J-1 Scholar Visa Sponsorship

Overview of J-1 Program

The purpose of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges.

Four principal parties are involved in the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program.

  • Department of State (DOS):  issues J visas to Exchange Visitors (EV) and their dependents and creates and administers federal regulations and policies governing the Exchange Visitor Program. 
  • Exchange Visitor Program Sponsors:  legal entities – such as the University of Kansas that have applied for and received designation from DOS to conduct an Exchange Visitor Program. The University of Kansas International Support Service office administers the Exchange Visitor Program (Program Number P-1-00099), and serves as the University’s official representative to Department of State for this program. An ISS staff member serves as the Responsible Officer (RO) for the J-1 program on the Lawrence campus and is the point of contact on any issue that relates to the school's compliance with J-1 program regulations.
  • Exchange Visitors:  foreign nationals who have been selected by an exchange visitor sponsor to participate in a particular exchange visitor program.
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS):  manages the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), admits an alien to the U.S. in J exchange visitor status, and which adjudicates certain immigration benefits for J exchange visitors and their dependents. 

Primary Activities/Duration and Funding: The University of Kansas, as a J-1 Program Sponsor, can invite J-1 Exchange Visitors to the university for a period of up to five years. Some of these exchange visitors, often referred to as international scholars, are KU employees; others are supported by external funding or by personal funds. Regardless of the funding source, KU Exchange Visitors’ primary activities must consist of teaching, lecturing, observing, or conducting research, and their program must include components of cultural and educational exchange. Although J-1 status allows employment, the primary purpose of the program is not employment, but rather, cultural and educational exchange.

Form DS-2019 and the J-1 Visa: Participants in the exchange visitor program will enter the U.S. on a J-1 visa, which is the nonimmigrant visa classification for “exchange visitors.” ISS issues Form DS-2019 to J-1 Exchange Visitors, which will allow them to apply for a J-1 visa at a U.S. consulate.  Form DS-2019 will include the Exchange Visitor’s category. KU can invite international scholars in the following categories: Professor, Research Scholar, or Short-Term Scholar.


  • Intent to pursue appropriate activity.
  • Intent to return to home country.
  • Sufficient funding.
  • Appropriate background for activity.
  • Adequate English language ability
  • Appropriate KU appointment that matches duration of their stay at KU.

J-1 exchange visitors both employee and visiting scholar are required to maintain KU approved health insurance policy. Examples include the Kansas Board of Regents United Healthcare policy for Visiting Scholar, or Plan J through the State Employee Health Plan.

A J-1 professor or J-1 research scholar cannot hold tenure or be placed in a position “on a tenure track.”

ISS is authorized to issue a DS-2019 form to foreign medical graduates (M.D.s) to enable them to come to the U.S. for the primary activity of observation, consultation, teaching, or research. They can participate in a non-clinical exchange program, either with NO PATIENT CONTACT OR CARE, or where patient contact is only INCIDENTAL to the primary activity.  M.D.s with direct patient contact must be sponsored by ECFMG

If the J-1 Exchange Visitor is not an M.D., no patient contact is permitted.

Certain J-1 exchange visitors may be subject to this requirement for a variety of reasons, including their source of funding and/or the education, training, or skill they are pursuing in the U.S.  Exchange visitors who are subject to the two-year home country residence requirement must "reside and be physically present" in their "home" country for an aggregate of two years before being eligible for certain immigration benefits.

Prior participation in any J category may subject the prospective exchange visitor to the "12-month bar", and prior participation in the Professor or Research Scholar category may subject the prospective exchange visitor to the "24-month bar" on repeat participation..

All J-1 scholars, regardless of the immigration arrangements, must have an official university appointment indicating they have an academic relationship to KU.  Any scholar who will be on the university payroll should be appointed to the specifications of their contract with the hosting department.  A copy of this contact will be submitted through iHawk.

For those scholars who will not be paid by the university, the appropriate affiliate appointment is generally International Visiting Scholar.

