J-1 Scholars

Exchange Visitor (J) status is granted for a variety of activities intended to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. This status is used on our campus for post-doctoral researchers (Research Scholar category J-1), adjunct instructors (Professor category J-1), undergraduate interns/researchers (Student Intern category J-1), and experts in specialized fields coming for more than 9 days and receiving payment (Specialist J-1). The university also has a procedure departments can follow in order to obtain approval to invite visitors who will not be paid by FSU.

Please note that the J-1 status sponsored by FSU cannot be used for a research program which involves child care, any activities in pre-schools, primary and secondary schools, summer camps, or other local community activities for K-12 students, elder care, aviation, clinical positions or engaging in any patient or client care or contact. This includes any type of therapy, administering medication, psychological counseling, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, social work, or speech therapy. The visit may not consist primarily of auditing classes or English language instruction. Degree-seeking study is not permitted for paid or unpaid exchange visitors in the Research Scholar, Professor, Short-term Scholar, Student Intern, or Specialist categories, and non-degree study may only be part-time, incidental to the primary research, teaching, or demonstration of specialized skills. Conducting research or teaching primarily in a site outside of FSU is not permitted, without additional authorization or a transfer of the J-1 program. FSU will not sponsor the J-1 status for researchers, interns, or instructors under the age of 18.

To Initiate a J-1 for a Post-doc, Adjunct Instructor, Intern, or Expert who will be paid by FSU

  • Obtain the visitor’s documentation of English proficiency which meets the university requirements. If they do not have one of the required test scores, FSU’s Center for Intensive English Studies can conduct a short video Skype interview at a pre-arranged time. Contact the CGE’s Exchange Visitor Advisor to request that registration instructions for interview be sent to the visitor’s email address.
  • Provide the visitor the following link to the Exchange Visitor Information form to complete and sign. They will need to include the required documentation noted in the checklist and forward the form and documentation to your department. Note that temporary insurance is strictly required for the first 90 days of the visitor’s program, in order to bridge the unavoidable gap between arrival and the visitor being able to enroll themselves in the state group insurance. Additional medical evacuation and repatriation of remains insurance must also be purchased at the time that the state group insurance begins, as this required coverage is not provided through CHP or Florida Blue.
  • Have the inviting faculty member complete and sign the J-1 Request Form, which can be requested from tschaad@fsu.edu.
  • Compile the documentation noted in the J-1 request checklist and forward one complete J-1 request packet to the CGE’s Exchange Visitor Advisor at least 60 days before the proposed start date for research, teaching, or training.
  • Review and processing of the J-1 request will take approximately 2-3 weeks, depending upon the current queue of requests.
  • Once the DS-2019 form is prepared, the method of delivery noted on the J-1 request will be used to ship the form to the visitor (federal law strictly prohibits anyone from sending electronic copies of any kind).
  • The visitor will follow the instructions included with the DS-2019 form to apply for their visa at the U.S. consulate with jurisdiction for their place of residence and/or prepare for arrival.
  • All fees associated with the J-1 status are paid by the visitor, not by the inviting department.

To Initiate a J-1 for an Unpaid Visiting Scholar

  • At least 90 days before the intended start date, complete all the university procedures for obtaining approval to invite an unpaid scholar.
  • If the visitor does not have one of the required test scores to demonstrate English proficiency, FSU’s Center for Intensive English Studies can conduct a short video Skype interview at a pre-arranged time. Contact the CGE’s Exchange Visitor Advisor to request that registration instructions for interview be sent to the visitor’s email address.
  • Once the university approval has been granted, provide the visitor an invitation letter that includes the dates of the visit, a brief layman’s description of the activity that will occur, the site or sites where the activities will occur, and any departmental costs the visitor will incur for supplies, office space, samples, etc.
  • Provide the visitor the following link to the Exchange Visitor Information form to complete and sign. They will need to include the required documentation noted in the checklist and forward the form and documentation to your department. Note that insurance documentation for the entire duration of the visitor’s program is required.
  • Have the inviting faculty member complete and sign the J-1 Request Form, which can be requested from tschaad@fsu.edu.
  • Compile the documentation noted in the J-1 request checklist and forward one complete J-1 request packet to the CGE’s Exchange Visitor Advisor at least 60 days before the proposed start date for research, teaching, or training.
  • Review and processing of the J-1 request will take approximately 2-3 weeks, depending upon the current queue of requests.
  • Once the DS-2019 form is prepared, the method of delivery noted on the J-1 request will be used to ship the form to the visitor (federal law strictly prohibits anyone from sending electronic copies of any kind).
  • The visitor will follow the instructions included with the DS-2019 form to apply for their visa at the U.S. consulate with jurisdiction for their place of residence and/or prepare for arrival.

Outside Sponsors of the J1

Other categories not sponsored by FSU, but which departments may encounter are summer work/travel, trainee, or intern. These categories are sponsored by private agencies who work with FSU departments or institutes to place these exchange visitors on our campus. Departments may also be approached by international Fulbright researchers who would like to be placed at FSU. If the trainees or researchers will not be paid by FSU, the university’s procedures for inviting unpaid scholars must be followed prior to agreeing to the placement. The CGE’s Exchange Visitor Advisor can complete any necessary Institutional Reply Form, after the university approval for the visit is granted.

The sponsor of the Exchange Visitor's program appears in box 2 of the DS-2019 form (Certificate of Eligibility). If an agency other than FSU appears in box 2, that agency must issue all immigration documentation, work authorizations, travel signatures, and specific program advice and information. For a full list of all J-1 sponsors of all categories and their contact information, see http://exchanges.state.gov.