Onsite Requirements for J-1 Visa Holders – DOS Guidance Directive Updated June 8, 2023

Effective July 1, 2023, the U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) is ending its policy that permitted temporary modifications of EVPs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All exchange programs are expected to comply with USDOS’ Guidance Directive and, as of July 1, return to predominantly in-person program activities. The Guidance Directive supersedes any prior guidance on this topic.  

The Guidance Directive impacts new exchange visitors differently based on their J-1 category. More specifically, beginning July 1, 2023, the impact to your new J-1 program is as follows:

  • New J-1 exchange visitors in the Research Scholar, Professor, Short Term Scholar or Specialist categories may only participate in remote work two days in a five-day work week.
  • New J-1 college and university students may engage in a maximum of one online course per semester. Furthermore, J-1 college and university students may take in-person classes with virtual components.    

Please note that continuing J-1 exchange visitors in active status on or before June 30, 2023, may continue hybrid programs up to December 31, 2023.

The updated policy is meant to highlight USDOS’ emphasis on cross-cultural engagement for exchange visitors, which includes active engagement with campus, colleagues and the community. If you believe you may be impacted by USDOS' policy, please contact your J-1 advisor.