J-1 Exchange Visitor Scholar

The Department of State's Exchange Visitor Program allows for the exchange of research scholars and professors from around the world, and the University is pleased to host nearly 300 Exchange Visitors every year. The majority of Notre Dame's Exchange Visitors visit as scholars and contribute to the rich teaching and research communities at Notre Dame.  

Departments can find information about supporting J-1 Scholars and initiating requests here

Responsibilities of Scholars

For information about resources for your J-2 dependent spouse, please see Resources for International Spouses

Report U.S. Address Changes

Report all address changes within ten days of moving. You will provide your local address when you visit ISSA upon arrival, but you must report any changes to your address through InsideND. Your address must describe where you live; it cannot be a P.O. Box, an office or a work address.

  1. Using your NetID and password, log in to InsideND
  2. On the "My Resources" tab, scroll down to "Personal Information" and then to "Your Contact Information."
  3. Click on "Update Address and Phone." Update your U.S. address and phone number.
Maintaining Valid Health Insurance

J-1 regulations require that you and your dependents carry health insurance while you are in the United States. More information about eligible plans can be found on the Pre-arrival page (step 4).

Please be aware that you and your dependents may be subject to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

Valid Documents

Your passport and the passports of any family members must be valid at all times. An expired passport means you are out of status. Make sure that your DS-2019 is up to date and accurately reflects your program information and personal information. If your program will continue beyond your current DS-2019 end date, please work with your department to obtain an extension prior to the expiration of your document.

Travel 

If you will leave the U.S. during your program and plan to reenter before the end of your program, make sure that you (and any J-2 dependents) have a valid travel signature on your DS-2019, a valid passport, and a valid visa. You may obtain a new travel signature by visiting ISSA in 105 Main Building. If you will be traveling somewhere other than your home country, make sure you consult the country of destinations' website to be sure you understand the visa and entry requirements.

Visa Renewal

If your visa is expired and you plan to exit the U.S., you will need to apply for a new visa. For instructions on securing a new visa, see Pre-Arrival, Step 3 above.  

Work Authorization

In general, J-1 scholars are prohibited from accepting employment outside of the Notre Dame department that hosts them. However, the regulations include an exception for “occasional lectures and short-term consultations”. In order to qualify for this exception, the following conditions must be met:

  • A short-term position is generally defined as something that is 30 days or less and occasionally is something that is irregular or infrequent intervals.
  • The scholar must receive written permission from ISSA before starting any employment.
  • The work must be directly related to the objectives of the exchange visitor’s (J-1) program.
  • The work must be incidental to the scholar’s primary program activities and must not delay the completion of the program.
  • The scholar must work as an independent contractor.
  • ISSA must report the new work location in SEVIS.

To request written permission for an occasional lecture or short-term consultation, the Occasional Lecture or Consultation Authorization Request forms must be completed on ISSAlink. Go to ISSAlink, sign in with your NetID and password, and complete the form found on the left under J Scholar Services. You will need a digital copy  (only PDF, JPG, BMP, or PNG formats accepted) of the offer letter from the intended employer. The letter should be on official letterhead and include:

  • A description of the terms and conditions of the proposed lecture or consultation,
  • The duration of the proposed activity,
  • The total number of hours,
  • The field or subject, 
  • Amount of compensation,
  • A description of the activity, and
  • The physical address of the activity. 

If you have any questions, contact ISSA at issa@nd.edu.

Please be sure your full legal name (as indicated on your passport) is used on all documents.

Taxes

All international visitors must file a tax form each spring for the previous tax year, even if they did not earn income.  The University sponsors access to Sprintax for individuals filing as non-residents, and information is sent out by the beginning of February every year. 

Departure/Transfer

Scholars must notify ISSA of their departure (and the permanent departure of any dependents) or transfer to another institution via the J-1 Scholar or Dependent Departure Form on ISSAlink

Please note: If you are in either the J-1 Research Scholar or Professor category, having an accurate program end date on your Form DS-2019 is important. Please make sure to fill out the departure form. The 24 month bar (see below) will begin on your departure date, which is important to note if you intend to come back to the United States as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor.

Continuing your research outside of the US

If your research program will require you to spend some time outside of the US before returning to Notre Dame, it may be possible to keep your J-1 record active during your absence. Please contact ISSA to discuss your situation.

24 Month Bar

If you come to the US in the J-1 Research Scholar category or the Professor category, once your program has concluded (i.e. you are not seeking an extension, or you have reached the 5 year maximum) you will be barred from returning to the US in the J-1 Research Scholar or Professor categories for 24 months. Please note that this will also affect your dependents.

Other J categories or visa types may be open to you. Please consult ISSA for more information.

Two Year Home Residency Requirement 212(e)

It is important that you check your visa stamp to determine if you are subject to a rule called 212(e), or the Two Year Home Residency Requirement. Certain J-1 visitors and their dependents will be required to leave the US for a minimum of two years before being allowed to change to most other visa types. If you find that you are subject, please review complete details about the rule on the State Department Website.

Waiver process

If a J-1 Exchange Visitor is subject to the Two Year Home Residency Rule and wishes to apply for a waiver of this requirement, they are welcome to submit this information directly to the Department of State.

Additional Notes for J-1 Exchange Visitors

Social Security Number (SSN)

For instructions on obtaining a Social Security Number (SSN), visit Social Security Numbers.  

Driver's License

For information about driving in the United States and instructions for obtaining a U.S. driver's license, visit Driving in the U.S.

Inviting Visitors

Friends and relatives who do not qualify as dependents can apply for a tourist visa if they wish to visit you in the U.S. No documentation from ISSA is necessary.