J-1 Scholar Occasional Lectures or Consultations

J-1 Professors, Research Scholars, and Short-Term Scholars may participate in occasional lectures and short-term consultations, if authorized to do so by his or her J-1 program sponsor. Such lectures and consultations must be incidental to the exchange visitor's primary program activities. If honoraria or other remuneration are received by the exchange visitor for such activities, the exchange visitor must act as an independent contractor as such term is defined in 8 CFR § 274a.1.


The term “occasional” refer to a single event rather than an ongoing activity. To ensure that occasional lectures or short-term consultations do not interfere with and are within the allowed activities of your J-1 program, the activities must:

  • Be directly related to the objectives of your exchange visitor program;
  • Be incidental to your primary program objectives;
  • Not delay the completion of your exchange visitor program; and
  • Be documented in SEVIS

Prior to participating in occasional lectures or consultations, you must first obtain approval in writing from the J-1 Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternative Responsible Officer (ARO) in the Center for Global Health at MUSC.


To obtain authorization for occasional lectures or consultations, you must submit the J-1 Permission to Lecture or Consult request in your Terra Dotta Scholar portal. This request can be initiated from the ‘Requests’ tab.

You are required to provide the following documents along with the request in Terra Dotta:

  • A letter from the offeror (the outside organization) describing the terms and conditions of the proposed activities, including: dates, duration, number of hours, location, field or subject, compensation, and a brief description of the activities.
  • A letter from your faculty supervisor recommending such activity and explaining how the activity would enhance your J-1 program.

The complete J-1 Permission to Lecture or Consult request must be submitted at least 3 weeks prior to the anticipated start date of the lecture or consulting activities.

If your proposed lecture or consultation is approved, the RO/ARO in the Center for Global Health will notify you and will issue a written authorization. You must keep this written authorization permanently for your records. Again, this written authorization must be obtained prior to you beginning the occasional lecture or consultation activities.

If your occasional lecture or consultation activities are approved, you will be working not as an employee of the other organization but as an independent contractor. You will not have a sustained employer-employee relationship with the institution paying you, and you will not complete Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification in order to begin these activities. You may be required to present your Form DS-2019 and the authorization letter from the RO to the other institution in order to receive your compensation.