Through the U.S. Department of State J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, foreign nationals may visit the United States temporarily to teach, lecture, study, observe, conduct research, consult, train, or demonstrate special skills. Designated sponsoring organizations facilitate the entry of foreign nationals into the United States to participate in these programs. At the conclusion of the program, participants are expected to return to their home countries.
The U.S. Department of State has designated NKU as one of the J-1 program sites for professors, researchers, short-term scholars and specialists to participate in salaried or non-salaried positions. Exchange Visitors come with a temporary non-immigrant J-1 status, limited by the type of program and the invitation from the hosting department, and they must engage in the professional activity at NKU for which they are invited by a hosting department. Professors and researchers are allowed a maximum of five years in J-1 status, short-term scholars a maximum of 6 months, and specialists a maximum of 1 year. Those who spend more than 6 months in J-1 professor or researcher status have additional restrictions about returning to the U.S. in J-1 status following the completion or ending of their program in the U.S. Click here for rules and regulations for J-1 Exchange Visitors.
The J-1 program cannot be used for a tenured or tenure-track position. Please contact an international scholar advisor to discuss other options for those positions.
The hosting department is responsible for the official invitation, providing information and assistance to the visitor regarding office/lab space and equipment/computer access, travel to Highland Heights/Cincinnati, housing, transportation, child care, health care providers, human resources, and university/community orientation. Visitors are expected to participate in department and classroom presentations, and university activities.
International Student and Scholar Services is responsible for issuing all J-1 immigration documents, advising on all immigration related concerns, providing health insurance information and determining compliance, and assisting the host, visitor, and accompanying family as needed. ISSS is also responsible for maintaining current J-1 Exchange Visitor information in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). This is the process used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to issue all immigration related documents and to record specific information about the visitor’s program, financial support, and address while in the US.
NKU also hosts J-1 Exchange Students. Information about the student programs is not included here.
*Please note that immigration regulations are subject to change.
Contact International Student and Scholar Services to discuss your interest in bringing an international professor, researcher or specialist to campus for a temporary position. If the J-1 Exchange Program is the best option, you will need to complete the DS-2019 Request Form. The DS-2019 is the U.S. Department of State document that the visitor needs to request a J-1 visa and enter the U.S.
The DS-2019 Request Form will be sent to you as an e-mail attachment. Please do not send this to the visitor. This is to be completed by you, the host, with the financial information and signatures from the chair, dean and/or director. The visitor must have at least $1000 USD per month available for the program at NKU.
International Student and Scholar Services will provide health insurance information to the visitor about the options which must meet the J-1 program requirements. This is, of course, one of the most peculiar concepts for visitors to understand: deductibles, exclusions, co-pay, etc.
A Scholar Information Form for the exchange visitor will also be sent as an e-mail attachment. Forward this to the visitor to complete. A scanned or faxed copy of the passport information page for the visitor and each accompanying family member must be included and returned to you.
Submit the DS-2019 Request Form, financial information and the Scholar Information Form to International Student and Scholar Services. If the information meets the guidelines, the DS-2019s for the visitor and each family member will be issued, usually within two a week. The DS-2019(s), a welcome/information letter, and a brochure from the Department of State will be returned to you to send to the visitor with your department letter of invitation.
The exchange visitor will need to pay a J-1 $180 USD (subject to change) SEVIS fee, make an appointment at the U.S. Consulate, complete the visa application forms, and pay the visa application fees. Information about this process will be sent to visitor. (Canadians are exempt from the visa requirement but not the SEVIS fee, and must present the DS-2019 and SEVIS fee receipt to the U.S. immigration officer at the border.) The visitor needs to check the Department of State website and/or contact the nearest U.S. consulate in his/her home country or country of current residence to learn the process for a visa application.
Upon arrival at NKU, the visitor must make an appointment with International Student and Scholar Services to check-in. An appointment may be scheduled by calling ISSS at 859-572-6517 or by emailing us at email@example.com. Documents will be reviewed for the SEVIS compliance and for the health insurance requirement.
All visitors and their J-2 dependents (spouse and children under 21 years of age) are required to have continuous health insurance that meets the Exchange Visitor program requirements.
If the visitor is eligible for NKU sponsored health insurance benefits, the visitor will need to purchase a supplemental policy to meet the additional medical evacuation and repatriation requirements that are not covered through the NKU policies. International Students and Scholar Services can provide information about the supplemental policy.