All visiting scholars need an official letter of invitation, even KU employees.  This letter is critical to the DS-2019 issuance and visa application process.  The letter should detail the nature of the research or teaching that the scholar will conduct, who will supervise or advise the scholar, the agreed length of stay and dates the scholar will be on campus, ability to perform research or teaching based on scholar’s English proficiency and specifically what the department will offer the scholar.  It may explain if the department will be able to provide office space, staff assistance, departmental facilities, and salary and/or stipend.

The invitation letter should include the following information:

  • General field of research
  • Brief description of research / teaching activities (for teaching, list all courses)
  • Exact start and end date
  • Either KU funding (include exact dollar amount) or no funding from KU
  • Scholar meets English language ability to be successful in program
  • Health insurance as requirement of J visa
  • Additional benefits department is offering scholar (office space, staff assistance, department facilities, etc.)

Template Invitation Letter (.docx)

U.S. law requires J-1 scholars to show they have enough finances to support themselves and any dependents that accompany them at poverty guidelines; however, we strongly recommends that visitors secure access to additional funding to avoid living at poverty levels.  Proof of funding must be submitted during the J-1 visa sponsorship process.

The minimum estimated cost of attendance is solely used to determine costs for J programs, actual costs may be higher or lower. Current costs are based on financial aid estimated costs of attendance for graduate students who live off campus. Please expect at least a five percent increase in costs due to inflation. If all or part of costs will be covered by KU salary or stipend, it usually takes 6-8 weeks to receive this first paycheck.

2022 – 2023 Required Funding:

  • Housing & Food $15,160
  • Personal $3,168
  • Health Insurance $2,831
  • Total Annual Costs: $21,159
  • Total Monthly Costs: $1,763

The dependent costs are based on 2023 Federal Poverty guidelines plus the cost for health insurance using the International Student/Scholar health insurance plan with United Healthcare.

  • Annual Dependent $7,971
  • Monthly add per dependent $664

If the visiting scholar extends their program, additional funding proof must be provided to cover the extension.

Funding can come from many different sources.  The most common sources are:

  • Home country government
  • Home University
  • Personal savings
  • Support from family members
  • Funding from the KU hosting department

Every J-1 Exchange Visitor must demonstrate their functional level in English prior to participation in a J-1 program in the U.S. This serves two purposes:

  1. to ensure all scholars are able to live and function effectively in their host communities and avail themselves of the opportunities for cultural exchange, and
  2. to ensure all scholars have the language skills fundamental to the success of their unique J program objectives.

Submission of evidence related to the incoming scholar’s functional level in English will be done through iHawk. During the J-1 application process the scholar will be able to choose their method of documentation and upload the appropriate material.  Only four options will be accepted:

  • The J-1 is from an English-speaking country (see list below)*

  • The J-1 has attended/is attending university where English is the language of course instruction.  Documentation includes copies of transcripts or diploma from US university or website of the institution that shows that course instruction is in English.

  • Submission of a score report from a widely recognized test that details the scholar’s functional level in English. Such tests include TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge, PTE Academic, and Pearson Verssant.
  • Interview with the J-1, in English, was conducted by KU Applied English Center faculty member. The interview will be conducted using ZOOM. In the application the scholar will have the option to select this choice and will be contacted to schedule an interview.

*Examples of English-Speaking Countries based on official language and population usage statistics include: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada (except Quebec), Cook Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Grand Cayman, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, Nigeria, Singapore, Trinidad/Tobago, and United Kingdom.

Once the hiring decision or decision to invite the scholar has been made the normal visa sponsorship process takes 3 weeks once all eforms have been completed in iHawk. There are several reasons for this duration, that include KU's Global Operation & Security review for export control issues as well as an interview from the Applied English Center if the scholar has no other method to document their English language ability.

The visa application process will depend on which embassy the scholar applies through. There are often significant delays with scheduling an interview. Generally expect 2-3 weeks. If the scholar goes through administrative processing when applying through a visa, expect that the process will take longer than 6 weeks.

If the person will be an employee and they do not have a social security number, then once they arrive their SEVIS record must be validate and then they will be able to apply for a SSN. It will probably be 2 weeks before they can begin work.

J-1 scholars must have in-person requirements due to the exchange visitor nature of this program. J-1 scholars cannot be designated as fully remote. If J-1 scholars are designated as hybrid, they can only tele-work a maximum of 2 days per week.

