J-1 Visitor Exchange Visa Sponsorship Information

The Visa and International Services Administration (VISA) office has prepared the following information related to sponsorship of J-1 visa for international scholars and their family members. The information is intended for administrators responsible for processing visa document requests to the VISA office. Please note that this information is not intended to be legal advice. For questions or concerns about the information on this website, please contact us.

Applicant Eligibility

Cedars-Sinai has been approved by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor J-1 exchange visitors participating in academic research, teaching and observation at Cedars-Sinai. Scholars use the J-1 program for official paid and unpaid appointments such as visiting scientist, visiting scientist-supplemental, postdoctoral scientist, as well as other temporary academic appointments.

The J-1 visa cannot be used for permanent, tenured appointments or for professional support staff positions.

In most cases, foreign medical doctors are prohibited from engaging in any clinical activities during Cedars-Sinai's J-1 visa sponsorship. International medical graduates often use the J-1 clinical visa sponsorship of the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates for clinical residency and fellowships.

Department Responsibilities

  • The host department must work with Human Resources Recruitment to determine that the individual has the appropriate academic credentials, as well as English language proficiency, for the temporary academic appointment.
  • The host department and/or scholar must provide evidence of financial support (either Cedars-Sinai funds or outside funding) for all expenses, including additional financial support for any accompanying family members.
  • Submit required information and application to the VISA office for J-1 sponsorship. Please allow at least a three-month lead time before a scholar arrives. In some cases, it may take longer, depending on the country of origin or the visa action required.
  • Monitor the scholar's arrival dates and inform VISA of possible delays or cancellation. Scholars must enter the U.S. within 30 days of start date on Form DS-2019, the Certificate of Eligibility for the J-1 visa.
  • Notify VISA of any significant changes to the scholar's program at Cedars-Sinai, such as change in funding support, site of activity, clinical duties, early program completion, termination or withdrawal.
  • Provide support and resources for scholars regarding departmental and Cedars-Sinai access, such as housing, office space, administrative support, computer/email access, etc.

J-1 Application Forms

The sponsoring department should complete the J-1 Department Request Form to request J-1 visa sponsorship.

  • Certification of English Language Proficiency Form: Required for all "Begin New Program" and "Transfer In" requests.
  • Clinical Activity Certification Form: Required for applicants who hold a medical degree (MD, DO, MBBS, etc.)
  • 5-Point Statement Letter: Required for physicians participating in programs with incidental patient contact components.
  • Fee Agreement: A $300 administrative fee is charged to the department for each initial and extension application.

The J-1 visa applicant should complete the J-1 Applicant Data Form . Forward the completed form to the sponsoring Cedars-Sinai department. Do not forward directly to the VISA office.

The department should gather all documents from the applicant and forward the completed application packet to the department’s immigration partner. Applications may be submitted by email to your designated immigration partner or through interdepartment mail to PACT 600. The VISA office will review and process the DS-2019 form within 15 calendar days and notify the department for pickup of J-1 approval packet.

The department will need to forward the J-1 approval packet to the applicant.