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International Student and Scholar Support

EVP English Proficiency Requirements

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) mandates English language proficiency for all Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) [22 CFR 62.10(a)(2)]. DOS has recently renewed focus on English language proficiency and requires sponsors to retain evidence of how they measured applicants' English language proficiency to be made available to DOS upon request. 

To help ensure the safety and success of USC Exchange Visitors (EVs), ISSS must receive one of the following three options to meet the English-language requirement prior to issuance of a visa qualifying document (Form DS-2019):

  1. Recognized English Language Test
    • The EV candidate may supply results within the past three years from one of these tests that meet or exceed the following scores:
    • Frequently asked; we will not accept these tests:
      • TOEFL ITP
  2. Documentation from an academic institution or English language school
    • The EV candidate may provide one of the following:
      • Evidence the EV candidate has completed a post-secondary degree within the past 10 years at a recognized institution of higher learning in the U.S., or from a country where the language of instruction is English:
        • for U.S. degrees, a diploma or transcript showing degree conferral; 
        • for non-U.S. institutions, a transcript in English showing degree conferral. If the transcript does not specifically note English as the language of instruction, an official letter from the institution’s registrar or academic dean confirming the EV candidate attended the institution and the medium of instruction was English will also be required.
      • Signed documentation from an English language school, certifying that the person completed a program of English language training at that institution, and that the candidate has proficiency in English to function on a day-to-day basis and to successfully achieve the EV program goals. A school official must certify that the EV candidate’s English ability meets or exceeds Level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The certifying letter must be issued on official letterhead, and signed by a senior academic administrator, such as a Dean or registrar.
      • Evidence that the EV candidate has taught at an accredited U.S. school, international school, or a school where the language of instruction is English within the last five years. If the school is not in the U.S. or in an English-speaking country, a senior school official will need to document that the language of instruction is English.
  3. English3 Interview
    • The EV candidate may complete a third-party English verification through service provider English3, with a minimum score of 3.0. The interview fee is $99* USD (*additional fees may apply for registration in P.R. China). The fee may be paid by the EV candidate directly, or the USC hiring unit may purchase a test voucher/promo code for the EV candidate’s use. Test results are typically available within 2-5 days. Certificates with a score of 3.0 or higher may be used again for future USC visits for up to four years.

English Language Proficiency verification will not be required for EV candidates who are citizens or lawful permanent residents of a country where the official language is English, or who are already in the U.S. in EV (J-1 visa) status and are transferring their program to USC from another academic institution.


ISSS also encourages host units to conduct their own informal verification of EV candidates’ English language proficiency, particularly to assess any specialized technical or field-specific vocabulary, to ensure that they can successfully engage in the proposed activities.


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