J-1 Visa Position Categories
Thomas Jefferson University (Jefferson) Departments interested in inviting an international faculty or staff member on a J-1 SHORT-TERM SCHOLAR, J-1 RESEARCH SCHOLAR, and J-1 PROFESSOR status should become familiar with the following Jefferson position categories. The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is for positions that are temporary in nature and require higher skills of research and autonomy. The J-1 status cannot be used for tenure-track faculty positions.
A Postdoctoral Fellow is considered a training position typically held by the recent recipient of a PhD, MD, or equivalent degree. The purpose of postdoctoral training is to receive additional preparation for a full-time academic, industrial, government or other career requiring advanced research training. Postdoctoral Fellows are expected to be engaged in full-time research under the supervision a Jefferson faculty member. Postdoctoral Fellows receive annual stipends and health insurance, as approved by Human Resources and Office of Postdoctoral Affairs. Appointments can be renewed annually for up to five years.
A Research Assistant is generally acceptable for J-1 program. The duties of the Research Assistant must align with Human Resources Guidelines.
A Research Associate typically requires postdoc experience and is generally acceptable for J-1 program. The duties of the Research Associate must align with Human Resources Guidelines.
A Visiting Scholar is someone recognized as an expert in their field and is employed at an institution outside of the U.S. A Visiting Scholar is typically at Jefferson for a minimum of one year for up to five (5) years, depending on funding sources and the home institution. An example is an individual taking a sabbatical from a foreign academic institution. The Scholar should show proof of current employment, and must prove the intent to return to their current institution. Annual compensation or other funds, including health insurance, should be provided by the home institution and/or a government scholarship. A J-1 Scholar may not be invited using personal funds only.
A Visiting Researcher is someone who is currently enrolled in a post-baccalaureate program at an institution outside of the U.S. or who is currently employed at another academic institution. A Visiting Researcher is typically at Jefferson for a minimum of one year for up to five (5) years, depending on funding sources and the home institution. The Researcher should show proof of current enrollment or employment, and must prove the intent to return to their current institution. Annual compensation or other funds, including health insurance, must be provided by the home institution and/or a government scholarship. A J-1 Visiting Researcher may not be invited using personal funds only.
Participants whose research involves any contact at all with patients, including interviews, will need to adhere to Jefferson and the US Department of State’s Exchange Visitor incidental patient contact guidance—the patient contact must be minimal, and an attestation must be signed by the Dean of SKMC.
A Short-Term J-1 Scholar is an individual who commonly self-funds their duration of stay at Jefferson. If the proposed duties are aligned with the role of a Research Volunteer, the maximum duration is three months. The Research Volunteer position must be compliant with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and should not engage in activities that are normally paid. All other J-1 Short-Term Scholars are limited to a maximum of six months. No extensions are permitted. A J-1 Short-Term Scholar may not return as another J-1 Short-Term Scholar, J-1 Research Scholar, or Professor to continue their original program objectives.
Physicians participating in an ACGME residency training program must apply for J-1 status using documents issued by ECFMG (Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates at ECFMG.org). Jefferson may not issue the form DS-2019 for clinical training.