Hosting J-1 Visiting Scholars

Each J visa category within the US immigration system has its own eligibility criteria, requirements, restrictions, and rules.Ā Departments wishing to invite J-1 visiting scholars to AU should read over the below information to ensure the visitor and proposed program meet all requirements prior to pursuing use of the J-1 visa.

Before Completing the DS-2019 Request Form

Before working on the DS-2019 request form, the host faculty member and departmental staff will need to:

  • Make sure the potential scholar has obtained at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • Check eligibility criteria for the proposed J-1 category: Refer to the DS-2019 request form page 1 under “Eligibility Requirements for All J-1 Exchange Visitors” and “Limitations of Each J Category.”
  • Understand financial situation: The J-1 Exchange Visitor program regulations require that the J-1 Exchange Visitor possesses adequate financial resources to participate in and complete his or her exchange visitor program and support any accompanying spouse and/or children. The minimum support for a single visitor is $1,500 per month, plus $400 per month for a spouse and $350 per month, per child.
  • Determine a reasonable start date (2-3 months in future for unpaid positions; more for paid positions): Refer to DS-2019 request form page 3 under “Application Process.”
  • If proposed visitor meets criteria and a reasonable start date can be agreed upon, issue an invitation letter: Refer to this SAMPLE J invitation letter.

Completing the DS-2019 request form


  • Section 1: J-1 Visitor’s Demographic Information
  • Section 2: Financial Information
  • Section 3: Dependent Family Information
  • At the bottom of section 3, potential J-1 is required to provide supporting documentation: Refer to page 7 under “Required Documentation to be Submitted with this Form.”)


  • Section 4: Department Information and Approval
  • Pages 9 and 10: English Proficiency
  • Page 11: Banner ID request form (Complete this form only if a Banner ID and building access are needed.)
  • Host department is required to provide: Original invitation letter to visitor and detailed description of activity, which describes what the visitor will be doing while at AU
  • Host department is also responsible for checking the completeness of the entire DS-2019 application form and making sure all supporting documentation is attached.


  • On page 8, please collect signatures from the hosting faculty member and department chair.
  • On pages 9 and 10, if an English Language Proficiency Interview is conducted, please collect signature from the interviewer.
  • On page 11, please collect signature of the department chair.


Upon reaching the dean’s office, the application packet will be processed according to the following steps:

  • Kelly Pippin will collect a signature from the Dean and forward the packet to the Auburn Research Security Office for Gerogia White’s approval.
  • Gerogia White will then forward the packet to the Provost’s Office for Kerry Ransel’s approval.
  • Kerry Ransel will deliver the packet to the Office of International Programs (OIP) for them to process the DS-2019.
  • OIP staff will email the host faculty when a paper DS-2019 is ready to be picked up; OIP staff will email the scholar directly Ā regarding visa application and entering the country.
  • Faculty or departmental staff may stop by 228 Foy Hall to pick up the document and arrange shipping.
  • Faculty or departmental staff may start pre-arrival communication with the scholar regarding housing, office space, etc., if they have not already done so.