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International Scholar (Researcher) Information (J-1)

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program promotes international educational and cultural exchange and develops mutual understanding between the people of the US and other countries.

International Advisement sponsors J-1 Exchange Visitors participating in academic research, teaching, and consulting at New York Medical College (NYMC). The J-1 is often used for scholars with official appointments such as visiting faculty, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars, and other temporary academic appointments.

Please visit our Research webpage and Human Resources job postings for research opportunities.


Bird’s Eye View of the J-1 Process

    1. You must be officially invited by the NYMC Department
    2. The inviting department will request the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) Form DS-2019 to be issued for you.
    3. OISS email you Form DS–2019.
    4. You make a J-1 visa interview appointment with the local US embassy
    5. The scholar obtains a J-1 visa stamp from the US
    6. The scholar comes to the US.
    7. The scholar completes the J-1 check in Part 1 and Part 2 with the Office of International Advisement
    8. The scholar completes the onboarding process with Human Resources


J-1 Regulation Summary

J visa holders are responsible for learning, understanding, and complying with U.S. federal laws and regulations governing the J visa. Failure to do so will violate the J-1 visiting scholar’s legal status in the U.S. As a J-1 exchange visitor, your responsibilities include but are not limited to, knowing 22 C.F.R.§ 62. Please be aware that the U.S. Department of State governs J visa regulations They are not the institutional policy of New York Medical College.

SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)

SEVIS is the government database that houses all information related to F student and J exchange visitor visas. The Form DS-2019 is unique to each J-1 visiting scholar, and each J-1 visiting scholar’s SEVIS ID number appears on this form. The J-1 visiting scholar is required to read page 2 and sign the bottom of page 1 of Form DS-2019. By signing, the J-1 visiting scholar agrees to abide by all the J-1 rules and regulations associated with being on a J-1 visiting scholar visa.

The Form DS-2019 is issued to you by the Exchange Visitor Program sponsor, which can be identified on item 2 of the form. You are a New York Medical College-sponsored J-1 visiting scholar and are expected to follow New York Medical College policies as well. The Form DS-2019 shows the J-1 visiting scholar’s exchange visitor program information, including the academic field, program objective, expected program start date and end date, and financial information. Your J-1 legal status ends on the completion date indicated on item #3 of Form DS-2019 or when you complete/terminate the program objective, whichever comes first.

Before ANY changes occur on any items on Form DS-2019 (i.e., change of funds, program objective (e.g., change of research area, program end date/extension, etc.), the J-1 visiting scholar must contact the Office of International Students and Scholars with the updated information and confirm if the changes are accepted pursuant to J visiting scholar regulations.

Passport Validity

All J-1 scholars must hold a passport while in the U.S. The passport must always be valid for at least six months into the future while in the U.S. If the passport does not meet the validity requirements, the student is considered violating his/her immigration status.

30-Day Grace Period

You can stay in the U.S. until the 30th day after the program end date your DS-2019 indicates, or the date that you complete/end your program objective, whichever comes earlier. If you withdraw from the J-1 exchange program, you must consult with the Office of International Students and Scholars about your situation before withdrawal and confirm if you are eligible for the grace period. Once the J-1 exchange visitor leaves the U.S. during the 30-day grace period after his/her program completion/withdrawal date, his/her J-1 status becomes invalid. You must depart the U.S. by the 30-day grace period end date unless you have applied for a change of visa status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. There are no exceptions and work authorization is not permitted during this time.

As a J-1 visiting scholar, you will not be eligible for any grace period if you violate your J-1 status and your J-1 SEVIS record is terminated.

Clinical Activities

You may not participate in any form of clinical activities.

Applying for an Extension Before the DS-2019 Expiration Date

J-1 visiting scholars must apply for an extension BEFORE their Form DS-2019 expires if they need more time to complete their program objective. Contact the Office of International Students and Scholars. at least 2 weeks before the DS-2019 expiration date.  

Report Changes in Program Objective

J-1 visiting scholars must notify the Office of International Students and Scholars. whenever there is a change in their program objective BEFORE it happens, please note that a program objective changes, including changes to a research area, position title, site of activity, etc.

Maintain Adequate Health Insurance

Under 22 CFR § 62.14, J visa holders must maintain adequate health insurance for themselves and any dependents in J-2 status throughout their stay in the U.S. Please see page 2 of your DS-2019 section (f), which explains the mandatory insurance amounts and coverage. Failure to maintain the required insurance coverage will result in the termination of your legal J-1 status.  

You may purchase your own J-1 insurance from outside vendors (there are many of them), or you may internet search by simply typing “J-1 insurance”.

If your position at New York Medical College offers your health insurance, you may sign up for it. However, NYMC employee health insurance package does not cover Medical Evacuation and Repatriation. You or your hiring department will have to purchase supplemental insurance to cover Medical Evacuation and Repatriation. Make sure to have a discussion about it with your supervisor.

Health Insurance MUST cover:

      1. medical benefits of at least $100,000 per illness or accident 
      2. deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
      3. expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000.
      4. repatriation of remains in the event of death in the amount of $25,000.
      5. Coverage of pre-existing conditions after a reasonable waiting period
      6. Co-payments that do not exceed 25 percent.

Allowed Additional Employment

“Additional employment” is defined as participation in occasional lectures and short-term consultations. Such lectures and consultations must be incidental to the visiting scholar’s primary program activities. Additional employment must meet the following conditions;

      1. Be directly related to the objectives of the visiting scholar’s program,
      2. Site of activity for “additional employment” must have a certain relationship/agreement with New York Medical College,
      3. Be incidental to the exchange visitor's primary program activities,
      4. Not delay the completion date of the visitor's program, and
      5. Authorized by the Office of International Students and Scholars.

If the J-1 visiting scholar receives wages or other remuneration for such activities, he/she must act as an independent contractor as such term is defined in 8 C.F.R. § 274a.1(j).


Frequent Topics for International Scholars and Researchers

Housing Service for J-1 Scholars

NYMC does not have housing for employees or visiting scholars. The links provided below are designed to assist you in finding housing. NYMC does not endorse any of the links below and is provided for informational purposes.

Strict insurance rule for J holders

J-1 holders are required to have Health Insurance for you (and your family) that covers:

      1. medical benefits of at least $100,000 per illness or accident 
      2. deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.
      3. expenses associated with medical evacuation in the amount of $50,000.
      4. repatriation of remains in the event of death in the amount of $25,000.
      5. Coverage of pre-existing conditions after a reasonable waiting period.
      6. Co-payments that do not exceed 25 percent.

You will have:

      • Option 1- purchase NYMC insurance, then purchase a supplement for Evacuation and Repatriation of Remains (available only for NYMC-funded scholars)
      • Option 2 - purchase own J health insurance

You must show proof of insurance at J-1 check-in after you arrive at NYMC. 

Applying for a Social Security Number (SSN)

If you are at NYMC as a paid researcher, you are eligible to apply for an SSN. The Office of International Students and Scholars will assist with your application. Unfortunately, if you are an outside-funded researcher, you are not eligible.