Additional work site locations may be added to a J-1 scholar's program. Please contact ISS for details.

Hosting Unit Responsibilities

When you invite a scholar and start a J-1 visa sponsorship request, you are responsible for verifying that they meet the eligibility requirements to come to the United States as a J-1 exchange visitor. The exchange visitor:

  • may be sponsored as a J-1 if they will be participating in a program that furthers the objectives of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program
  • must possess sufficient financial support.
  • must possess sufficient English language proficiency for the proposed teaching/research activity.
  • must have appropriate academic credentials for their category and position
  • must intend to return to their home country.
  • must be aware of the health insurance requirement and maintain health insurance which meets both Federal and University requirements throughout their J-1 program.

An exchange visitor may enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before the start date indicated in section 3 of the DS-2019.

All J-1 exchange visitors must complete the New Scholar Check-In process which consists of an in-person physical presence check-in at International Support Services. New Scholar Check-In has scheduling instructions the physical presence check-in.

J-1 Exchange Visitors must upload copies of documents in the New Scholar Check-In form in iHawk.

ISS is required by law to verify the exchange visitor’s immigration documentation and report arrivals of exchange visitors to the Department of Homeland Security in SEVIS. J-1 Exchange Visitors must attend the New Scholar Check-In no later than 15 days after their DS-2019 start dates so that ISS can report their arrival by the government deadline. Missing this deadline has significant consequences; the Exchange Visitor will no longer be in valid J-1 status, will no longer have employment eligibility, and will have to leave the United States.

Note: Colleges and universities are required to report information about J-1 Exchange Visitor and their J-2 dependents to the Department of Homeland Security using SEVIS, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. It is ISS’s responsibility to comply with SEVIS reporting regulations.

Please let the ISS know as soon as possible about any delay.

If the exchange visitor is unable to arrive and report to ISS within 15 days of the start date on the DS-2019, the exchange visitor must submit a Late Arrival form in iHawk, so that a request for an amended start date can be submitted. ISS must update the intended start date in SEVIS to prevent the record from being cancelled by SEVIS.

Since ISS is required to report any changes to the end date of an Exchange Visitor’s J-1 program to the Department of Homeland Security through SEVIS, departments hosting scholars must notify ISS if a scholar is leaving KU before the end date of the DS-2019 (found in section 3). The exchange visitor should submit a Leaving KU form in their ihawk account to report a scholar’s early departure. Remember that even if your J-1 Exchange Visitor is employed by KU and you terminate his/her appointment with HRM, please notify ISS so that we can document that the Exchange Visitor’s J-1 program has ended.

All KU J-1 exchange visitors are required to have health insurance which meets University of Kansas standards, for themselves and their dependents, from the start date through the end date of their DS-2019 form. These standards are met by Kansas Board of Regents United Healthcare policy for students and visiting scholars. For employees they should select Plan J through the State Employee Health Plan and buy a repatriation and medical evacuation rider.

Note: Please remind benefits-eligible Exchange Visitors whose dependents will join them in the U.S. at a later date to enroll their dependents in their KU SEHP insurance plan as soon as their dependents arrive. If the dependents are not enrolled within 30 days of arrival, they cannot be added until the next open enrollment period.

J-1 exchange visitors who are not eligible for a KU SEHP health insurance plan should stay enrolled in the KBOR United Healthcare plan, effective from the start date of their DS-2019.

Make sure that your J-1 exchange visitors understand how to enter and update their local addresses and phone numbers in iHawk and help them if they need assistance. U.S. Government guidelines for updating addresses and phone numbers are special for these visitors, so they should follow instructions on the ISS address update website.

Cultural Exchange: provide opportunities for your Exchange Visitor to interact with American individuals and groups and experience American culture firsthand. This includes both activities within the department (meetings, seminars, etc.) and activities that have been arranged with the express purpose of enabling the visitor to actively participate in an aspect of American culture, including sports, theater, holiday celebrations, etc., or to gain a deeper understanding of some aspect of U.S. culture.

