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Overview of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program

The purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program is to provide foreign nationals with opportunities to participate in educational and cultural programs in the United States and return home to share their experiences and to encourage Americans to participate in educational and cultural programs in other countries (22.CFR 62.1)

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is administered by the United States Department of State, which is charged with facilitating program activities by designating public and private entities to act as sponsors.  Tulane University has been designated by the Department of State to sponsor specific activities under the Exchange Visitor Program.

Individuals who have been invited to participate in Tulane University’s Exchange Visitor Program are issued form DS-2019. Individuals use the DS-2019 to apply for a J-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate. When the individual enters the United States, he or she will be placed in J-1 status for the duration of the activities outlined on the form DS-2019.

J-1 Exchange Visitor Program Categories

Tulane University is authorized to invite individuals to participate in the following Program Categories:

Short Term Scholar: Professors, research scholars or persons with similar education or accomplishments who may come to the U.S. on a short term collaborative visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, researching,training or demonstrating specials skills.

Professor: Individuals primarily teaching, lecturing, observing or consulting. A professor may also conduct research but the primary function should be teaching.

Research Scholar: Individuals primarily conducting research, observing or consulting in connection with a project. A research scholar may also teach but the primary function should be to conduct research.

College & University Students: Individuals admitted to a degree program at an accredited educational institution for a full course of study or be engaged full time in a non-degree (exchange students) prescribed course of study.

Maximum Duration of Program Participation

Short Term Scholar: Short Term Scholars may remain for the length of time needed to complete a particular program objective, not to exceed 6 months. No program extensions beyond the 6 month maximum are permitted.

Professor: Professors may remain for the length of time necessary to complete a specified teaching objective, not to exceed 5 years. Form DS-2019 can be extended up to five years, with no further extensions beyond the 5 year maximum permitted.

Research Scholar: Research Scholars may remain for the length of time necessary to complete a specified research objective, not to exceed 5 years. Form DS-2019 can be extended up to five years, with no further extensions beyond the 5 year maximum permitted.

Degree Students: As long as a student remains enrolled full-time and is making progress toward his or her academic objective, there is no regulatory limit on the time the student is permitted to remain in the United States, provided that the student always maintains a valid unexpired Form DS-2019, and complies with the terms and conditions of J-1 status.

Non-degree Students: Non-degree students can participate in a program for no more than 24 months.


Professors, Short Term Scholars and Research Scholars are eligible to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program if:

1) The exchange visitor (EV) must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree

2) The EV’s appointment to the position is temporary, even if the position itself is permanent

3) The EV will not be a candidate for a tenure track position


Departments wishing to invite an exchange visitor must provide documents verifying the source and amount of funding for the individual. A $1700/month per visitor minimum is required plus the cost of health insurance (see below). If the visitor is bringing dependents, a higher level of funding will be required.  Not all exchange visitors are funded by Tulane University. Funding may come from outside agencies or his/her home government.

Health Insurance Requirement

U.S. laws governing J-1 visas require all J-1 Exchange Visitors to have health insurance, medical repatriation insurance, and repatriation of remains insurance for the duration of their J-1 program in the U.S. (Section 514.14 CFR, Volume 22)   The International sponsor, (Tulane University) is responsible for ensuring compliance with these laws.  

J Visa Holders Employed by Tulane

Foreign nationals in J-1/ J-2 status who are employed full-time by Tulane University and are eligible for medical coverage under the employee health insurance plan that fully meets the federal requirements will be required to purchase Tulane employee insurance through the office of human resources.  

All other J Visa Holders

Foreign nationals in J-1/J-2 status who are NOT eligible for the Tulane employee health plan will be required to purchase a Tulane University-sponsored health insurance policy.  For information about the two options, click here.

Initial Entry Procedures

Exchange Visitors may enter the U.S. up to 30 days prior to the program start date indicated on the form DS-2019. New Exchange Visitors are required to check-in with the Office of International Students & Scholars when they arrive in New Orleans.  Failure to complete the check-in procedures within 30 days of the initial date of entry will result in the automatic cancellation of the DS-2019.

Departments must notify the Office of International Students & Scholars if an Exchange Visitor is to enter the U.S. 30 days after the program start date listed on the DS-2019.

Program End Date

Upon  the  successful  completion  of  a  program,  J-1  Exchange  Visitors  are  given  a  30  day  grace  period before they  are required to leave the US. The additional 30 days is for Exchange Visitors to prepare for departure from the U.S. and their status is  very  much  like  that  of  a  tourist.  One  may  remain  and  travel  in  the  United  States  but  may  not  undertake activities  usually  not  permitted  to  tourists.The  30-day  grace  period  is  only  applicable  to  individuals  who  successfully complete their program. It is important to note that the exchange visitor activity and any related employment is permitted only until the ending date of form DS-2019. Employment is not permitted during the 30 day grace period.

Departments  are  required  to  notify  the  Office  of  International  Students  &  Scholars immediately if  an  Exchange  Visitor completes the program early, resigns from the position or the Exchange Visitor's employment is terminated. 

Request Forms for J-1 Research, Short-Term Scholars and Professors

J-1 Scholar Health Insurance Waiver Forms

For assistance with J-1 scholar questions, please contact Nancy Lauland at or 504-865-5208.