The Department of State requires that Exchange Visitor Program sponsors report serious incidents, problems or controversy involving J-1 Exchange Visitors to the Office of Private Sector Exchange Administration’s Academic and Government (OPA-AG) unit. Reports must be made within 24 hours of an incident's occurrence.

The International Students & Scholars Office (ISSO) at UMass Lowell is required to report the following incidents to OPA-AG within one business day:

  • Exchange Visitor Death
  • Exchange Visitor Missing
  • Exchange Visitor Serious Illness or Injury (e.g., brain injury, severe burn, major surgery, communicable disease, serious mental health incidents, any condition requiring hospitalization of 48 hours or more, etc.)
  • Litigation (related to a sponsor’s exchange visitor program, in which sponsor or an exchange visitor may be a named party)
  • Lost or stolen immigration documents (i.e., passport and visa)
  • Incident Involving the Criminal Justice System (e.g., arrest, charges, law enforcement, etc.)
  • Theft of intellectual property or violations of export controls
  • Sexually Related Incidents or Abuse (incident or allegation involving sexual exploitation, harassment or abuse)
  • Negative Press involving a sponsor’s exchange visitor program
  • Foreign Government Involvement (including embassy officials)
  • Other Situations Impacting Exchange Visitor Safety (e.g., natural disasters, civil unrest, outbreaks of violence, etc.)

With this in mind, it is expected that both departmental hosts of J-1 visa holders, and the visa holders themselves, are aware of this legal requirement and report such incidents to the ISSO within the required 24-hour timeframe.

If you are an ISSO SEVIS Contact or faculty sponsoring a J-1 student, student intern, or J-1 scholar, please report relevant incidents through the UMass VIP Incident Reporting e-form. If you experience difficulties or are unsure about the case, please contact the ISSO by email: or phone: 978-934-2383 during office hours.