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Division of International Services

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DIS Title Divider Visiting Scientists Title Divider J-1 Transfers (IC, In/Out)
​Visiting Scientists
J-1 Transfers

As a J-1 Exchange Visitor, you may be eligible to transfer your program to a new J-1 sponsor while inside the United States. However, you must plan to pursue your original J-1 program research objectives at the new program sponsor.

DIS must approve all proposed J-1 transfers within, from, and to NIH before they occur. Transfers must occur by the end of your 4th year in J-1 status. Gaps between program sponsorship (e.g., for a “vacation”) are not permitted.

Additional guidance for J-1 Exchange Visitors who seek or currently have NIH sponsorship is below.

Transfer within NIH

Exchange Visitors currently sponsored by NIH in J-1 status may be eligible to transfer to a new lab within NIH. DIS must approve of the transfer before the Exchange Visitor can start the new position.

Transfer Process:


  1. The new lab's administrative staff must send a IC transfer case to DIS per the appropriate checklist. The case must include a signed transfer request form.
  2. DIS reviews transfer case. DIS case processing times apply.
  3. If the transfer request is approved, DIS will update SEVIS, create a new Form DS-2019, and send you an electronic Notice of Action (eNOA).

Transfer from NIH to New U.S. Sponsor

J-1 Exchange Visitors currently sponsored by NIH may be eligible to transfer their program to a new J-1 sponsor in the U.S.. All transfer requests must be approved by DIS and the new sponsor before the Exchange Visitor can start the new position.

Transfer Process:


  1. Determine an appropriate transfer date with your current NIH supervisor and the new U.S. J-1 sponsor. Your last day at NIH must be the day before your proposed transfer date to the new sponsor.
  2. Once the date is determined, send DIS a completed J-1 transfer out request form and a completed NIH termination notice ​at least two weeks before the proposed transfer date. You must complete the NIH separation paperwork with your NIH administrative office; DIS will not process the transfer request without receipt of a completed termination notice.
  3. DIS reviews transfer case. DIS case processing times apply.
  4. If the transfer request is approved, DIS will notify you via email and update SEVIS with the effective date of transfer to the new J-1 sponsor. Contact your new J-1 sponsor for guidance on how to obtain your new DS-2019. Review our Leaving NIH guidance.

Transfer to NIH from Current U.S. Sponsor

J-1 Exchange Visitors currently at a different U.S. institution may be eligible to transfer their J-1 sponsorship to NIH. All transfer requests must be approved by DIS and the current J-1 sponsor before the Exchange Visitor can start the new position at NIH.

Transfer Process:


  1. First, confirm your transfer eligibility with your current sponsor's J-1 advisors. Determine an appropriate transfer date with your current sponsor and your new NIH lab contacts.
  2. The NIH administrative staff must send a case to DIS per the appropriate checklist.
  3. DIS reviews case. During the transfer process, DIS will coordinate with you, your current J-1 sponsor, and your NIH lab. DIS case processing times apply.
  4. If the transfer request is approved, our office will send you an official DIS invitation letter via email. Your updated Form DS-2019 will be created by DIS on the effective date of the transfer to NIH.

Rev. 11/2020

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​DIS Info 
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