Skip to main content

International Student & Scholar Services

Inviting J-1 Researchers and Faculty to AU

If your department on campus would like to host an Exchange Visitor, there are several things to think about. First, it is recommended that you begin this process two to three months before your Exchange Visitor’s anticipated arrival to the US. For someone coming from the People’s Republic of China, allow four to six months due to visa processing. 

The staff here in ISSS will prepare the DS-2019 form within two weeks of receiving all the required information from the department. You’ll find a list of that information below. Depending on the location and time of year, it will take some time for the Exchange Visitor to apply for a visa after receiving the DS-2019. So, allow ample time for the entire process. Please contact us at ISSS if the prospective exchange visitor is already in the US. For any questions or concerns, feel free to call, email, or visit our office.

Step 1

Verify that that prospective scholar has an adequate level of English to successfully participate in the proposed program. Follow departmental and university procedures for obtaining permission to hire faculty or to bring scholars to your department.  Please note that a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar cannot be a candidate for a tenure track position.

Step 2

Send a memorandum via the hiring unit's Dean/Director to the Dean of Academic Affairs requesting an appointment letter.

Step 3

Provide the prospective Exchange Visitor (EV) with the Pre-Arrival & Orientation Guide and information about paying the mandatory SEVIS Fee.

Step 4 

Have the prospective EV complete the Exchange Visitor Application Form, and submit financial documents to you. Financial documents: A minimum of $1,600/month must be available to meet the estimated minimum expenses. Exchange Visitors who will not receive financial support from American University must submit current bank statements or other financial documents verifying their ability to support themselves (and dependents, if applicable) for the duration of their stay in the United States. If the J-1 applicant will be accompanied by dependents, additional support will be required: $5,500/year minimum for spouse, $4,000/year for each child.

Step 5

Attach the appointment letter, Dean’s letter and financial documents and forward the entire packet to Human Resources for official hiring.

Step 6

Upload the packet with the attached DS-2019 request form to ISSS via to start the DS-2019 process.

Step 7

ISSS will have the Form DS-2019 ready within two weeks of receipt of all required information from the department.

Step 8

Mail the DS-2019 to the EV. The EV will need the original DS-2019 to apply for a J-1 visa and to enter the U.S. ISSS recommends that you mail the DS-2019 to the EV by Fed Ex, UPS, or DHL. Please note that State Department regulations prohibit the sending of a fax or scanned copy of the the DS-2019.

Step 9

See the Post-Arrival & Orientation Guide for the host department's responsibilities after the Exchange Visitor's arrival.