J Exchange Visitor Program Guidance:

Purpose of the J Exchange Visitor Program:

  • The Exchange Visitor Program was created to foster global understanding and peacebuilding through educational and cultural exchange. 
  • Exchange Visitors have a temporary purpose for visiting Georgia Tech to conduct an academic program under the supervision and guidance of a faculty host.
  • Exchange Visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program in order to share their exchange experiences fulfilling the foreign policy objective of the J visa. ­
  • The J-2 visa is not a work visa although J-1 visa holders may receive compensation for employment with the sponsor when employment is a part of the exchange visitor's program.

Administration of the J Exchange Visitor Program:

The OIE is responsible for the administration of Georgia Tech’s J Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) and for putting in place procedures to support all parties involved with the EVP. OIE relies on communication from the faculty host for the scholar and the unit HR administrator to communicate information about the program which ensures the accuracy in immigration records and to provide the appropriate type of support to the exchange visitor or the hosting unit.

Screening of Exchange Visitors:

All Exchange Visitors must be appropriately selected, placed, oriented, supervised, and evaluated. Regardless of category, faculty hosts and units must devise a method and criteria for selecting participants for their programs to determine the suitability of their program for prospective participants. Federal law requires the OIE determine that participants have sufficient proficiency in the English language to participate in their programs using an “objective measure”. In addition, the OIE must evaluate other criteria such as minimum degree earned based on specific regulations pertaining to program categories defined by federal regulations.

OIE, HR admin., and faculty host shared responsibilities:

  • Sponsors are required to monitor the progress and welfare of their participants.
  • Sponsors are to ensure that the participants' activities are consistent with the program category identified on the participants' Form DS-2019.
  • Sponsors must notify their participants to provide current contact (address and telephone number) information to the OIE and to notify the OIE of any changes within 10 days.
  • J-1 visa holders are not authorized to work for any position other than that for which the J-1 visa was issued. All J-1 employment should take place at the site of activity listed on the DS-2019 form and any changes to the site of activity must be reported to OIE using the "Update to DS-2019" e-form in iStart.
  • In the mandatory OIE Scholar Orientation, Exchange Visitors are notified to contact their host unit and/or the OIE when they need assistance during business hours and to contact GTPD in an emergency outside of normal Georgia Tech business. In all instances OIE must be aware of emergencies
  • Any serious problem or controversy which could be expected to bring the Department of State or the sponsor's program into notoriety or disrepute or related to the health and safety of an exchange visitor must be reported to the OIE. The OIE will then file a report with the U.S. Department of State [22 CFR 62.13(b)].

 

Faculty Host Responsibilities:

  • All visitors must be vetted/interviewed by the host before inviting them to Ga Tech.
  • Monitor the progress and welfare of their participants and provide the appropriate amount of supervision and guidance that aligns with the visitor’s individual needs and professional standing.
  • When the visitor is a student abroad, he/she will likely need supervision while at Ga Tech that is similar to a GT student. When hosting a student visiting Tech to conduct their research program, the faculty should see the visitor regularly (several times a week) ensuring they can maintain awareness of an evaluate progress on the agreed upon program objectives.
  • Visiting scholars will likely need less supervision than student visiting from abroad.  Faculty hosts should see the visitor regularly (at minimum once a week) ensuring they can maintain awareness of an evaluate progress on the agreed upon program objectives. It is preferable for regular meeting to be in-person, especially for student interns, but if this is absolutely not possible then a virtual meeting should take place. Please keep records of all meetings between supervisor and exchange visitor.
  • The faculty host must be physically located at Georgia Tech during the entire exchange period. It is not allowed for a faculty member to host an exchange visitor while on sabbatical. If the host supervisor will not be available for more than 2 weeks during a visitor's exchange program period, please contact the Office of Legal Affairs and the OIE (below). An alternate host must be designated during your absence.
  • If the scholar notifies you they will leave two or more weeks early OR the scholar is not completing their agreed upon activities at the level expected, the host department must notify the OIE immediately by submitting the "Update to DS-2019" e-form in iStart.
  • Before the program ends the host/supervisor must complete the student intern evaluation required by the U.S. Department of State before he/she leaves Ga Tech (student interns only).
  • If anything about the program, funding, site of activity, or host duties changes, please contact the academic unit HR administrator responsible who is responsible for communicating this information to the OIE.
  • J-1 visa holders are not authorized to work for any position other than that for which the J-1 visa was issued. All J-1 employment should take place at the site of activity listed on the DS-2019 form and any changes to the site of activity must be reported to OIE using the "Update to DS-2019" e-form in iStart.

For more information regarding the J-1 program visit:

US Department of State:  https://j1visa.state.gov/

Georgia Tech Office of International Education: https://oie.gatech.edu/isss/home

Questions or Concerns:

  • Academic school or research center HR administrator