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 ask a UK faculty member to contact the International Student and Scholar Services 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. The application will come directly from the government sponsor. Below are common government partners and sponsors of visiting students:
Step 1: Apply and receive permission from your government sponsor to attend the University of Kentucky and/or obtain permission from a University of Kentucky faculty member or department that holds a written exchange agreement with your university, government or other non-governmental organization.
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.
You will obtain the DS-2019 Form (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status) from your University of Kentucky faculty sponsor and/ or your government sponsor. The DS-2019 and other information will come directly to you from your government and/or University of Kentucky faculty sponsor once they make a formal Request to host a J-1 non-degree student.
Visiting Students may need to provide proof of 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.
*Note: The International Student and Scholar Services office does not handle admissions matters. If you plan to enroll in credit-bearing courses and require a transcript for your home university you must apply as a non-degree student through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or the Graduate School. All other students should contact their department or government sponsor to request admission to the University of Kentucky.
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.