Inviting a J-1 Exchange Visitor: Information for Faculty

Inviting a J-1 Exchange Visitor involves faculty, a department administrative contact, International Support Services, and possibly your SSC. Your department will need to complete the J-1 scholar application in iHawk. Once completed ISS will issue Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for the J-1 visa), so that the J-1 Exchange Visitor can apply for a J-1 visa in order to enter the United States in J-1 status. The administrative contact is often a member of the human resources group in your unit, but can be anyone who will be able to carry out the responsibilities outlined in Inviting a J-1 Exchange Visitor: Information for Administrative Staff. Sometimes faculty take on this additional role as well.


  • Review the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program overview, funding requirements, and department responsibilities.
  • Determine the program objective
  • Work with your administrative contact to prepare the J-1 Application for a New Exchange Visitor
  • Department administrative contact prepares and submits J-1 Application for a New Exchange Visitor in iHawk.
  • Your department administrative contact should notify the ISS about any necessary corrections or updates (changes in dates, for example).

Key Responsibilities

  • Ensure that the program objective accurately reflects what the J-1 Exchange Visitor will do at KU, and that you have considered cultural and educational exchange components.
  • The administrative contact will need language about the program objectives as well dates for the planned visit.
  • Make sure you understand the exchange visitor's English language ability. If the scholar doesn't have a method to document their language ability, they can interview with an Applied English Center faculty member and a score report will be generated.
  • Verify that the prospective Exchange Visitor has appropriate academic credentials
  • Maintain communication with your exchange visitor, especially about:
    • Delayed arrivals or program cancellations
    • inquiries from ISS about the whereabouts of exchange visitors who have not yet checked in
  • Early departure (before the DS-2019 form end date) of your Exchange Visitor. Your scholar will need to submit a "Leaving KU" eform in iHawk so that ISS can update their exchange visitor program
  • Plans to extend your Exchange Visitor’s stay at KU (beyond the DS-2019 end date)

Inviting a J-1 Exchange Visitor: Department User Role - Administrative

All KU units who host or plan to host J-1 Exchange Visitors (international scholars) should designate one or more administrative contacts to serve as the liaison. This person will have a “department user” role in iHawk that allows them to submit various visa sponsorship cases.

Once the Exchange Visitor arrives, the department administrative contact is responsible for on-going issues related to the visitor’s program. International Support Services offers training for administrative contacts who would like to learn more about the J-1 Exchange Visitor program.

Using iHawk

  • Please review the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program overview and department responsibilities
  • Work with your faculty member to determine the program objective for the visitor, program dates, funding, and site of activity.
  • Complete the J-1 Scholar application for a New Exchange Visitor in iHawk. This new application process is for initial scholars, returning scholars, and transfers.
  • Contact the Exchange Visitor (EV) and obtain a date of birth.
  • Draft the official invitation letter (sample, .doc) for review and signature by the department, and final review by ISS.

Key Responsibilities

  • Contact ISS advisor about late arrival or delays.
  • Biographical corrections (birthdate, name spelling, birth location, etc.)
  • Changes in funding
  • Cancellation of visit
  • Shipment of DS-2019 form (if not using third-party billing).
  • Make sure EV completes any required employment-related paperwork and any standard departmental on-boarding procedures
  • Contact ISS if your exchange visitor wishes to engage in any activity that would involve payment such as a lecture or presentation at another university or a collaborative project with a research company.
  • Have the scholar submit a J-1 Scholar “Leaving KU” to ISS if the Exchange Visitor plans to leave before the DS-2019 end date, so that ISS can comply with the government obligation to report early departures.
  • Submit requests to ISS for an amended Form DS-2019 if there are any changes in the Exchange Visitors funding, site of activity, etc.)
  • Submit requests to ISS for an extended Form DS-2019 if the EV plans to stay beyond the DS-2019 end date.  Note: Extensions are not always possible.
  • Submit J-1 Continuing Out of Country requests for J-1 Exchange Visitors who require out of country authorization.

Fees Associated with J-1 Scholars

  1. KU International Affairs Fee

The division of KU International Affairs has an initial processing cases fee and an extension case fee for any J-1 scholar. This fee can be paid by the department hosting the J-1 scholar or by the scholar themselves. The department will have the option to indicate if they will pay the fee when they submit an initial J-1 visa sponsorship case or J-1 extension request. An invoice will be sent through DARBI at the end of the visa sponsorship process. If the EV will pay the fee they will be sent a payment link in the ISS Store.

