J-1 Transfer to Harvard

If you are currently in the U.S. on a J-1 visa, you may be eligible to transfer your J-1 record from your current institution to Harvard University for an academic appointment. You must initiate the transfer process with an international advisor from your current institution. Please follow the steps below:

Step 1: Harvard Academic Appointment

Before the HIO can consider visa sponsorship, there must be an offer of an academic appointment from Harvard University. The sponsoring department at Harvard (or affiliated hospital) submits the required information to the HIO via ISD. This information includes confirmation that there is a Harvard academic appointment and that there are adequate funds for the appointment period if Harvard is not funding the position.

Step 2: Transfer to Harvard Form

To initiate the transfer of your J-1 immigration record, you must complete the Transfer In to Harvard form with your international scholar advisor at your current institution. You must request that your SEVIS record be electronically released from your current institution to Harvard. You will submit the completed and signed Transfer In to Harvard form in the ISD record, or directly via email to your HIO Advisor.

Step 3: Issuing Form DS-2019

The HIO is not able to issue a Form DS-2019 until the ISD record is complete and submitted, AND the SEVIS release date passes. Once the SEVIS record is released and all other ISD materials have been submitted, the new Form DS-2019 from Harvard will be issued. The HIO will email you and your department administrator once the Form DS-2019 is available.

If you are in the Boston area, you can pick up the Form DS-2019 from the HIO and register your arrival after you receive the email notification from the HIO that the record is complete. If you are not in the Boston area to pick up the Form DS-2019, please contact your department administrator so that they may create a FedEx shipping label to ship the Form DS-2019 to you.

Step 4: Visa Renewals and Travel

If your J record is being transferred to Harvard you do not need to pay the SEVIS fee again, if you have already paid it. If you are transferring from a U.S.-government sponsored Exchange Visitor program (indicated by a program code starting with "G," such as G-1-0001) to Harvard University, you are required to pay the $200 SEVIS fee upon completion of the transfer process and before applying for a new J-1 visa.

If you are traveling internationally after your transfer to Harvard has taken place, you must plan to apply for a new J-1 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. Please note that it is not possible to apply for a J-1 visa in the U.S.

Step 5: Arrival at Harvard

You must register your arrival with the HIO within 30 days of the start date on your Form DS-2019, otherwise your SEVIS record will become invalid. No appointment is needed for the HIO registration.

Please bring your passport and Form DS-2019 for registration at the HIO. If you have J-2 dependent(s) who have accompanied you to the U.S., please bring their visa document(s )and passport(s) to the HIO as well.

staff at the HIO will provide important immigration-related information, and will answer any questions you may have.

You may complete and print the HIO Registration Form to take with you to the HIO, or complete the form when you are at the HIO.