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Exchange Students (J) Program Basics

U. S. Government Regulations

This page is an abbreviated introduction to the complicated regulations that govern exchange visitors to the United States. These regulations change often; therefore, please contact the global education office with any questions you might have.

Exchange Visitor Program

Hampshire College is designated as a sponsor of the J-1 Exchange Visitors Program by the Department of State (DOS). The purpose of this program is to promote international education and cultural exchanges in collaboration with universities around the world. Non-degree-seeking exchange students attend Hampshire on this visa type. For more Information about the Exchange Visitor Program and its requirements, please visit Exchange Visitor visas on the US Department of State website.


International students and exchange visitors who have been offered admission to Hampshire College and have accepted it receive a SEVIS generated Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019 form). SEVIS is an internet-based system used by the U.S. government to track the arrivals and departures as well as continued enrollment, academic training, and other important related activities of students and exchange visitors.

Role of the Global Education Office (GEO)

Throughout visitors' time at Hampshire College they are expected to adhere to certain guidelines that are determined by the U.S. government.The role of GEO is to support and inform J-1 exchange visitors of the regulations governing their stay. The global education office does not have the authority or the responsibility to enforce laws. It is the exchange visitor's responsibility to follow the appropriate regulations (maintain status) in the US.

Upon a visitor's arrival at Hampshire, GEO will notify DHS of the arrival by updating the SEVIS record. Exchange visitors are required to visit GEO within the first week of arrival with photocopies of the passport, I-94 card (this requirement is currently being phased out), visa, and DS-2019 form in order to activate the SEVIS record.

Health and Accident Insurance Requirement

All J-1 exchange visitors and J-2 dependents are required by the U.S. Department of State to obtain health insurance that meets the federal minimum requirements. A willful failure to carry insurance is considered to be a violation of the Exchange Visitor Program regulations.

Minimum Requirements:

Sponsors shall require each exchange visitor to have insurance in effect which covers the exchange visitor for sickness or accident during the period of time that an exchange visitor participates in the sponsor's exchange visitor program. Minimum coverage shall provide:



Effective 05/15/2015

Medical benefits



Repatriation of remains



Medical evacuation



Deductible per accident or illness



Employment Overview

Students may be employed on the campus of the school in which they are enrolled to a maximum of 20 hours per week with prior written authorization from the responsible officer (RO) of their designated program. They may only work off-campus under limited circumstances, provided they have obtained prior written authorization from the RO. Employment does not require additional permission from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or an EAD. J-1 students are eligible for 18 months of academic training following completion of their program (36 months for postdoctoral training).

Two Year Home Residency Requirement

Upon completion of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, visitors may be subject to a two-year home residency requirement. Once the exchange visitors return home, they will not be eligible to enter the United States for two years on certain types of visas, such as a H-1B temporary worker or permanent resident; nor may they apply to change to those visa categories within the U.S. Evidence as to whether or not the exchange visitor is subject the two year home residency requirement is usually indicated on the J-1 visa and/or the Ds-2019. Exchange visitors who are subject to these requirements may request a waiver from their home government by asking for a "no objection" letter from the home country's embassy.


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With The Global Education Office (GEO)
Snail Mail
Global Education Office
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002