KU International Affairs Fee Structure

  1. I-901 Fee (SEVIS Fee)

There is a $220 fee payment the exchange visitor will pay to Department of Homeland Security. In very rare cases we see a KU department pay this fee and if you decide to pay this fee we recommend using a P-card. 


  1. DS-160 Visa Application Fee

There is a $185 fee the exchange visitor will pay a visa application fee when they apply for a visa at a US embassy. The fee is paid on the country specific embassy website. 


Frequently Asked Questions About J Status

International Support Services is designated by U.S. Department of State as an Exchange Visitor Program Sponsor. Exchange Visitor is the title of a J-1 status holder, which is a U.S. non-immigrant classification. We often also refer to an Exchange Visitor as “EV”, “J-1”, or “visiting scholar”. The J-1 exchange visitor status allows temporary educational exchange (which may be either paid or self-funded) in the United States. If you want to invite a scholar to participate at your department in J-1 status, you would start a J-1 scholar application for a new exchange visitor.

The Form DS-2019 is a certificate of eligibility of J-1 status. It is issued by International Support Services through the Department of Homeland Security's SEVIS system. The DS-2019 allows a person to request a J-1 visa to enter the U.S. The DS-2019 also determines the length of a J-1's legal stay in the United States. The Hosting Department Responsibilities section of this page outlines the responsibilities when hosting J-1 Exchange Visitors, and general information about the DS-2019 and J-1 status is on our page.

  1. The department at University of Kansas wishing to host the person begins the DS-2019 request process by starting the J-1 scholar application for a new exchange visitor in iHawk.
  2. Then both the department administrative contact and scholar will submit information in ihawk.
  3. The case will be reviewed by Global Operations and Security for restricted party issues.
  4. Once GOS has finished their screening, the administrative contact can route the case to the academic department/research center for final review.
  5. At that point ISS will review the entire visa sponsorship request.
  6. The request for the visitor’s Form DS-2019 is submitted to the U.S. government's SEVIS system (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) so that Form DS-2019 can be issued.
  7. The DS-2019 form is either mailed directly to the exchange visitor, or is provided to the department for mailing, depending on the hosting department’s instructions.
  8. A $220 SEVIS I-901 fee must be paid and then the scholar should go to an appointment at the U.S. consulate for the J-1 visa.
  9. The Exchange Visitor applies for J-1 visa (a visa application fee is also required) at the consulate.
  10. When the visa is approved the Exchange Visitor can enter the U.S. with the DS-2019 and J-1 visa up to one month before the start date of the DS-2019.
  11. When the Exchange Visitor has arrived in the U.S., they must attend J-1 check-in program at International Support Services and will enroll in the health insurance (for the J-1 and any J-2 dependents).

Under specific circumstances, J-1 and J-2 status holders may incur a two-year home physical presence requirement. If one is subject to the rule, this means that he/she is not eligible to change to H, L or Permanent Residency (PR) classification without first returning to the home country for a total of 2 years. A waiver of this requirement can be applied for and obtained in specific circumstances. If the two-year rule applies, changing status from J to another non-immigrant classification (such as F-1) in the United States is prohibited. The two year rule does NOT prohibit one from returning to the U.S. in any classification besides H, L, or PR.

All J-1 exchange visitors and accompanying J-2 dependents at the University of Kansas are required to have health insurance coverage that always meets the University’s standards. For KU employees that are benefits eligible this means they should enroll in Plan J with the State Employee Health Plan. For Visiting Scholars, they will be required to enroll in the Kansas Board of Regents United Healthcare policy.

The check-in requirement is linked to the start date of the SEVIS DS-2019. We must report the arrival of the J-1 in SEVIS within the first 30 days after the document begins. If an exchange visitor is delayed and will enter the U.S. more than fifteen days after the DS-2019 start date you should request an “amendment” of the DS-2019 so that the start date is changed to a later date. After completing the online Pre-Arrival and Post-Arrival trainings, a newly arrived scholar may call International Support Services to schedule attendance at the New Scholar Check-In.

