J-1 Scholar Transfer Information
Individuals who are in the US in J-1 status may transfer to another institution in the US to continue their J-1 program. This means that the research or teaching objective of your stay has to remain the same and has to fit within the description of your "Subject/Field Code Remarks" as indicated in box #4 on your DS-2019 form issued by the University of Chicago.
There is no limit on the amount of times one can transfer, but each time such a transfer has to be approved by the current J-1 program sponsor. At the University of Chicago, that is the Office of International Affairs. Ultimately, any transfer is at the discretion of the current J-1 sponsor and may, in the case of transfers to the University of Chicago, be denied for various reasons beyond the control of OIA.
The transfer process is fairly straight forward. Individuals transferring to or from the University of Chicago do not need to travel abroad to obtain a new J-1 visa sticker at the US Embassy. They will, however, need to communicate their intent to transfer with both the current and the new J-1 sponsors so that the transfer can be executed. Please allow a minimum of two weeks for any transfer.
- Individuals who are transferring cannot begin their J-1 program at the new institution until the transfer date has been reached and a new DS-2019 form has been issued by the new sponsor.
- A new DS-2019 form can only be issued by the new sponsor on or after the transfer date.
- There must be no gap between the end date of activities at the current institution and the transfer date to the new sponsor.
- Individuals transferring to the University of Chicago must come to OIA to check in in person and to pick up the new DS-2019 form.
- On September 13, 2022, DOS revised the FAM to say that an exchange visitor becomes ineligible for an extension of a J-1 program when DOS forwards a positive 212(e) waiver recommendation to DHS, rather than when the RO receives notification of the forwarded recommendation.
Transfer Request Forms
In order to start the transfer process, the individual must use the appropriate “transfer request” form: