Inviting a J-1 Exchange Visitor

The J-1 Exchange Visitor status facilitates scholars, researchers and professors to come to the United States for temporary periods for the purpose of educational exchange. Any international visitor who has sufficient academic training to benefit from an academic or professional program at a U.S. college or university may be eligible for this status. Exchange Visitors can be invited for a period of a few weeks up to five years. Remember, J-1 visa status is not an appropriate fit for tenured or tenure-track positions.

Requesting Documents for a J-1 Exchange Visitor

In order to request immigration documents for a J-1 Exchange Visitor, you will need to initiate a J-1 request through our international case management system myIO. You will need to attend a training session before gaining access, so please sign up for one of our monthly myIO training sessions on our Training and Workshops page if you have not already attended one. You will also need the scholar’s UT EID before initiating a J-1 request.

Once you initiate a J-1 request in myIO, you will need to fill out a few e-forms, through which the Sponsoring Professor and Department Chair will be notified to review and approve the J-1 Exchange Visitor’s stay. The invited Exchange Visitor will also be prompted to log in to myIO and provide biographical information.

If you would like to know the status of a J-1 request, you can log in to myIO and directly check the status of each submission.

Requirements of the J-1 Visa Status

Funding Requirements

The initial request by the hiring department can be for up to a maximum of five years. Verification of financial support is required. Funding may be from the university, the Exchange Visitor's government, personal funds or a combination of these sources. Documents verifying financial support from a source other than UT should be submitted to ISSS via myIO.

For requests initiated before September 1, 2024, the funding requirements for visiting scholars and researchers are:

  • J-1 Scholar: $1,708/month (J-1)
  • J-2 Spouse: $908/month (J-2 Spouse)
  • J-2 child: $450/month (per J-2 child)

For requests initiated on or after September 1, 2024, the funding requirements for visiting scholars and researchers are:

  • J-1 Scholar: $1,708/month (J-1)
  • J-2 Spouse: $908/month (J-2 Spouse)
  • J-2 child: $450/month (per J-2 child)

English Proficiency Requirement

According to federal regulations, all incoming J-1 exchange visitors must demonstrate sufficient proficiency in English to ensure they can successfully participate in their academic program and day-to-day life while in Austin. This requirement is in place to ensure the safety and well-being of our J-1 scholars. 

Accepted forms of English proficiency are as follows:

  1. Copy of a diploma, or other signed documentation, that confirms the exchange visitor earned a degree from an institution of higher education that operates in English.
  2. Approved English test score taken within the last five years: 
    • TOEFL score of at least 79 for an internet-based test;
    • IELTs score of at least 6.5.
  3. Texas Global English Language Center (ELC) interview: The cost of the interview is $80, and can be paid by the department (via IDT) or the visiting scholar. 
  4. If the scholar is from one of the following countries: 
American SamoaDominicaIrelandSingapore
BahamasGrenadaKenyaTurks and Caicos Islands
BarbadosGrand CaymanLiberiaUnited Kingdom
BelizeGuyanaNew ZealandU.S Pacific Trust. 
Canada (except Quebec)IndiaNigeria 

Appropriate documentation will need to be submitted in myIO via the English Proficiency e-form during the initial J-1 request process. Proof of English proficiency is not required for extensions. 

212e Home Residency Requirement

The J status has special restrictions and requirements for the Exchange Visitor. The visitor may be subject to the "two-year home residency requirement" if funding is from government sources or if the academic area of the visitor is on the "Exchange Visitor's Skills List" for their country of last legal residence. Being "subject" to this requirement means that the visitor must return to the country of legal residence for two years immediately following completion of the J-1 program. A waiver may be requested, but is not guaranteed.

Insurance Requirement

J-1 Exchange Visitors are required by U.S Department of State to hold sufficient insurance coverage throughout the duration of the program.