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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: 257-8776, E-mail:

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 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 (see links below) and the Candidate Request Form to the exchange visitor. See below for a Sample Letter and the Candidate Information Form.  Also see below a Word Document of a Letter of invitation that can be modified as needed.

STEP FOUR:  Complete and submit the DS-2019 Information Request Form, see below, along with the following supporting documentation to the J-1 Advisor:  

  • 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.
  • DS-2019 Information Request 
  • Candidate Information Form 
  • Candidate’s CV
  • Proof of English Language Proficiency  
  • 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: The J-1 advisor in ISSS will prepare the DS-2019 within 10 business days 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.

POLICY NOTE: 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.