Sponsoring or Hosting a J-1 Researcher or Exchange Visitor

Please note: We have transitioned to a new system for processing J-1 initial and extension sponsorship requests.  To begin a J-1 visa sponsorship, please see the links to the left: iStart Access Instructions to request initial access to the iStart portal, and J-1 Dept. Sponsorship Request Instructions, to request a J-1 sponsorship for an international scholar.  Note that you must be approved for iStart access before you may initiate a sponsorship request.

The ISSIS Office is able to assist with visa sponsorship processing for international researchers, professors and specialists coming to the U.S. for temporary purposes. In general, we use the J-1 exchange visitor visa for these research and teaching positions. The duration of visit can be between one day and five years, so it offers great flexibility. This category of sponsorship can be used to sponsor scholars (paid by UGA), or to host scholars who have separate, external sources of funding.

For more information regarding the J-1 visa category - click on the link to the left.


ISSIS policies regarding eligibility for the J-1 categories of sponsorship include the following:

1) UGA funded J-1 scholar or professor sponsorship is limited to the following non-tenure track, and non-permanent positions:

  • Research Professional IV
  • Professor
  • Associate Professor
  • Assistant Professor
  • Instructor
  • Lecturer
  • Academic Professional.

2) Outside (non-UGA) funded J-1 sponsorship requires the person to hold at least one advanced post-Baccalaureate degree, or to be an active candidate for a PhD degree.

3) Specialist category candidates do not have a degree requirement per se, but need to meet all category requirements.

4) Cases that fall outside these parameters must be reviewed for approval by the ISSIS Director.

Important Points about the J-1 Sponsorship Request:

  • You must indicate on the online form below whether you will pick up the original DS-2019 form at our office, or whether you wish us to send it to you by campus mail. Your department is responsible for express mailing the document and supplemental information to your scholar. He or she must have the original document in order to apply for the U.S. visa, and to enter the U.S.
  • Your scholar must plan to enter the U.S. *before* the start date listed on the DS-2019 form. If he or she cannot enter by this date, you must inform our office so we may amend the start date. If your scholar tries to enter the U.S. after the listed start date, he or she could be denied entry to the U.S.
  • You must ensure that your scholar comes to our office to complete an immigration check in upon arrival on campus. If he or she fails to complete this checkin, we will be required to terminate the immigration record, and the scholar will lose legal status in the U.S.
  • If your scholar is not fluent in English, you must plan to send a translator with him or her, fluent in English and the home country language. The information we have to give your scholar is regulatory and technical in nature, and also extremely important. It is critical that your scholar understand completely all the information given in the check in session.