, and will not delay completion of your program
- Explaining how the proposed activity would enhance your Exchange Visitor Program
- Recommending approval of the employment.
If the J-1 RO/ARO approves, the request for employment will be authorized in writing.
Letter of Approval
If the employment is a lecture or consultation, the scholar will be working not as an employee but as an independent contractor, meaning that he/she will not have a sustained employer-employee relationship with the person or institution paying the scholar, and will not complete From I-9, “Employment Eligibility Verification,” in order to start work. In that situation, the College’s J-1 supervisor’s authorization will need to be confirmed in an “approval letter” addressed to the scholar with copy to the J-1 RO/ARO at J1Program@westernu.edu for the lecture/consultation employer and, which the visiting scholar should keep permanently.
If the incidental employment is sustained, for example, if the scholar will be teaching a course at another school that lasts an entire term, the employer will need to see his/her valid DS-2019, valid I-94 (white card in the passport) and a letter from the sponsoring institution, J-1 RO, which the scholar should keep a copy of for their records.