GW J-1 Visa Sponsorship

The International Services Office (ISO) is happy to partner with you to host and welcome new international faculty and scholars to GW! 

Based on feedback from GW departments and their international scholars, professors, and specialists, we recently redesigned the J-1 sponsorship application process to increase transparency, efficiency, and support. 

In addition to transitioning to a paperless process, departments now have more access to direct communication with the ISO, so they can be more informed every step of the way. Please note, paper applications will not be accepted at the ISO after February 1, 2018. Please submit your applications through the process outlined below. 

  1. Overview
  2. Eligibility
  3. For CCAS Departments
  4. Application
  5. Next Steps
  6. Processing Times
  7. Questions?


The J-1 visa is a temporary (non-immigrant) visa intended for highly educated foreign professionals to collaborate, research, observe, consult, teach and train in specialty roles on the GW campus. Requirements for each role differ, however all roles are supported through the ISO for visa regulations and compliance.

GW is designated by the Department of State to sponsor the following categories:

  • College and University Student (non-degree seeking and degree-seeking)
  • Short-term Scholar
  • Research Scholar and Professor

For more information about the J-1 visa and the various categories, please explore the following websites: 


English proficiency is required for all J-1 visa categories. English ability must be sufficient to function on a day-to-day basis at GW and off-campus. English language proficiency can be verified by a documented sponsor-conducted interview, with a recognized English language test, or signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school

All Short-term Scholars and Research Scholars must have a formal offer from a GW department before they are eligible to apply for J-1 sponsorship.

For all College and University Student category J-1 visas, the appropriate departments should be contacted for further information. Eligibility for the J-1 visa is dependent upon the category of visa being applied for:

College and University Student (non-degree seeking and degree-seeking)

Short-term Scholar

  • Duration: 6 months maximum
  • Repeat Participation Regulatory Bars: None
  • Must be a professor, research scholar, or person with similar education or accomplishments
  • Must have an official offer or invitation from a department at GW

Research Scholar and Professor

  • Duration: 5 years maximum
  • Repeat Participation Regulatory Bars: There is a 24-month bar on repeat participation in the same category for all Research Scholar and Professor participants. Additionally, applicants who have been in the United States for all or part of the preceding 12 months in any J-category are not eligible unless they are transferring, were engaged as a short-term scholar, or they were present in the U.S. for less than 6 months in duration. 
  • Must be engaged as a research scholar or professor abroad and whose primary purpose is:
    • Research scholar: conducting research, observing or consulting in connection with a research project
    • Professor: teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting

Note: The 24-month regulatory repeat participation bar is not equivalent to the 212(e) two-year home residency requirement. 

For CCAS Departments Only

CCAS departments and programs should first obtain the college's approval on any petition to sponsor foreign nationals to work at GW on a J-1 or H1-B visa before initiating the application process with ISO.

A CCAS Internal Approval Routing Sheet is required to be attached with any application submitted in ISOGateway. Please visit CCAS Global's Webpage for guidance on the policy and process.


Electronic Submission Process:

The International Services Office has an exciting new process for the J-1 Professor, Research Scholar and Short-Term Scholar application through the ISOGateWay website!

No physical paper or PDF packets are accepted for this process. 

For more detailed guidelines on J-1 scholar submissions, visit the following two links:

To request access to ISOGateWay and start working on a scholar application, please follow the below steps:

  1. Log into ISOGateWay.
    *If this is your first time submitting a scholar request, you will be asked to request access. Please request access and wait for the ISO to approve you. Please send an email to [email protected] for expedited access.
  2. After your access is approved, please log back into ISOGateWay
  3. Click on Departmental Services on the left side, and then click the Add a New Person button near the bottom. Please add your scholar to our system. If the system says a record already exist for that scholar, please email [email protected] to ask for the user's internal ISOGateway TEMP ID.
    *If you are able to add a new person successfully, our system will send you an email containing the new person/scholar's credentials to use for Step 5.
  4. After the new person is added to our system, please click on Departmental Services on the left side again, and then click on the New J-1 Scholar/Professor Request button on the bottom of the screen.
    *Please note that you cannot use the various "My Cases" lists at the top of the screen.
  5. Enter the scholar's University ID (this may be a TEMP ID from Step 3) and DOB when prompted.
  6. Scroll to the bottom and click + Start a New Request. You can then proceed filling out your application eforms. 
    *Important Note: If you need to resume filling out your application at a later date, please use Step 4 to log in, but not Step 6. Instead of Step 6, you can scroll to the bottom of the same page and click the dated application draft (do not start a new request).

Submission Guidelines:

  • Electronic submissions only. Any hard copies submitted to the ISO will be shredded.
  • Please review documentation for completeness prior to submission to ensure rapid processing.
  • Each application must be submitted for the correct J-1 category dependent upon the prospective exchange visitor’s credentials. Applications submitted for ineligible positions will not be considered.

Next Steps

  • After your department submits an application for J-1 sponsorship to the ISO, you will receive a confirmation email from our team.
  • After thorough review, an ISO advisor will contact you to request follow-up information, if necessary, or initiate the next steps of the process.

Processing Times

The J-1 exchange visitor visa application process can take time. The overall process itself involves the ISO, the academic department, the prospective exchange visitor and the U.S. embassy in their home country.  Minimum lead time is two (2) months prior to the start date listed on the J-1 sponsorship application.

The GW host department must submit all requested materials to the ISO at least three (3) months before the requested employment start date. ISO processing can take up to 10 business days, barring delays caused by missing documentation or extensive follow-up.

Government Processing Times:


Contact [email protected].