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International Student and Scholar Support

How to Host a J-1 Scholar

These procedures are for the Short-Term Scholar, Research Scholar, and Professor Categories ONLY.  For more detailed information, see our J-1 Scholar Faculty Resource Guide. In addition to the initial request procedure below, you can find additional information on our website about the J-1 Student Intern Hosting Process and J-1 Extensions, Amendments, and Transfers.

Initial Requests for a J-1 Scholar

  1. Check eligibility criteria for the proposed J-1 category
  2. Determine a reasonable start date (3-4 months in future)
  3. If proposed visitor meets criteria and a reasonable start date can be agreed upon, issue offer letter.
  4. Departmental HR representative begins J-1 Initial Scholar request by submitting the following documents to Required support documents for initial requests are listed below:
    • Submitted by Department:
      • $100 SEVIS Maintenance Fee
      • Copy of official UofSC offer letter
        • ISSS recommends 1 year maximum initial appointment for affiliate (unpaid) scholars.
      • Supervisor Agreement
    • Submitted by Scholar:
      • Exchange Visitor Questionaire and Attestation Form
      • Copy of passport biographical page(s) for potential J-1 and any accompanying dependents
      • Copy of J-1’s CV/Resume in English
      • Proof of funding (can be offer letter submitted by department if position is paid)
      • Copies of previous DS-2019s issued


ISSS requires that DS-2019 requests be submitted at least 90 days in advance of proposed start date.

Visiting the U.S. from abroad requires a great deal of preparation.  Before an exchange visitor can arrive and get started on research, the individual must go through procedures at the home institution (e.g. obtaining funding or travel permission), obtain a DS-2019 from ISSS and apply for a visa, schedule travel and housing in the US, and make arrangements for family members to accompany or stay behind.  All of these tasks take time and may be delayed by any number of factors.  Oftentimes some steps in the process cannot begin before others have been completed.  Thus, it is extremely important that departments and J-1 visitors agree on a reasonable start date so as to allow adequate lead time for the entire process to occur prior to the proposed DS-2019 start date. 90 days is usually sufficient for DS-2019 issuance, visa acquisition, and arrival, and orientation to the U.S. 

When a reasonable start date with enough lead time is selected, visa delays are less impactful, there is added flexibility in choosing a flight suited to one’s travel needs and budget, and the process is less stressful for everyone involved. 

*Please note that ISSS does not control visa acquisition timelines. Once the DS-2019 is issued, the visa application process is dependent on home country consulates and numoerous other factors.

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