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J-1 Exchange Visitor Information

International education and cultural exchanges are one of the most effective means of developing lasting and meaningful relationships. They provide an extremely valuable opportunity to experience the United States and way of life in the U.S., as well as, for Exchange Visitors to share their worldview with Central Michigan University faculty, staff and students.

The Exchange Visitor Program was established to implement the Mutual Education and Cultural Exchange Act (Fulbright Hayes Act) of 1961. This program was created “to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges”. Exchange Visitors are typically expected to return to their home countries upon completion of their program at Central Michigan University. The Office of International Affairs and Graduate Recruitment prepares the Form DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for the Exchange Visitor. This form is used to both apply for a J-1 Visa from the local United States Embassy or Consulate and to enter the United States to begin a program at CMU.

The Department of State (DOS) manages the Exchange Visitor Program. For more information, you can visit their website here.

General eligibility

Regulations are published by the DOS in Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). These laws set forth the specific requirements that must be met by applicants who wish to acquire J-1 nonimmigrant status to participate in an exchange visitor program. An applicant must meet these requirements before a consular officer issues a J-1 visa, or before the Department of Homeland Security admits the individual into the United States in J-1 Status. Some basic requirements include:

  • The Exchange Visitor plans to remain in the United States for a temporary, specific, and limited period of time
  • They possess sufficient proficiency in the English language to participate in their program and to function on a day-to-day basis
  • They are otherwise qualified for the exchange visitor category for which they wish to participate
  • The Exchange Visitor program has accepted the visitor into a program, and they plan to carry out a specific activity, such as study or research
  • There is evidence of funds to cover expenses while in the United States
  • The visitor can prove to a United States consulate when applying for the visa that they “have residence abroad which he has no intention of abandoning”. This is usually shown by evidence of social and economic ties abroad
  • International Student and Scholar Services helps researchers, professors, students, and department members international in inviting international students and scholars to join CMU.

CMU has designation from the U.S. Department of State to sponsor the following categories:

  • Professors: A professor primarily teaches, lectures or observes while at CMU. They may also conduct research
  • Research scholars: A research scholar primarily conducts research, observes, or consults in connection with a research project at CMU. They may also teach or lecture.
  • Short-term scholars: 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.
  • Non-degree seeking students: students participating in a prescribed program
  • Degree seeking students: student pursing a full-time degree program
  • Student interns: Available only to international students currently enrolled and pursuing a degree at a postsecondary academic institution outside the United States, whose U.S. internship will "fulfill the educational objectives for his or her current degree program at his or her home institution." (up to 12 months)

For further information, please email or by phone at 989-774-4308.