J-1 Program Information
The University of Louisville has been designated by the Department of State as a sponsor of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. The broad purpose is to promote international educational exchange and collaboration. Under this program, the University is permitted to sponsor visitors in the following categories: 1) student (non-degree, associate, bachelor, Master and PhD), 2) professor, 3) research scholar, and 4) short-term scholar.
Certain criteria must be met in order for the University to sponsor a visitor in any one of the above categories. Please read the following information carefully before completing the DS2019 Departmental Request Form.
Please note that a copy of the Exchange Visitor’s passport picture page is required to be submitted with the DS2019 request form to guarantee the accuracy of their biographical information. If the Exchange Visitor is from any of the following countries, please contact the International Center for additional information prior to completing the Departmental DS2019 Request Form: North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Sudan, Iran and Libya.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the International Center at 502-852-6604.
J1 Insurance Information
Before completing the DS2019 Departmental Request Form please read the following Department of State Regulations:
A violation of these regulations can result in the revocation or suspension of the University's exchange visitor program.
For all J-1 programs: Exchange visitors are required to pursue the objectives stated in the DS2019 form; any deviation from this is considered a violation of the J-1 regulations.
For NEW Exchange visitors: A visitor may be selected for participation in the Exchange Visitor Program as a professor or research scholar subject to the following conditions:
1) The participant may be in a tenure-track position, as long as she/he is not a candidate for tenure,
2) The participant has not been physically present in the United States in J status (J-1 or J-2) for more than 6 months of the previous 12 months.
3) 24 Month Bar: The participant has not been in a J1 in the Professor or Research Scholar category for the last 24 months as of November 3, 2006 onward.
5 Year Rule - Extensions for Professors and Research Scholars: Programs for Professors and Research Scholars may be approved for up to 5 years. All extensions within the 5 year period are processed by the ISSS. There is no additional charge for extensions and the extension requests should be submitted to the International Center at least 30 days from the end date of their DS2019.
The Exchange Visitor Skills List is a list of fields of specialized knowledge and skills that are deemed necessary for the development of an exchange visitor's home country. When you agree to participate in an Exchange Visitor Program, if your skill is on your country’s Skills List you are subject to the two-year foreign residence (home-country physical presence) requirement, which requires you to return to your home country for two years at the end of your exchange visitor program. This requirement under immigration law is based on Section 212(e) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended.
If the participant has received approval of waiver of the two-year home residence requirement (212E Restriction), they are not eligible to receive an extension of their J-1 DS2019. Any request for extensions should be completed prior to the Exchange Visitor receiving the waiver.
Professor/Research Scholars taking classes for credit: J-1 regulations are allowed to take classes; HOWEVER, scholars should not enroll in degree programs and should enroll on a part-time basis (no more than six hours per semester). A research scholar must maintain full-time research/teaching. Extensions for the purpose of completing a degree are NOT permitted.
Exchange Visitors who are Physicians in their home country: If the request is for a person who is a physician in their home country or holds an MD degree, the "5 Point Letter" must be completed and submitted with the DS2019 request form. Please note that this letter must be reviewed and signed by the Vice Dean of Clinical Affairs before the DS2019 will be issued. When requesting the letter to be signed by Dr. John Roberts, you must submit a copy of the DS2019 Departmental Request Form and the exchange visitor’s resume or vitae with the “5 Point Letter”.
If the visitor is a physician who will have no clinical responsibilities, please indicate in the "DUTIES" section of the request form "NO PATIENT CONTACT". This will certify that the program the physician is to be engaged is solely for the purpose of observation, consultation, teaching or research, and no element of patient care service is involved. If incidental patient contact is involved, please provide a statement certifying the points listed in the Alien Physician instructions, and obtain approval from the Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs. Note that UofL cannot issue DS2019 for clinical programs.
Short-term Scholar's Programs: Are permitted for up to six (6) months: No extensions are permitted. Please note that this category is not subject to the “24 month bar” and therefore should be considered if the program period will not exceed 6 months.
Time limitations for Students: Students who are in degree programs are authorized to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program until they complete their degrees. Non-degree students may be authorized to participate for up to 24 months only.
Request for J-2 DS2019 forms after the J-1 has arrived at UofL: If the J-1 Exchange Visitor wishes to invite their dependent(s) to join him/her after their arrival, they should submit the Request Form for I-20 or DS2019 for Dependents to the International Center along with a copy of their dependent’s passport picture page. The form is available on the International Center’s website. A Dependent DS2019 Form will be created within 1-3 days.
TRANSFER INFORMATION: J1 participants may transfer to or from the University of Louisville if the purpose of the transfer is to continue under their original objective for which she/he was admitted and if she/he remains in the same category. The visitor must notify their supervisor/sponsor of their intent to transfer and provide an end date.
1) For Transfers within the University: The Exchange Visitor must email their current supervisor/advisor and the ISSS office with a request to transfer. The new department must submit the DS2019 Departmental Request Form indicating Intra-University Transfer and verify the objective for which she/he was admitted will remain the same. A new DS2019 will be issued to the Exchange Visitor for the new site of activity and any necessary changes in program end date and finances. Please note that there is no charge to process an intra-university transfer.
2) For transfers from another university to UofL: In addition to the DS2019 Departmental Request Form, please submit a copy of the visitor's current DS2019 and a letter or email from their current institution releasing the scholar from that university. Also, the Department should verify that the objective at UofL will be the same as the scholar’s original objective indicated on their DS2019.
3) For transfers from UofL to another institution: The Exchange Visitor must submit a completed J-1 Transfer Out Request Form which may be obtained from the International Center’s website. This form should be completed by a J-1 research scholar or student wishing to transfer program sponsorship from the University of Louisville to another sponsor. Transfers should be requested 30 days before the effective date of transfer and no later than one week prior to end date of the current DS-2019.
The transfer institution’s J-1 Officer should also send an email note to the International Student Center to request the transfer, indicate maintenance of the Exchange Visitor’s objective and provide the effective date of transfer and their SEVIS Program Number.
For additional information and forms, please visit the following websites: