Immigration and Visa

J-1 Visa Information

EXCHANGE VISITOR

The J-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa. The purpose of the 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 514.1(b)). Participants in the Exchange Visitor Program enter the U.S. on a J visa. The DS-2019 form, "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status" is required to obtain a J-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad. This form is also used to change visa status from another non-immigrant visa, such as B-1 or F-1, to the J-1 visa. The Department of State (DOS) monitors the Exchange Visitor Program; compliance with the regulations and purpose of the program rests with the International Student Services (ISS), the Responsible Officer or Alternate Responsible Officer.


EXCHANGE VISITOR CATEGORIES, PRIMARY ACTIVITY AND MAXIMUM STAY  

J-1 status, for which Hawai'i Pacific University has met the requirements, falls within one of the four categories listed below. The chart describes each category, provides eligibility criteria and maximum length of stay. Except for the Student category, all other categories should normally have bachelor’s degree or master’s degree and substantial experience in their respective specialty field. Important Note: If the Exchange Visitor has been in the U.S. as a J-1 Exchange Visitor within the last 12 months for a period exceeding 6 months, the Exchange Visitor is not eligible to enter the U.S. as a J-1 professor to start a new program. Please contact the International Student Service office if you need additional information.


 

Category

 

Primary activity at HPU / Eligibility

 

Length of Stay

 

Student

 

 

 

An individual admitted to a degree program at an "accredited educational institution" for a "full course of study" or a nondegree "prescribed course of study." Must be primarily funded from sources other than personal or family funds. 

 

Duration of studies plus a period of authorized employment known as Academic Training.

 

Professor

 

 

 

An individual primarily teaching, lecturing, observing or consulting, at post-secondary accredited educational institutions. Participation in departmental research is allowed.

 

Maximum 5 years. Includes time spent at another institution on J-1 status.

 

Short-Term Scholar

 

 

 

A professor, researcher, or person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the U.S. on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills. This category includes speakers at conferences receiving an honorarium.

 

Maximum 6 months. No extension of stay allowed beyond 6 months.

 

Research Scholar

 

 

 

An individual primarily conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project at research institutions. May also teach or lecture, unless disallowed by the sponsor

 

Maximum 5 years. Includes time spent at another institution on J-1 status

HOME COUNTRY RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT

Department of Homeland Security has placed certain limitations on J-1 visa holders. One of these is the "two-year home country residence requirement" (Section 212(e)). Participants "subject" to this requirement are ineligible to change from J-1 to H-1 or permanent resident status unless they reside for two years in their country of last legal permanent residence or nationality. An Exchange Visitor is subject to the requirement if:

Their financial support comes totally, or in part, from the U.S. government, the home country government, or certain international organizations (i.e. WHO, UNICEF, PAHO, etc.), and/or

Their field of specialization and home country are included on the Exchange Visitor Country Skill List. This list includes countries which have shortage of trained professionals in specific fields of specialization.  

The U.S. Consul and/or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), acting on behalf of the DOS determines the applicability of this requirement to a participant’s program. An Exchange Visitor subject to this requirement may apply for a waiver of the home country residence requirement, for further information talk with your International Student Advisor.


EMPLOYMENT OF EXCHANGE VISITORS AND THEIR DEPENDENT(S)

Exchange Visitor’s are authorized to receive funds from the organization(s) listed on the DS-2019 form. Exchange Visitors wishing to receive funds from other than those sources, once in the United States, require special authorization(s) from their visa sponsor. Employment for an HPU-sponsored Exchange Visitor may be authorized by International Student Services if:

IT IS DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE PROGRAM’S OBJECTIVE, AND  

IT IS INCIDENTAL TO PRIMARY PROGRAM ACTIVITIES, AND

WILL NOT DELAY COMPLETION OF PROGRAM 

J-2, dependents of J-1s, may work in the U.S. if they show economic necessity and are authorized by the Immigration and Naturalization Service.


EXCHANGE VISITORS FUNDING, SOURCE(S) OF FUNDS, AND MEDICAL INSURANCE

The University must verify that prospective Exchange Visitors have sufficient funds to carry out their activities at HPU. Additionally, Exchange Visitors (and their dependents in J-2 status) MUST carry adequate health insurance throughout their stay at HPU (see below Medical Insurance). Those who fail to comply with such requirement become ineligible for HPU’s J-1 sponsorship. Exchange Visitors under a group policy (MIP, Health-Net, etc.) may require additional coverage to comply with the requirement. Please contact HPU Registrar for more information.


MEDICAL INSURANCE

All exchange visitors (both J-1 principals and J-2 dependets) are required to have health insurance in effect that covers the exchange visitors for sickness or accidents during the period of time that they participate in the sponsor's exchange visitor program. And may be subject to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Minimum coverage must provide:

  • Coverage for outpatient care, hospitalization, emergency room, accidents, medical and surgery in Hawaii;
  • Comprehensive medical coverage of at least $100,000 USD coverage per accident or illness;
  • At least $25,500 USD coverage for repatriation;
  • At least $50,000 USD to cover expenses associated with the medical evacuation to one's home country;
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 USD per accident or illness;
  • At least 75% coverage for each accident or illness;
  • Health plan does not have a pre-existing clause and waiting period of any kind;
  • The health insurance plan inlcudes behavioral health coverage;
  • The health insurance plan is backed up by a provider that meets a set rating;


Hawai`i Pacific University J-1 approval authority:

Prospective exchange visitor participants in the student category must be cleared and authorized by the Responsible Officer or Alternate Responsible Officer at the International Student Services. 

Prospective exchange visitor participants in the professor or short-term scholar category must be approved by the Academic Vice President and Dean, and the University President before being cleared and authorized by the Responsible Officer or Alternate Responsible Officer.


 

For more information please contact:
International Student Services
1164 Bishop Street Suite 200
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 356-5299
Email: iss@hpu.edu