Government or Faculty Sponsored Students
Students may engage in either academic-credit or non-credit bearing courses as defined by their government or University of Kentucky faculty sponsor.
In order to become a visiting student at the University of Kentucky you must locate a faculty member who is willing to become your sponsor and advisor. The UK faculty member should contact the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) office to begin the process of obtaining the proper DS-2019 form, if applicable.
Government sponsored students must contact their respective government representatives to gain permission to study at the University of Kentucky. Your application will generally be submitted to the University of Kentucky by a government sponsor. Below are common government partners and sponsors of visiting students:
Brazil Scientific Mobility Program (formerly Science Without Borders)
SENESCYT (Go Teacher Program)
The Fulbright Program
Visiting Student Application Process
Step 1: Apply and/or obtain approval from a government sponsoring agency to attend the University of Kentucky and/or receive permission from a University of Kentucky faculty member with a written exchange agreement with your university, government or other non-governmental organization.
In order for a visiting student to be eligible to enroll in non-credit bearing coursework and/or participate in practicum experience the University of Kentucky faculty sponsor must forward a Letter of Invitation and a Completed Request Form to the ISSS office for review. See Sample Letter of Invitation.
Visiting students who wish to enroll in credit-bearing courses leading to the issuance of a U.S. transcript must apply as a non-degree student through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or the Graduate School. The Office International Student and Scholar Services office does not handle admissions matters.
Step 2: Obtain a DS-2019 from the University of Kentucky
To come to the University of Kentucky as a J-1 visiting student you will need to obtain a Form DS-2019 and apply for a J-1 visa at a U.S. Embassy.
The DS-2019 Form (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status) will be issued by the ISSS office and delived to the faculty sponsor and/ or your government sponsor. The DS-2019 and other information will come directly to you from your government sponsor and/or University of Kentucky faculty member.
Visiting Students may need to provide proof of self or family funding. Visiting students are not eligible to receive a DS-2109 if they intend to use personal funding unless there is a written agreement between the University of Kentucky and your institution, organization or university.
Step 3: Pay the SEVIS Fee
Pay your mandatory, one-time SEVIS fee online. Please print out and retain a copy of your SEVIS fee payment receipt. You must present proof of payment of your SEVIS Fee at your J-1 Visa interview. Go to www.fmjfee.com for instructions about paying the SEVIS fee.
Step 4: Apply for a J-1 Visa from a U.S. Embassy/Consulate
Schedule an appointment for a visa interview at a U.S. Embassy/Consulate in your home country. For more information regarding visa application requirements and to schedule an appointment, please contact your local http://www.usembassy.gov/
** Canadian citizens are exempt from Step 3.
Step 5: Arrange for your Housing (on-campus or off-campus)
The most important thing to remember is that on-campus housing is not automatically reserved for students. Smith, Roselle, and Kirwan Tower are the halls that remain open during all UK breaks.
Space is limited, but an early application can guarantee on-campus housing. You must apply for on-campus housing by completing an application at: www.uky.edu/housing
Living on-campus makes it easy to be part of UK’s diverse, intellectual community. You will also have easy access to services and facilities such as classrooms, labs and libraries.
If you choose to live off-campus, you should visit the off-campus student services website for help in locating private housing close to campus: www.uky.edu/StudentAffairs/OCSS
Step 6: Arrival to the U.S.
You may only enter the U.S. with your J-1 Visa and University of Kentucky issued DS-2019 up to (but no earlier) than 30 days before the start date indicated on your University of Kentucky DS-2019. Note: Late arrivals could result in the termination of your record in SEVIS.
Step 7: Prepare for Check-In with the Office of International Students and Scholars
All new University of Kentucky J-1 students are required by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to attend a check-in workshop after their arrival to the U.S. Therefore, you must report to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services at 214 Bradley Hall on the University of Kentucky campus to meet your J-1 advisor no later than 30 days AFTER the start date listed on your DS-2019 (we recommend within 2-3 days of arrival). If you do not attend the check-in workshop it will result in severe consequences for your visa status within the U.S.
Step 8: Buy Health Insurance as required for all J-1 exchange visitors. The J-1 advisor must also verify that the visiting student meets or exceeds the health insurance requirements for UK Healthcare. To review the requirements, please refer to the Health Insurance page.
*** Transfer Students are not subject to the 30 day arrival limitation.