Fellowships & Grants

J 1 Visa Information

  1. J Exchange Visitor Visa Information
  2. J Exchange Visitor Visa Insurance Requirements
  3. J Exchange Visitor Visa Eligibility

  1. J Exchange Visitor Visa Information

    Purpose of the J Exchange Visitor Visa

    The Center’s international fellowship program, designated Exchange Visitor Program G-3-00346 by the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, makes it possible for foreign scholars to obtain non-immigrants J-1 visas from the American Embassy or Consulate in their home country.  The J Exchange Visitor Program is designed to promote the interchange of persons, knowledge, and skills in the fields of education, arts, and sciences.


    How to Obtain a J Visa

    After you have returned your Scholar Information Form, the Center will send you a DS2019, Certificate of Eligibility for the Exchange Visitor (J-1) Visa, and approximately three months prior to your arrival. You will need this form in order to schedule a visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country.

    Please note:  there may be a lengthy wait in order to obtain a visa interview.  Please check the scheduling time for J visas for our country at:


    *If you are a Fulbright Scholar, your Fulbright Program Officer will handle your J visa processing.

    Bringing Family Members as J-2 Dependents

    Your spouse and children under that age of 21 may obtain J-2 (dependent) visas.

    If your family plans to enter the United States separately, please contact your Wilson Center Program Officer in order to obtain the appropriate J-2 support document.

    Entering the U.S.

    You will present you passport, DS2019, Arrival-Departure Record Form (I-94), and Customs Declaration Form (CF-6059) to the immigration officer at your point of entry into the U.S. The immigration office will stamp these documents and return them to you. For more detailed information, please see:


    Visa Fees

    Your J visa (both J1 and J2) carries no fees, including no SEVIS fee.

    Upon Arrival at the Center

    Please present your passport and J-1 visa to your Wilson Center Program Officer upon arrival at the Center so that the Center may validate your DS2019 form. The Center will be unable to process stipend payments without proper visa documentation.

    Traveling Outside of the U.S. While on Your Fellowship

    The visa document that will be returned to the scholar by the immigration officer, and endorsed at the point of entry into the U.S., must always be carried when traveling within and outside of the U.S. and mustbe valid for the duration of the fellow’s stay in the U.S. Fellows who expect to travel outside the U.S. during their fellowship at the Center should alert your Wilson Center Program officer so that your DS2019 may be authorized for travel.

    Useful Websites

    What is a J visa and who gets one?


    Frequently asked visa questions about J-visas:



  2. J Exchange Visitor Visa Insurance Requirements

    Scholars and their dependents are required to have medical insurance coverage during the period of their tenure at the Center with the following minimum benefits.

    1. Medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness
    2. Repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500
    3. Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $10,000
    4. A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.

    An insurance policy secured to meet the benefits requirements must be underwritten by an insurance corporation with an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of "A-I" or above, a Standard and Poor's Claims Paying Ability rating of "A-" or above, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above. Alternatively, the Center may ascertain that the exchange visitor’s policy is backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the scholar's home country.

  3. J Exchange Visitor Visa Eligibility

    1. 12-month bar for both J-1 (research scholar) and J-2 (dependents)

      An Exchange Visitor, and his or her dependents, whose program ended before the date November 18, 2006, must wait one year before returning to the United States to participate in a new exchange visitor program. There are three exceptions to the above regulation:

      1. The exchange visitor is being transferred from another J-1 program.
      2. The exchange visitor's presence in the US was less than six months.
      3. The exchange visitor was here as a Short Term Scholar, which is limited to six months.

    2. 24-month bar for J-1 Research Scholars (only)

      An exchange visitor, whose program ended after the date November 18, 2006, cannot repeat participation as a Professor or Research Scholar after a prior participation as either a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar. For example, a Research Scholar, who is at the Center from 1/1/07 through 6/30/07 (6 months) must wait two years before becoming eligible to be a repeat J-1 Research Scholar, whether at the Center or at a U.S. university.

    3. 5-year limit on J-1 Research Scholar

      A Research Scholar is limited to five years of program participation. For example, a Research Scholar has been at an American university as a J-1 scholar from 1/1/2007 to 1/1/2012--this scholar has used up his or her time limit of five years and would be ineligible to come to the Center at the end of the fellowship at the university, until the two-year wait has passed.

      No in-country transfers between visa categories

      If a potential scholar is in the U.S. on a G (international organization such as the World Bank) or an A visa (Ambassador) for example, we cannot transfer the scholar to our J-1 visa.  The scholar must return home and come back on the J-1 visa before starting his or her fellowship at the Center.


Office Location

Scholars and Academic Relations Office
Woodrow Wilson Center

One Woodrow Wilson Plaza
1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20004-3027

T: 202-691-4170