Exchange Visitors

Overview: J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa Program

The Exchange Visitor (J-1) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work- and study-based exchange visitor programs. The purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program is to promote global understanding through cultural and educational exchanges. Participants in the Exchange Visitor Program are expected to return to their home countries after they have completed their programs to share their exchange experiences. UMKC welcomes exchange visitors from around the world and is committed to enriching their professional development and academic goals.

For more information visit the U.S. Department of State Resources:


Form DS-2019 is a “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status”. When you have been offered acceptance into an exchange program at UMKC, an immigration advisor in the International Student Affairs Office will issue a DS-2019. Upon receipt of the DS-2019 you can begin the application process for the J-1 visa and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence.

Difference between Scholars and Students

There are a variety of academic and professional experiences for exchange visitors. If you are unsure whether you are considered a scholar or a student, please reference the chart below for examples.

J-1 Short-Term ScholarShort-term scholars are limited to stay a maximum of 6 months. There are no extensions possible. Short-term scholars come to the U.S. for a short-term visit to lecture, observe, consult, train, and/or demonstrate special skills.SCHOLAR
J-1 ProfessorA J-1 Professor cannot be tenure-track and is considered to be a temporary employee. The primary purpose of J-1 Professors is to teach, leacture, observe, consult, and conduct research if permitted by the program sponsor.SCHOLAR
J-1 Research ScholarResearch scholars primarily conduct research, observe, consult, and may also teach or lecture if permitted by the program sponsor. Like J-1 Professors, J-1 Research Scholars have to stay in the U.S. for a minimum of 3 weeks, but can stay up to 5 years.SCHOLAR
J-1 Student InternA J-1 Student Intern is limited to a maximum stay of 12 months. UMKC will only host international students who are currently enrolled and pursuing a degree at a postsecondary academic institution outside the United States. J-1 Student Interns may not fill a permanent or long-term position of employment in the U.S.SCHOLAR
J-1 StudentUMKC is designated to host international students at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. The 12-month bar applies to J-1 Students who wish to return in J-1 Professor/Research Scholar category.STUDENT