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Departments – How to Host a J-1 Scholar

Below is an overview of the Exchange Visitor Program (J-1 visa category), guidelines, and departmental process for hosting an exchange visitor. For more information you can browse the other J-1 Scholars web pages, or email

Alternatively, the Center for Global Education (CGE) coordinates the Global Scholars Academy, which allows an international scholar to perform research in your department while also gaining professional and academic skills for career advancement. Through the Academy, CGE prepares and mails all of the paperwork, conducts English proficiency interviews, provides orientation to Boise and Boise State University, and coordinates social and cross-cultural activities required by the Department of State. If this appeals to you and your potential visitor, please visit this site for eligibility and more information.

  • Eligibility and Guidelines

    The right visa for an international scholar depends on various factors, including the position and the scholar.

    • The J-1 visa is not suitable for permanent, tenured or tenure-track positions.
    • Exchange visitors can be paid by Boise State, but they are not required to be. They can be funded by their home government, other organizations, or personal funds. Exchange visitors must show enough financial support to cover estimated living expenses in Boise.
    • Postdoctoral scholars often come to Boise State on J-1 visas.
    • Cultural and academic exchanges are a requirement of the Exchange Visitor Program. Boise State, the hosting department, and the exchange visitor should collaborate and share an interest in the proposed program.
    • The exchange visitor must possess sufficient proficiency in the English language in order to function successfully in the program and on a day-to-day basis in the United States.
    • The majority of exchange visitors come to Boise State as Research Scholars, Professors, or Short-term Scholars. Choose the appropriate category based on the program objectives and the length of the program.

    Research Scholarprimarily conducting research, observing, or consulting with a research project3 weeks to 5 yearsBachelor's degree or higher requiredsubject to 24-month bar on repeat participation
    Professorprimarily teaching, lecturing, and/or observing3 weeks to 5 yearsBachelor's degree or higher requiredsubject to 24-month bar on repeat participation
    Short-term Scholarobserving, consulting, training, lecturing, and/or demonstrating1 day to 6 monthsBachelor's degree or higher requiredN/A
    Specialistobserving, consulting, or demonstrating specialized knowledge or skills3 weeks to 12 monthsExpert in a field of specialized knowledge or skillmay be subject to 12-month bar on future participation as a Research Scholar or Professor

  • Process and Timeline for Requesting an Exchange Visitor

    1. Typically, a potential exchange visitor contacts a department with interest in researching and/or teaching at Boise State. The department decides whether they want to invite, host, and collaborate with this scholar. The scholar may also apply to the Global Scholars Academy.
    2. The department should contact an advisor in the Center for Global Education (CGE) at with interest in hosting an exchange visitor. You will be sent the J-1 Visa Request form and instructions for obtaining other required documentation, such as English proficiency and financial support.
    3. Departments should submit all documents at least 3 months before the scholar’s intended start date. This allows time for: CGE to review the materials, request any additional information, and issue the documents; the department to mail the document(s); and the scholar to complete the visa application, visa interview, and make travel and living arrangements.
    4. After receipt of all necessary documents to CGE, allow seven business days for review and issue of the DS-2019.
    5. Finally, the hosting department will pick up the DS-2019 package (or request it through campus mail). It will be the department’s responsibility to mail the documents to the exchange visitor.
    6. Once the exchange visitor receives the documents, it can take a couple weeks to a couple months to schedule a visa interview and receive the J visa, depending on the US Consulate or Embassy. Current wait times for visa appointments can be found here.

  • Extensions

    If the scholar has not completed their program objectives by their DS-2019 end date, you can ask for an extension of their current program. Please note that you cannot extend the scholar’s end date past the maximum allowed time in their category. Keep this in mind when requesting an extension or transfer of a scholar already on a J-1 visa.

    To initiate a program extension, the department should contact to request the form at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the scholar’s current DS-2019. A DS-2019 program extension will not extend the scholar’s visa, but it will allow the scholar to remain in the U.S. to complete their program until the new program end date. The scholar will need to show updated, appropriate funding amounts and health insurance for the new program duration.

  • Departmental Responsibilities

    The department has minimum responsibilities as the host of the exchange visitor. The department:

    • submits a Visitor/Affiliate Approval Request form prior to the visitor arriving on campus, and assists visitors in obtaining a BSU identification card.
    • provides an orientation that helps the visitor adapt to and work effectively in the academic unit, including use of research facilities, office or work space, taking/auditing classes, consultation with faculty members, and any other privileges that may be granted without charge.
    • provides a general orientation on university and community resources, health care, life and customs in the U.S., and cultural adjustment.
    • notifies the Center for Global Education (CGE) if an exchange visitor finishes their program objectives early, withdraws, and/or departs the US prior to the visitor’s DS-2019 end date.
    • immediately reports any serious incident involving an exchange visitor or any dependent, including but not limited to serious illness or injury, death, arrest, missing person, abuse, or negative press. Click here for details and how to report incidents.
    • provides cross-cultural activities to their exchange visitors.
      • American cultural activities are a requirement of the J-1 program. The expectation is that, as the host department, you will provide the visitor with planned, intentional American cultural experiences. It is not sufficient for the visitor to simply have incidental contact with American students or researchers at the university.

    Football vs Nevada, Homecoming, Photo by Madison Park

    Football vs Nevada, Homecoming, Photo by Madison Park