The scholar may enter the U.S. to begin J-1 status no more than thirty days before the start date of the DS-2019. J-1 exchange visitors are usually granted admission for “duration of status” which is noted as D/S on the admission stamp in the passport and on the Form I-94 printed from CBP I-94 website. With duration of status granted, a J-1 has a thirty day grace period to depart the U.S. after the expiration of the DS-2019. J-2 dependents must depart before or with the J-1.

The University of Kansas is committed to assisting our international students and scholars when possible. If your exchange visitor contacts you to notify you that they have experienced a visa delay or denial, please ask them to notify an international advisor at International Support Services.

We have created different checklists for new incoming Employees and Visiting Scholars

Please refer to detailed information on our website about travel and visa application for further details. The U.S. visa (stamp or sticker in your passport) is a travel document which allows entry to the United States with a valid DS-2019. The scholar only needs to have a valid J visa when re-entering the United States; the scholar may remain in the U.S. with the valid DS-2019. If the scholar plans to travel and re-enter the U.S. from abroad after the visa has expired, the scholar needs to apply for a new visa before he/she re-enters U.S. The scholar can only apply for the visa outside the country at a U.S. Consulate.

The spouse and children under 21 of the J-1 exchange visitor are eligible for J-2 dependent status. The scholar may request a dependent DS-2019 from in iHawk for J-2 dependents during the program. Family members or friends who are NOT children under 21 or the spouse of the J-1 exchange visitor should apply for a B-1/B-2 visitor visa which allows eligibility to visit the United States temporarily for tourism or business purposes. Family members from certain countries may be eligible to travel to the U.S. for visits of up to 90 days without a B-1/B-2 visa through the U.S. Department of State Visa Waiver Program. It is recommended that the scholar give their family members a letter of invitation to document the purpose of their visit. Refer to Family Visitors to the U.S. for an invitation letter template and more details on the visa application requirements.

In addition to employment at the University of Kansas related to the J-1 objective, J-1 scholars and professors may be eligible to be authorized for incidental employment directly related to the J-1 objective, such as providing occasional lectures or consulting. Incidental employment must be approved in advance by KU International Support Services prior to the activity. For more information, refer to Incidental Employment for J-1 Scholars and Professors.

The exchange visitor may be eligible for an “extension” of Form DS-2019 if they have not reached the maximum duration of the J category (see section 4 of the DS-2019) and has not applied for and received a waiver of the Two-Year Foreign Residency Requirement. You, the sponsoring department, would submit an a J-1 extension in iHawk. Extension requests should be submitted well in advance of the DS-2019 expiration. For more information on program duration and extension you may contact iss@ku.edu The maximum length of program for Short-term Scholars is six months, for Professors and Research Scholars, five years.

If the scholar will return home and is ending participation more than 15 days before the end date of the current DS-2019, the end of the program should be reported to Support Services by submitting our Leaving KU form If the scholar is leaving within 15 days of the end date of the DS-2019, no action is required.

KU International Support Services staff members are not authorized to give advice regarding taxes. We do have some helpful information about taxes, tax preparation, ITIN, or tax treaty questions at Taxes and Social Security. We strongly recommend they contact Legal Services for Students who has a mandate to provide tax assistance to international students, scholars, and employees.

The Department of Homeland Security requires a fee of $220 for all new J-1 program applicants to cover the costs of the operation of the SEVIS program. If a future scholar is issued a new DS-2019 for beginning a new program he/she must pay I-901 SEVIS fee. Transfer, extension, or other updates to the original DS-2019 do not require SEVIS fee. You can read more information on our website at in the Travel section and go to the official website for SEVIS fee information and payment. Some departments choose to pay this fee on behalf of the exchange visitor but it is optional. If you do want to pay the fee, you will need the exchange visitor’s SEVIS ID number, name, and date of birth. This information must match the information printed on the exchange visitor’s Form DS-2019. After the SEVIS fee payment is made, a receipt should be printed. The scholar should bring it to the visa interview and when traveling to the U.S.

