Report to the Office of Global Services Upon Arrival

J-1 Scholars must report to the Office of Global Services (OGS) upon arrival to the United States or transfer to Northeastern by attending J-1 Scholar Orientation. J-1 Scholars must attend orientation within 30 days after the program start date. Please see J-1 Scholar Arrival for more details.

Maintain Up-to-Date Immigration Documents

J-1 Scholars must have:

  • A passport that is valid at least six months into the future at all times, especially upon entry or re-entry to the U.S.
    • Passports must be renewed before they expire.
    • Passport renewals are done through the Embassy or Consulate of the country issuing the passport.
  • A valid DS-2019
    • Familiarize yourself with your current program dates.
    • Program extensions are not possible after the program end date has passed. Please see Completing your J-1 Scholar Program for more details.
  • An accurate I-94 admission record
    • Class of Admission: J/1
    • Admit Until Date: D/S
    • Retrieve an updated I-94 every time you re-enter the U.S. during your program.
    • J-1 Scholars entering the U.S. by a land border should follow these I-94 application instructions.

The J-1 visa stamp does not need to be valid to maintain lawful presence in the U.S. However, J-1 Scholars must have a valid J-1 visa to enter the U.S. anytime they travel internationally.

OGS recommends keeping scanned and hard copies of all immigration documents.

Report Changes to Your Information

J-1 Scholars must report any changes to their address and/or U.S. phone number to OGS within 10 calendar days of the change by submitting a Contact Information Update e-form in their myOGS account (see the “Scholars and Researchers” section on your account main page).

If there are proposed changes to your Northeastern appointment title, site of activity, or changes in the source or amount of your funding, you must notify OGS in advance of these changes.

Maintain Active Health Insurance

Federal regulations require all J-1 Scholars and J-2 dependents to obtain health insurance for the duration of their program. J-1 Scholars who extend their program duration must ensure that their health insurance is extended to cover their stay. Please see Health Insurance Requirements for J-1 Scholars for more details. Please note that willful failure to have and maintain health insurance that meets the J-1 visa requirements may result in program termination.

Comply with Department of State Restrictions on Hybrid/Remote Work

Per Department of State Guidance Directive 2023-01 released on June 8, 2023, effective July 1, 2023, exchange visitors in the research scholar, professor, and short-term scholar categories must engage in their activities at Northeastern in-person, on-campus, a minimum of 60% of the time. This means that you may work remotely no more than 40% of your regular work hours (a maximum of 2 out of 5 regular work days per week).

Obtain Authorization for Incidental Employment

J-1 Scholars are only authorized to engage in the activity for which their DS-2019 has been issued. J-1 Scholars may be eligible to engage in additional, incidental employment if they request authorization from OGS in advance and if the requested activity meets certain eligibility requirements.

Occasional lectures and consultations

J-1 Scholars can engage in occasional lectures and consultations as long as the activity:

  • Is directly related to the J-1 Scholar’s program objective at Northeastern University.
  • Is incidental to the J-1 Scholar’s work at Northeastern University.
  • Does not interfere with the J-1 Scholar’s program completion date on the DS-2019.
  • Is approved and documented in SEVIS prior to its start date.

If the incidental employment pays an honorarium, stipend, or similar type of one-time payment, the J-1 Scholar must be paid as an independent contractor. J-1 Scholars cannot engage in incidental employment as salaried employees.

Reimbursements: J-1 scholars do not need to be paid as independent contractors if they will only be receiving a reimbursement and no other compensation/honorarium for the authorized activity. However, you still must submit an incidental employment request in advance, as many organizations will require a letter from OGS in order to authorize your reimbursement.

How to obtain incidental employment authorization

J-1 Scholars can request work authorization by submitting the Incidental Employment Authorization Request at least 10 business days prior to the anticipated employment start date. If you request is not approved by the employment start date, do not start working until you have received confirmation of authorization from OGS.

As part of the Incidental Employment Authorization Request, J-1 Scholars must submit support letters from both the faculty host at Northeastern and the institution where they will be engaging in incidental employment.

>> Sample letter for Northeastern faculty host

>> Sample letter for outside institution

J-1 Scholars approved for incidental employment will receive a confirmation letter and an updated DS-2019 if the incidental employment will provide additional funding.

Consequences of unauthorized employment

J-1 Scholars who engage in unauthorized employment are not able to obtain retroactive work authorization from OGS. Any work done without proper work authorization is considered unauthorized employment. Failure to request work authorization prior to the start of any incidental employment – paid or unpaid – may lead to the termination of your SEVIS record.

Failure to maintain J-1 status may be considered unlawful presence by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Out-of-Country for More Than 30 Days

The out-of-country functionality in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) allows J-1 Scholars to maintain an active record while outside of the U.S. for a scheduled period of time that exceeds 30 days. In order to be authorized for an absence of more than 30 days, J-1 Scholars must provide documentation showing that they will continue to engage in their program activities while they are away.

How to report out-of-country to OGS

J-1 Scholars can notify OGS of their plans to be outside of the U.S. for more than 30 days by submitting the Out of Country Request Form at least 10 business days prior to the anticipated departure date. OGS is not able to submit travel dates to SEVIS retroactively.

It is at OGS’ discretion whether or not to approve an out-of-country request. During the J-1 Scholar’s absence, Northeastern University continues to be the program sponsor. Therefore, J-1 Scholars must demonstrate that they will continue pursuing the program objective originally described in the appointment letter issued by the host college. As part of the Out-of-Country Authorization Request, the faculty host will have to provide a support letter attesting to the J-1 Scholar’s activities while outside of the U.S.

J-2 dependents must depart the U.S. with the J-1 Scholar for the duration of the out-of-country request.

J-1 Scholars are not required to request out-of-country authorization if:

  • They are vacationing outside the U.S. for 30 days or less with the permission of their department. Benefited employees are subject to Northeastern University’s paid time off policy.
  • The J-1 Scholar is an instructor and will be outside the U.S. during a term in which the department does not require them to teach, but will return in the following term to resume teaching.

J-1 Scholars who will be outside of the U.S. for more than 30 days and will not be engaging in their program activities may not be eligible to continue their program, in which case OGS will update the program end date in the SEVIS record to reflect the date of departure from the U.S. The updated program end date will determine the start of the 24-month bar and the 212(e) Two-Year Home Residency Requirement for applicable J-1 Scholars.

During their absence, J-1 Scholars must:

  • Maintain status and comply with the Exchange Visitor Program regulations.
  • Report any changes to the information submitted in the Out-of-Country Authorization Request.
  • Maintain both a permanent (foreign) address and current (U.S.) address and update them within 10 days after any changes.
  • Maintain a e-mail address.

During the J-1 Scholar’s absence, the host college must:

  • Continue supervising the J-1 Scholar while they are outside of the U.S.
  • Notify OGS of any changes to the information submitted in the Out-of-Country Authorization Request.

valid travel signature is required on the DS-2019, in addition to a valid passport and J-1 visa, in order to return to the U.S.