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Visiting Scholar

The J Exchange Visitor program was established to implement the Mutual Educational 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 enter the U.S. holding J-1 visas in designated categories. J-1 exchange visitors are expected to return to their home countries upon completion of their program at Central Michigan University. The Office of International Affairs 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 U.S. Embassy or Consulate and to enter the U.S. to begin a program.

Please note: This request form is for academic departments inviting a professor, research scholar or short-term scholar. These exchange visitors are commonly referred to by the general term Scholar. This form is not for J-1 student exchange visitor requests.

Exchange Visitor Categories, Lengths of Stay and Minimum Requirements

The exchange visitor categories are determined upon each scholar's activities and purpose for visiting CMU. Colleges or departments may also invite visiting professors​ under this program.

Research Scholar: Primarily conducts research, observes or consults in connection with a research project at CMU. They may also teach or lecture.

  • A research scholar is eligible for a minimum stay of three weeks and a maximum of five years.
  • The research scholar is not eligible to hold, or be a candidate for, a tenure-track position.
  • The participant may not have been in the U.S. in J-1 or J-2 visa status for 12 months prior to the start date of their program. (This may be waived in limited circumstances.)
  • The participant is not eligible to return to the United States in the professor or research scholar category for a period of 24 months following completion of their program.
  • The research scholar is expected to have appropriate academic credentials. All exchange visitors are expected to have a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a related field and have demonstrated related experience or academic credentials.

Short-Term Scholar: 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.

  • The participant may stay in the United States for the time needed to complete their objective up to a maximum of 6 months. Extensions beyond 6 months are not allowed.
  • There is no minimum length of stay for exchange visitor participants in this category.
  • The Short-Term Scholar is not subject to a 12-month or 24-month participation bar.

Health Insurance Requirement

Federal regulations require that all exchange visitors must have health/accident insurance coverage, which includes repatriation costs for remains and dismemberment coverage, during their stay in the United States. The university is not required to pay for the insurance coverage, but must ensure that the scholar and all accompanying dependents have coverage that is valid in the United States. Effective May 15, 2015, new insurance requirements went into effect for all exchange visitors and their dependents. The new minimum requirements are:

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness.
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000.
  • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000.
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.

Insurance provided to CMU faculty and staff through both BCBS and MESSA does not meet the minimum requirements for the exchange visitor program. These requirements are set by the Department of State, not CMU. If you chose to use this coverage, you will be required to also purchase supplemental coverage for Medical Evacuation and Repatriation. Alternatively, CMU's Student Health Services offers an insurance plan that meets the minimum requirements and is available for purchase by scholars. Please check with the OGE prior to the scholar's arrival for health insurance policy options if the scholar will need to purchase coverage.

Please note that exchange visitors and their accompanying spouse/dependents may be subject to the requirements of the Affordable Care Act [22 CFR 62.14(a)].

Arrival and Housing Arrangements

The academic department or college inviting an exchange visitor is responsible for making arrangements for the scholar's arrival to campus and any necessary housing reservations. If the scholar will require on-campus housing, please contact the University Apartments Office in the Office of Residence Life at 989-774-3284 or

Occasionally, visiting scholars who are not employed by the university require access to the University Portal or the library. If that is the case, please contact the Office of International Affairs for advice on how to make these arrangements.

Financial Support

Exchange visitors are required to show adequate proof of financial support throughout their program. A minimum of $15,000 per year for the J-1 scholar and $3,500 per year for a J-2 spouse and each dependent must be documented.​


For More Information

For more information about Central Michigan University's J-1 Program or to invite a scholar to campus, please contact Lindsay Barron, International Scholar Advisor, in the Office of International Affairs at 989-774-4308,