Changes in the New J Subpart A Rule for the J Exchange Visitor Program

To:                  All Principal Investigators


Subject:          Changes in the New J Subpart A Rule for the J Exchange Visitor Program


NOTE: These changes to the J-1 Exchange Visitor program will only apply to projects that current employ or those that will employ individuals through the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. 


The Department of State’s (DOS) amended Subpart A of the J exchange visitor regulations, which will apply to all exchange visitor programs and program categories.  The new rule will become effective on January 5, 2015, except for the new insurance provisions, which will become effective on May 15, 2015. 


Below are highlights of the major differences between the current requirements and the new requirements:


Effective January 5, 2015:

  • “Objective measurement” of English language proficiency: The new provision require sponsors to use one of the following “objective measurements of English language proficiency” to determine an applicant’s language proficiency:

– A recognized English language test;

– Signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school; or

– A documented interview conducted by the sponsor either in-person or by videoconferencing, or by telephone if videoconferencing is not a viable option

NOTE:  For all new J-1 visa holders (new hires with an effective date of hire from January 5, 2015 and on), the RCUH will require one of the above-mentioned documents to be submitted at the time of the J-1 visa request. We will retain evidence of how we measured applicants’ English language proficiency so that it may be made available to the Department of State upon request.

  • SEVIS reporting requirements and Forms DS-2019: The following requirements will be required by RCUH (the sponsor) to report to SEVIS and/or DOS as a result of the changes to the final Subpart A rule:

– Sponsors must report email addresses in SEVIS for both J-1 exchange visitors and J-2 dependents

– Sponsors must report to DOS if there is any loss or theft of Form DS-2019 by email, in addition to by telephone

– Sponsors must report in SEVIS if accompanying spouses and/or dependents depart from the United States prior to the exchange visitor’s departure dates

– Sponsors must update an exchange visitor’s SEVIS record within “10 business days” of any change in his or her actual and current U.S. address, telephone number, email address, and/or primary site of activity 

NOTE: We will now require the J-1 exchange visitor and their Principal Investigator/Supervisor to make sure that they inform RCUH of any changes ahead of time so that we can report all necessary changes to DOS/SEVIS. 


Effective May 15, 2015:

  • J-1 Exchange visitor insurance amounts: The table below compares the insurance coverage figures in the current rule at 22 CFR 62.14 and the figures in the new final rule. This requirement for insurance also extends out to accompanying spouses and dependents of exchange visitors. 


Current 62.14 Regulations

Final Rule (effective 05/15/2015)

Medical benefits



Repatriation of remains



Medical evacuation



Deductible per accident or illness



NOTE: The RCUH has already started to notify all J-1 exchange visitors of this new insurance requirement and will make sure that all J-1 exchange visitors and their spouses/dependents are compliant effective May 15, 2015.


Informational Resources:


The RCUH will send a letter out to all current J-1 visa holders to inform them of the new changes as outlined above no later than December 19, 2014. The RCUH will be revising all necessary forms and informational packets for J-1 Exchange Visitors effective January 1, 2015. If you have any questions, please email RCUH Immigration at [email protected].