Scholar Immigration

Scholars Pre-Arrival Guide

J-1 Exchange Visitor Program Overview 
The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is a Federal program administered by the Department of State which implements the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961. This Act promotes mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange. The Exchange Visitor Program provides eligible foreign nationals with opportunities to participate in exchange programs within the United States and then return home to share their experiences.

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is organized into a number of different categories. OGE at UNCP has been designated to sponsor the following categories: student, student intern, professor, research scholar and short-term scholar. OGE has trained officers who can help you understand applicable federal, state and university regulations and policies.

It is important to remember that the Exchange Visitor Program at UNCP is not a means of working in the US, but is intended to further the educational, cultural, and research interests of the foreign student or scholar as much as the needs of the faculty sponsor, grant program, or University.


  • In accepting a J-1 visa and entering the U.S., you obligate yourself to comply with the terms and conditions pursuant to this status and as stated on page 2 of your DS-2019 form. Please read your DS-2019 carefully.
  • Read and understand your Rights & Responsibilities. You will need to complete the Rights & Responsibilities at orientation and sign it for your scholar file.
  • The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is “category” specific. You are entering the U.S. in the Student category. You are not eligible to change the purpose of your visit or your category once you have entered the U.S. This category does not have a time limit. However, you must make progress in your program, be enroll full-time each academic semester, and maintain your status.
  • You may be subject to the 2 year home residency requirement. Whether or not you’re subject is determined at the U.S. Consulate/Embassy. For more information about the 2 year residency requirement, please visit this website
  • Family members who accompany you in J-2 status are automatically subject to any rule you, the J-1 principal, are subject to. Family members can apply for J-2 status if they are your lawful spouse or children (unmarried and under the age of 21).

Exchange Visitor Program Information

As a J-1 Scholar you are entitled to information from the Exchange Visitor Program so that you are well-informed of your rights and responsibilities. You will find this information in your information packet but you can also find it below.

Click HERE for more information about the immigration process.

Click HERE for a glossary of key immigration terms.