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. Application
4. Next Steps
5. Processing Times
6. Questions?


Overview

The J-1 visa is a temporary (nonimmigrant) 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: 


Eligibility

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 non-immigrant visa category (including other J-1 categories) 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. 


Application

New Electronic Submission Process:

The International Services Office has an exciting new process to announce for the J-1 Professor, Research Scholar and Short-Term Scholar application! A streamlined, fully electronic application process is now available on the ISO Gateway website. 

This electronic process will be the exclusive submission process starting February 4, 2019. No paper or PDF packets will be accepted after that date. 

To request access to ISOGateWay, please click the button below:

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Request Access to ISOGateway

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Alternate (Old) Submission Process

(Can be used until February 4, 2019):

Download, review, and complete the J-1 Departmental Request Packet by filling in all fields and providing all supporting documentation. Submissions must be typed; handwritten applications will be sent back without review. All signatures must be wet-ink signatures. 

Scan and email the completed application and supporting documentation in one PDF file to [email protected] with the subject line “ATTN: J-1 visa 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:


Questions?

Contact [email protected].