J-1 Exchange Visitor (Scholar) Request

J-1 Exchange Visitor Request

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The process and necessary documents for requesting a J-1 exchange visitor document are outlined below. Please follow the steps as outlined and submit all the documents as requested. In addition, please complete in its entirety this Department Request form. If you have any questions about the process, required documents, the Department Request form, or any other questions related to the hiring of international faculty or staff, please contact Academic Personnel Services (APS) at aps@humboldt.edu or (707) 826-5086. 

J-1 Exchange Visitor Approval Process
  1. Sponsoring unit administrator/faculty prepares the documents below and forwards to the College Dean for approval.
    • First, have the exchange visitor fill out the J-1 Personal Information Form and attach supporting documentation:
      • Curriculum Vitae
      • Copy of passport picture page
      • Financial documentation (in English and no older than 6 months from date of submission)
      • Certified copy of academic degree
      • A personal statement identifying the reasons to leave the U.S. after program completion
    • Sponsoring department fills out the DS-2019 Request Form.
    • Sponsoring department prepares supporting documentation:
      • Invitation letter (unpaid) or appointment letter (paid), signed by the College Dean.
        • Include in the letter: Inclusive dates of the appointment, program being established, research being conducted and/or courses being taught with the salary, if appropriate.
      • Lecturer Transaction form (Form 500; use PeopleSoft Temporary Faculty Contract module to create this form), if a paid position. 
  2. APS reviews the packet for completeness, issues the Form DS-2019, and notifies the sponsoring unit administrator that the request has been approved and the Form DS-2019 and insurance requirements are ready for retrieval.  
  3. Sponsoring unit administrator mails the packet, and insurance coverage requirements, to prospective exchange visitor.   
Required Documents for a J-1 Exchange Visitor

 Application and signature page:

Supporting Documents (submitted by exchange visitor):

  • Copy of passport biography (picture) page
  • Financial documentation (in U.S. dollars with English translation and no older than 6 months from date of submission)
  • Certified copy of academic degree
  • A personal statement (identifying the reasons to leave the U.S. after program completion)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Marriage certificate (if bringing dependent spouse)

Supporting Documents (submitted by sponsor):

  • Invitation or Appointment letter - Faculty Sponsor (sample)
  • Invitation or Appointment letter - College Dean (sample)
  • Lecturer Transaction form (Form 500), if paid position
  • Proof of English Proficiency

Additional Information for Completion of the J-1 Forms

Academic Personnel Services administers the U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program on behalf of Cal Poly Humboldt (Humboldt).  The purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) is to promote educational and cultural exchanges through study, research, lecturing, observing, consulting, and participating in cross-cultural activities.  Note, the EVP cannot be used to avoid paying prevailing wages in post-doctoral positions.  


Humboldt’s immigration officials, located in Arcata CA, are approved to issue the Form DS-2019 or "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status", a pre-requisite to requesting a J visa interview, for these non-student Exchange Visitor categories:  

Professor: A foreign national whose primary purpose is teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting at post-secondary accredited academic institutions, museums, libraries, or similar types of institutions. A professor also may conduct research when authorized by the sponsor and immigration official.

Research Scholar: A foreign national whose primary purpose is conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited academic institutions, or similar types of institutions. A research scholar also may teach or lecture when authorized by the sponsor and immigration official.

Short-Term Scholar: A foreign national who is a professor, research scholar, or person with similar education or accomplishments who enters the United States for a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills at research institutions, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited academic institutions, or similar types of institutions. 

Specialist: A foreign national who is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skills who enters the United States for the purpose of observing, consulting, or demonstrating special knowledge or skills. 


DOS also requires sponsors to confirm that prospective exchange visitors possess “sufficient proficiency in the English language, as determined by an objective measurement of English language proficiency, to successfully participate in his or her program and to function on a day-to-day basis” (see 22 CFR Part 62.11[a][2]).  According to federal regulations an “objective measurement of English language proficiency” can be any one of the following: a recognized English language test; signed documentation from an academic institution; or a documented interview conducted by Academic Personnel Services.

English language proficiency can be demonstrated by meeting the following language requirements:

Test nameTest score

English language proficiency can also be shown by providing information from a U.S. or foreign institution where English is the/an official language in the form of a letter or official transcript from an accredited college or university verifying either full time enrollment in a post-secondary degree program or completion of a degree program (e.g., a bachelor’s degree). 


Visiting scholars may be financially supported by the sponsoring department, external agencies, scholar’s home government or institution, or entirely by the scholar’s personal resources.  Regardless of the funding source, Academic Personnel Services must verify the exchange visitor’s funding prior to DS-2019 issuance.  Exchange visitors are, therefore, required to submit proof of funding (e.g., letters of support or personal bank statements) for the duration of their program period. To find the current estimates that APS uses for DS-2019 issuance, please review the APS website (DS-2019 Form page).


The Department of State (DOS) has established minimum requirements for insurance that are designed to protect the exchange visitor and accompanying dependents.  In accordance with 22 C.F.R. Part 62.14 all exchange visitors must have insurance in effect that covers sickness and/or accidents during the period of time that they participate in Humboldt’s exchange visitor program which is identified on the J-1 Personal Information Form and the Form DS-2019.  

Disclaimer: While the University and Academic Personnel Services make every effort to ensure the information displayed on this page is accurate, the changing nature of immigration regulations and timelines means we cannot guarantee such. We strongly encourage you to retain your own counsel to ensure your case is managed in a timely and professional manner.