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J-1 Exchange Visitor Program


The purpose of the J Visa Exchange Visitor Program is to promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange. The Exchange Visitor Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State and provides foreign nationals opportunities to participate in exchange programs in the United States exposing them to American society, culture and institutions, with the expectation that on completion of their exchange program, they will return home to share their experiences. Georgia College has been approved by the Department of State to sponsor Exchange Visitors and can bring qualified professors, research scholars, short-terms scholars and students to campus for educational and cultural exchange activities.

All other visa and residency questions should be referred to the Office of Legal Affairs.

Exchange Visitor Categories

Georgia College is approved to host professors and scholars under the following Exchange Visitor categories:

  • Professor: An individual primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting at post-secondary accredited educational institutions, museums, libraries, or similar types of institutions. A professor may also conduct research, unless disallowed by the sponsor. Has a minimum stay of three weeks and a maximum stay of up to five years.
  • Research Scholar: An individual primarily conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions. The research scholar may also teach or lecture, unless disallowed by the sponsor. Has a minimum stay of three weeks and a maximum stay of five years.
  • Short-term Scholar: A professor, research scholar, specialist, or a person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the United States on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills at research institutions, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions. No minimum stay; the maximum duration of stay is limited to six months.


Georgia College must certify that the Exchange Visitor meets the following conditions [22 C.F.R. § 62.12(b)]:

  • Is eligible, qualified, and accepted for the program in which he or she will be participating;
  • Has English language skills necessary to complete the program which may include a period of language study;
  • Possesses adequate financial resources to complete his or her program and to support any accompanying dependents.

For Professors and Research Scholars:

  • Is not a candidate for a tenure track position;
  • Has not been physically present in the United States in J status for 6 months or more during the immediately preceding 12 months before the program start date;
  • Is not subject to repeat participation, which means that Exchange Visitors who participated in a program as a Professor or Research Scholar are not eligible for participation in a new program for a period of two years following the end date of such program participation.

 Procedures to Invite and Host an Exchange Visitor at Georgia College

A department requesting to invite an Exchange Visitor (professor, research scholar or short-term scholar) needs to submit the following documents to the International Education Center:
  • Visiting Faculty / Researcher “To-Do” Check List
  • Exchange Visitor DS-2019 Request Form
  • Invitation Letter from Chair or Dean stating terms of visit
  • Resume of Exchange Visitor
  • Photocopy of Exchange Visitor’s Passport (biographical page)
  • Photocopies of Exchange Visitor’s immigration documents from any previous stay in the US in J-1 visa status (if applicable)
  • Documentation of Financial Support
  • Official Transcripts showing degrees earned (if teaching classes)

 The International Education Center reviews documents and issues the DS-2019 form.

  • The Exchange Visitor pays SEVIS fee and applies for J-1 visa at US embassy/consulate.

 For more information, please refer to the Exchange Visitor Program Information Packet.

You can also visit the US Department of State for additional information.

Additional documents and information is needed for all visa(s) and PERM applications:
Additional Documents/Information (doc.)



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