KU-Lawrence campus is authorized to issue a Form DS-2019 to foreign medical graduates (M.D.s) to enable them to come to the U.S. for the primary activity of observation, consultation, teaching, or research. They can participate in a non-clinical exchange program, either with NO PATIENT CONTACT OR CARE, or where patient contact is only INCIDENTAL to the primary activity. M.D.s with direct patient contact must be sponsored by ECFMG.

Examples of acceptable activities that involve no patient contact or incidental patient contact:

  • Doing a diagnostic examination in the presence of a senior physician who repeats the exam or ensures at every step that it is done correctly, and the proper diagnostic information is obtained.
  • Being present during therapies and treatment with opportunities for hands-on experience in ways that do not compromise the care of the patient.
  • Being present in the operating room and having limited patient contact, but not performing procedures.

In order for a foreign medical graduate to be sponsored by University of Kansas's J-1 program, the department must provide one of the following statements written and signed by the dean or the dean's designee on University of Kansas letterhead:

If no patient contact or care is involved: “This letter certifies that the program in which (EV's name, M.D.) is to be engaged is solely for the purpose of observation, consultation, teaching, or research and that no element of patient care services is involved.”

More Questions?

You may email questions to iss@ku.edu for response by one of our International Student/Scholar Advisors. You also can call our Front Desk (785-864-3617) to ask questions via telephone. If no advisor is currently available, your phone call will be returned as soon as possible.

Instructions on How to Submit New & Extension Requests in iHawk

You will submit information in iHawk, our immigration management database. If you do not have access to iHawk as a department user, please follow these instruction to gain access.

J-1 Scholar Application for a New Exchange Visitor

  1. Login to iHawk
  2. Add New Person
    • If the scholar is completely new to KU systems, they will not have a university ID number or network ID so they will not have a record in iHawk. The first step should be to add a person in iHawk, which creates a shell record, which lets you start a J-1 application for a new exchange visitor.
  3. J-1 Application for a new Exchange Visitor (Tasks, bottom center)
  4. Go to Applicant Information form and click on “Give access to the Client” link. Enter the scholar’s email address. This gives the scholar access to this application and the scholar will receive an automated email with login instructions.
  5. Complete Department Forms
    • Program information
    • Invitation letter
    • Funding documentation (only if KU funding)
  6. Once all department forms are submitted and the scholar submits their forms, a request will be sent to Global Operations and Security for a restricted party screening. They may reach out to the faculty host for more information about the research agenda.
  7. Please submit the Department Approval form. This form can be routed to the Director, Dean, Chair or faculty host as appropriate.
  8. ISS will then review the entire case and issue the DS-2019 form. This is usually done within a week.
  9. KU International Affairs fee payment. When the department selects they will pay this fee, ISS will send the invoice through DARBI. When the exchange visitor will pay this fee, an ISS advisor will send an email to the scholar with instructions and payment link.
  10. The DS-2019 form will be sent by FedEx to the scholar, or an email will be sent to the administrative user contact so that it can be picked up.

If additional information or clarification is needed, ISS will contact the department, faculty host, or the prospective visitor, depending on the issue. If nothing additional is needed, the International Advisor submits a request for the visitor’s Form DS-2019 to the U.S. government's SEVIS system (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System.)

When the Form DS-2019 has been issued, it will be delivered according to the instructions the hosting department entered on the e-form.

You will submit information in iHawk, our immigration management database. If you do not have access to iHawk as a department user, please follow these instruction to gain access.

  1. Login to iHawk
  2. J-1 Scholar Extension
    • You will need the exchange visitor’s university ID number. It is seven digits and begins with a “1”. If you the EV doesn’t remember their number, please contact ISS.
  3. Start New Extension or Continue Request
    • Near the bottom you will see the “start a new request” link.  Please use it if you haven’t already started an extension.  Otherwise, please click on the extension that was already started.  They will be sorted by date order.
  4. Submit Department Forms
    • Program Information
    • Funding Information (if KU funding)
  5. Exchange Visitor will submit Applicant Information form and Funding Information form (if no KU funding)
  6. Department Approval
    • This approval form will only become available once all other forms are submitted. It can be routed to Director, Dean, Chair or faculty host as appropriate.