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J-1 Exchange Visitor Program

What is the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program?

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State; the purpose is to encourage the exchange of ideas by inviting scholars for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, or receiving training.

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How to Become an Exchange Visitor

Potential professors, researchers, short-term scholars, and specialists should contact the academic department in which they are interested for information about becoming an exchange visitor. Potential exchange visitors must be:

  • Academically qualified with a master's degree or its equivalent.
  • Possess sufficient English skills.
  • Submit proof of funding in the amount of $1700 USD per month for the duration of the EV’s stay, whether from the University of Utah or other sources.

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University of Utah Participation

Only organizations that have been designated by the Department of State as sponsors are authorized to issue the Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019) for Exchange Visitor J-1 Status. The DS-2019 is the basic document in support of the application for exchange visitors. Sponsors screen and select exchange visitors participating in their programs, provide them with pre-arrival information, orientation, and monitor their activities.

The University of Utah is a designated sponsor of the Exchange Visitor Program.

  • Currently, the University hosts over 450 exchange visitors in various programs. Over the years, the University has hosted several thousand exchange visitors from countries all over the world.
  • The International Center of the University works with the University's Academic Departments and the School of Medicine to select and approve Exchange Visitors. The International Student and Scholar Services is the office which issues the DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility.
  • The DS-2019 is the documents which prospective exchange visitors present to the Visa Officer at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy to request J-1 Exchange Visa Visitor status.
  • The rules and regulations of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, as set forth by the Department of State, must be adhered to by The University of Utah (as the sponsor) and the exchange visitor (as the participant) in the program.

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Explanation of Terms

As defined by the Department of State, an exchange visitor is anyone who has been issued the DS-2019 and who has received the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa.

  • Scholar: Researcher, Professor, Short-Term Scholar or Specialist
  • Student: Participant in a designated program such as a U of U Study Abroad Program, Sponsored Student Program, federally funded program, or Student Intern

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Responsible Officers

Sponsors appoint individuals as responsible officers to advise and assist exchange visitors. These officers issue the Certificate of Eligibility (Form DS-2019) and conduct official communications with the State Department and the USCIS office (U.S. Customs and Immigration Service) on the exchange visitor’s behalf. Questions about regulations or any aspect of the exchange program should be directed to the responsible officer or alternative responsible officer as the primary contact.

RO – Responsible Officer

Christina Strain

ARO - Alternate Responsible Officer

Stephen Smith,
J-1 Scholar Program Coordinator
Assists with the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. Advises J-1 exchange visitors and sponsoring University departments on immigration questions. Prepares immigration documents for exchange visitor students and scholars and assists with integration within the University.

Ethan Webster,
International Student Adviser, Sponsored Student Program

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Last Updated: 11/8/18