J-1 Exchange Visitors

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) designates Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) sponsors across the U.S. to host international visitors for temporary periods to engage in educational and cultural exchange activities for the purpose of increasing mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries. UH is authorized to sponsor exchange visitors (EVs) only in select EV categories. UH is not designated as an “umbrella” sponsor, so we may sponsor only individuals whose programs will take place on UH campuses or sites and who will be primarily affiliated with UH departments. The DOS prohibits using the EVP to place foreign nationals into regular employment positions, whether the job takes place on a UH campus or elsewhere.

To invite an individual to visit under the J-1 EVP, the exchange program must be collaborative, mutual, and reciprocal.

  • Collaborative – The J-1 EVP must involve a collaborative activity or objective between the department and the EV. Research or instruction is done under the supervision and support of the department and the work of the EV is connected to work being done by the faculty sponsor.
  • Mutual – The program activity or objective must be mutually beneficial to both the host department and the EV.
  • Reciprocal – Both the department and the EV are giving or “investing” something into the exchange.

An exchange program can include research, teaching, lectures, demonstrations and performances, and other scholarly or educational activities. The J-1 EVP may not be used for completely independent work with no relationship to the university (such as independent research in the library).

Each year, the UH System hosts hundreds of EVs to participate in a variety of temporary programs. After completing their programs, exchange visitors are expected to return to their home countries to carry out the exchange of knowledge and skills gained during their time in the U.S.

Click on the links below, directly access J-1 forms and templates, or see J-1 Frequently Asked Questions.

Sponsoring a J-1 Exchange Visitor

Step 1: Determine J-1 eligibility
Step 2: UH invitation
Step 3: DS-2019 request & FSIS processing
Step 4a: Apply for J-1/J-2 entry or Step 4b: USCIS processing or Step 4c: Transfer to UH
Step 5: Attend FSIS registration/orientation

Living in Hawaiʻi

Rights & protections in the U.S.
Hawaiʻi culture & customs
Banking & payments
Living expenses

J-2 Dependents

J-2 eligibility
Obtaining & extending J-2 status
Employment for J-2 dependents
Study permitted for J-2 dependents
Ending J-2 status

Maintaining J-1 & J-2 Compliance

J-1 duration
J-1 extensions
Changes to J-1 programs
Health insurance
Travel abroad & reentry to the U.S.
Reporting new home addresses
Nonimmigrant intent

Ending J-1 Sponsorship

J-1 completion verification
2-year home country residence requirement
12-month & 24-month bars
Transferring to another J-1 sponsor