J-1 scholars in the research scholar, professor, and specialist categories may be eligible to transfer their J-1 sponsorship from one Exchange Visitor Program to another Exchange Visitor Program, provided they meet certain eligibility requirements.
The J-1 transfer process requires careful coordination between several different parties, including the current sponsor, the new sponsor, and the individual scholar. At Tufts, the International Center manages all requests for scholars who are seeking to transfer to or from Tufts and another J-1 sponsor.
In general, J-1 transfers for scholars may be possible if:
The scholar will be engaged in research and/or teaching in the same subject area across both institutions
In general, a change in the area of research or teaching is not permitted; the scholar must be engaged in research and/or teaching in the same area when transferring sponsors
The scholar has sufficient time within the maximum duration of program participation allowed for the J-1 category
J-1 research scholars and professors are permitted a maximum program duration of five years. As an example, if the scholar spends three years with one sponsor, they will have only two years of eligibility remaining with their new sponsor. If the J-1 scholar has already spent five years at their current sponsor, they will be ineligible to transfer.
There can be no gap in between J-1 program dates
J-1 transfers are "seamless" in that the transfer of sponsorship from one sponsor to the other sponsor takes place immediately; the new sponsor must agree to take over J-1 sponsorship the day after the current sponsor agrees to end their sponsorship
Because J-1 program dates do not always align exactly with actual activities, the scholar should consult with international scholar advisors at both institutions in order to identify the best possible J-1 transfer date
The J-1 scholar is responsible for maintaining health insurance coverage across both sponsors
The J-1 scholar is responsible or ensuring that they will have adequate J-1 health insurance coverage across both institutions and during the transfer process
If a J-1 transfer is approved, there is no need for the scholar to leave the US and re-enter using a new visa. Once the transfer takes place, the new sponsor will issue a new Form DS-2019 updated to reflect details about the scholar's' activity at the new institution. The new sponsor will also be responsible for ensuring that the scholar is advised on J-1 requirements.
Tufts Transfer-in / Transfer-out Process
If you are a J-1 scholar and plan to transfer to Tufts, your Tufts department will first need to submit a Visa Document Request to the International Center, requesting J-1 status for you. In addition, you will need to submit a J-1 Scholar Transfer form and send that to the International Center once we receive a J-1 Visa Document Request from your department.
If you are currently a J-1 scholar at Tufts and want to transfer your J-1 sponsorship to another institution, you must contact the International Center before you transfer to your new institution. Contact your International Center scholar advisor with information including the intended last date of your program at Tufts, evidence of your acceptance to a new J-1 scholar program at your new institution (such as an appointment or invitation letter), and the J-1 program code of your new institution. You may also need to provide the contact information of a J-1 scholar advisor at your new institution so that we may coordinate the details of your J-1 transfer.