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Departmental Instructions for Inviting J-1 Candidates

University departments wishing to invite a J-1 Exchange Visitor should follow these steps below. All questions and documentation should come directly from the department to the J-1 advisor, Marc K. Invergo, located at 205 Bradley Hall. Ph: 859-257-8776 or E-mail at

Please note that the International Scholar and Student Services office (ISSS) will assess a fee, click here for more information.

STEP ONE:  Determine eligibility for J-1 status.  For assistance in determining eligibility departments should contact the J-1 advisor in order to select the most appropriate J-1 category and/or visa status for the exchange visitor. A complete list of J categories are available here.

STEP TWO: Determine that the candidate has sufficient English skills (including verbal communication) to undertake your program objectives. This is a regulatory requirement found in 22 CFR 62.10(a)(2). Also, departments should verify that candidate meets the minimum educational requirements: Master’s Degree or a Bachelor’s with extensive experience (at least 10 years) in the relevant field.

(NEW) As of January 5, 2015 the U.S. Department of State regulations require that faculty provide proof that an objective measurement was used to determine English language proficiency.

STEP THREE:  Send a letter of invitation and the Candidate Information Form to the exchange visitor. Links to letter of invitation and form can be found at bottom of page. 

STEP FOUR:  Complete and submit the DS-2019 Information Request Form, see below, along with the following supporting documentation to the J-1 Advisor:  
 The department request needs to be submitted hardcopy to the office.

  • Copy of the invitation letter from the inviting professor
. Please use the sample invitation letter at the bottom of the page as your template. It contains all the information required for the visa officer. Highlighted red items should be modified accordingly (see pdf or Word sample at bottom of page)
  • DS-2019 Information Request (see pdf at bottom of page)
  • Candidate Information Form (see pdf at bottom of page)
  • Candidate’s CV
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency  (see pdf at bottom of page)
  • Candidate’s Evidence of Funding, IF Other than UK Funding
  • A Copy of the Biographical Page of the Scholar's Passport (and of each accompanying dependent, if applicable). If a spouse is accompanying the J-1, a copy of the official marriage certificate must be included along with an English translation if necessary
  • If transferring to UK from another University, request must also include a copy of the J-1's current DS-2019, the contact information of the current J-1 Advisor (name, email and phone number), and confirmation that the J-1 has not applied for a waiver of rule 212(e) a.k.a. The Two Year Home Country Rule (if applicable)

STEP FIVE:  Department requests can only be processed when all required information is submitted.  Once the complete request has been delivered to room 205 Bradley Hall, processing time will vary and can take up to 2 to 3 weeks.  For this reason, requests should be submitted at least six weeks before the exchange visitors proposed start date.  The J-1 advisor in ISSS will prepare the DS-2019 and the department will be notified when the documentation packet is ready to be picked up for mailing. Prior to issuing the DS-2019 the J-1 advisor will verify that funding meets the minimum requirements: EV: $22,000; EV/spouse: $28,800; each child an additional $4,700.

The J-1 advisor must also verify that the scholar meets or exceeds the health insurance requirements for UK Healthcare. To review the requirements, please refer to the Health Insurance page.

A DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility is issued to enable the Exchange Visitor (EV) to:

  • Apply to an American consulate for a J-1 visa to enter the United States
  • Transfer to UK from another US university or institution
  • Apply for change of status to J-1 within the United States.

NOTE 1:  Per [22 CFR 62.12], Departments cannot reproduce or retain any copies of a DS-2019 form. In addition, a department cannot fax or electronically forward any copies or PDFs or DS-2019s to any party except Department of State or Department of Homeland Security.
NOTE 2:  Per [22 CFR 62.13(d)], All Departments/Hosts are required to report incidents involving J-1 exchange visitors that have or could endanger the health, safety, or welfare of an exchange visitor or otherwise could be expected to bring the Department of State, the Exchange Visitor Program, or the sponsor’s exchange visitor program into notoriety or disrepute.  Examples include, but are not limited to exchange visitor’s death, exchange visitor missing, exchange visitor serious illness or injury, incident involving the criminal justice system, sexually-related incidents or abuse, negative press involving a sponsor’s exchange visitor program, litigation, foreign government involvement, and other situations.  Should an incident occur, please contact Marc K. Invergo at or call 859-257-8776 as soon as possible.

The University of Kentucky has determined that J-1 visa holders are expected to remain in this status for a minimum of two years before the University will sponsor a change of status to H-1B. This requirement is a UK policy, not an immigration regulation. It does not apply in cases where a tenure-track faculty position is being sought with a change of status to H-1B or  O-1 status.