Hosting an Exchange Visitor

This information is intended for Florida Tech departments wanting to invite individuals in J-1 status. NOTE: ISSS works directly with the Florida Tech Department, not the applicant.

Hosting an Exchange Visitor (J-1 visa holder) in your department for the purpose of teaching and/or research makes you a participant in the Exchange Visitor Program at Florida Tech. Activities in the Exchange Program may be designed to mutually meet the needs of the Exchange Visitor and the host. However, it is important that the Exchange Visitor meet eligibility requirements to participate in the program based on the selected category that fits the program objective. If you are not sure that the Exchange Visitor Program is right for your program's objective or for your visitor, you should contact the ISSS Office and speak with the coordinator of the Exchange Visitor Program.

Definition of an Exchange Visitor

The Exchange Visitor is under the sponsorship of an agency, institution, or organization that has been approved by the US Department of State. "An exchange visitor is a foreign national selected by a sponsor to participate in an exchange program, and is issued a J-1 visa. An accompanying spouse and any unmarried children under 21 years of age may apply for J-2 visas, with the permission of the sponsor." [excerpt from the Exchange Visitor Program Welcome Brochure, US Department of State].

In our desire to serve you more efficiently and effectively, we are clarifying the steps in the processing of J Exchange Visitor applications. In the past, we have experienced communication breakdowns and significant interruptions in the processing of the J Exchange Visitor applications due to multiple inquiries coming from the parties involved. This has created potential confusion, drawbacks, delays, and bottlenecks in our business processes. The following clarifications will help explain the process:

  1. Potential visitor contacts department to work out logistics of exchange
  2. Department extends invitation outlining expectations, funding, etc.
  3. Potential visitor accepts/declines invitation
  4. DS-2019 request packet is processed by department & visitor; completed packet is submitted to ISSS with all required documentation
  5. ISSS issues DS-2019 and returns it to department
  6. Department mails DS-2019 to visitor (suggest using FedEx for tracking purposes)
  7. Exchange Visitor receives packet; pays SEVIS fee; applies for visa
  8. Exchange Visitor enters US; arrives on campus; report to ISSS Office to check in

Keep in mind that negotiating exchanges, appointments and handling immigration matters can be a time consuming process. It is very important that departments not issue letters of offer or invitation to international scholars before confirming with the Office of International Students and Scholar Services that intended activities are appropriate for the immigration status sought. PLEASE START THE PROCESS EARLY!! Florida Tech Departments should submit completed requests for Exchange Visitors to the ISSS Office at least 8-12 weeks before the intended program start date. If you have further questions, please contact the Office of International Students and Scholars (321-674-8053).

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