Banner Link to UK Link to International Center

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

(NEW) To make a request to invite or hire a J-1 exchange visitor, please request access to our immigration software system, iCAT. To request permission, please follow instructions at Request Access Instructions.

Department and/or college requests will continue to be limited to those which have been pre-approved and vetted through appropriate department channels.  Permission will be granted to not more than 2 persons per department. 

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.

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:  Electronic submission through the UKIC Immigration software application, iCAT, is now used for all J-1 Exchange Visitor initial requests for the Research Scholar, Professor, Short Term Scholar and Specialist categories.  J-1 Scholar Application Instructions

Note:  J-1 Student Intern category requests along with J-1 extension requests will continue to be submitted via paper requests.  Please contact Marc Invergo for instructions and documentation to be completed by the department for this category.

STEP FOUR:  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.

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.