Hosting Exchange Visitors
The Office of International Services (OIS) invites you to join us in our commitment to NC State University’s global mission and vision to help prepare world citizens and develop global leaders here in North Carolina. We strive to be the number one resource for our international community and a catalyst for North Carolina residents to expand their global horizons.
The majority of the international scholars that visit NC State do so under the sponsorship of our J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. While other visa options may be available, they are less common.
NC State hosts three categories of non-student visitors under our J-1 Exchange Visitor Program: short-term scholars, research scholars and student interns.
Providing clear explanations of the rights, responsibilities, requirements, and available options to our international scholars requires a strong partnership between OIS advisors and the academic advisors (DGPs, Graduate Secretaries, Committee Chairs, Coordinators of Advising, and others) in the departments. Therefore, it is critical that hosting departments familiarize themselves with the departmental responsibilities for hosting an exchange visitor before initiating the process of requesting a DS-2019 for an exchange visitor and ensure that the following eligibility requirements for the prospective exchange visitor are met:
Purpose of the Visit
The primary purpose of J-1 exchange visits in the short-term scholar and research scholar categories is to conduct research, observe, or consult in connection with a research project on NC State’s campus. Teaching or lecturing are also appropriate activities when reported to OIS. A J-1 exchange visit must be a full-time opportunity, which is defined as a minimum 30 hours per week for J-1 Scholar categories and 32 hours per week for the J-1 Student Intern category.
To qualify for a short-term or research scholar category program, the prospective exchange visitor must have a bachelor’s degree in hand at the time of application. If there is a question as to whether the exchange visitor’s degree is the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree, a third party credentials evaluation may be necessary. Prospective exchange visitors who do not yet have a bachelor’s degree, but are enrolled as a degree seeking student in their home country, may qualify for the student intern category.
The scholar must provide proof of sufficient funding to support themselves and any J-2 dependents for the duration of their stay. The current minimum funding amounts are:
- $2,000/month for the J-1
- $900/month for the first dependent (spouse or child),
- $500/month for each additional dependent (spouse or child)
Please note that if a range of funding is given such as $1,400 – $1,800, OIS will use the lower amount when calculating financial information.
Funding may come from NC State as part of the terms of the appointment, an outside source – such as the visitor’s home institution or government, or personal funds. Non-NC State funding sources must be accompanied by recent (within the past 6 months) documentation on the organization’s letterhead, clearly indicating the amount of funding the scholar will receive for their program activities at NC State. Personal funds, such as bank statements, must also be recent, include the scholar’s name, and represent liquid (readily available) funds. If a family member will fund the exchange visitor, they will need to complete and submit a Sponsor Affidavit of Support form. All funding documents must be in English or accompanied by an accurate translation into English.
The Department of State (DOS) requires all participants of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program to have and maintain health insurance which covers the exchange visitor and all accompanying family members for the entire duration of their DS-2019 . For more information on the specific coverage requirements, please see our page on health insurance requirements for J-1 Exchange Visitors. It is important to note that U.S. health insurance is required even during periods when the principal J-1 or any J-2 dependents are temporarily abroad during the program period. Scholars and dependents are required to provide proof of adequate insurance when they check in with OIS. Failure to maintain adequate health insurance for the principal J-1 and all active J-2 dependents is considered a violation of the Exchange Visitor Program regulations, which will result in termination of the J status for both the J-1 and J-2 participants.
The exchange visitor’s English language skills must be objectively assessed by the NC State host department to be sufficient for the visitor to interact with English speakers, successfully participate in their program, conduct research at an American university, and to function on a day-to-day basis. OIS requires an attestation to be completed by all departments requesting a DS-2019.
The exchange visitor must have a NC State faculty supervisor during their entire stay and the visitor must hold a full time HR appointment within the department (minimum 30 hours per week for J-1 Scholar categories and 32 hours per week for the J-1 Student Intern category).
Departments are responsible for scheduling their exchange visitors for a mandatory OIS check-in session. Exchange visitors will need to attend OIS check-in and submit the required documents within 30 days of the listed J-1 program start. Both steps must occur after arriving in the U.S. Coordinating these actions requires departments to communicate closely with their exchange visitors to confirm their travel plans. Check-in sessions continue to be held virtually on Zoom. The visitor will need to submit the following via GlobalHome prior to their scheduled check-in session:
- Passport with J-1 visa stamp
- Print out of I-94 card (can be retrieved here)
- Proof of health insurance for principal and dependents for the duration of the DS-2019. See requirements for health insurance here.
Please use this link to review forthcoming check-in session dates and times and to register your exchange visitors accordingly.