J-1 status is a non-immigrant status for approved Exchange Visitors working or studying in the United States. The U.S. Department of State administers the J-1 program, the goal of which 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." J-1 exchange visitors enter the United States in one of various program categories, such as "Professor," "Research Scholar," and "Short-term Scholar."
Exchange visitors must maintain health insurance for themselves and their dependents that meets federal requirements. Please see the "Statement of Compliance with Exchange Visitor - Health Insurance Requirements" below for more information.
In certain situations, J-1 exchange visitors are subject to a two-year home country physical presence requirement, which requires the visitor to return to his/her home country for at least two years prior to being eligible for many immigration benefits. Waiver of this requirement is possible. More information on the two-year home country physical presence requirement is available here: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/study/exchange.html.
As a general rule, Bucknell University pursues J-1 sponsorship, as appropriate, for visiting assistant professors (VAPs), post-doctoral researchers/fellows, and other employees whose appointment is anticipated to be short-term, as well as visiting scholars. There are limited exceptions, including where the employee would be subject to a two-year home country physical presence requirement with J-1 status, in which case an exception may be made for H-1B sponsorship for these short-term appointments.
The J-1 approval process involves the University's issuance of a Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019) to support an application for J-1 status. In most cases, the DS-2019 will be used to apply for a J-1 visa at a U.S. consular post abroad and for admission to the United States in J-1 status.
Hiring departments should initiate the J-1 process with the General Counsel's office immediately upon extending an offer to a candidate needing J-1 sponsorship. Please contact Lynda Meinke, Assistant Counsel, firstname.lastname@example.org, 570.577.1149, to initiate this process.
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