Inviting a J-1 Scholar to UCI

The information is for an academic department that wishes to invite an international  scholar to conduct research or teach at UCI. Below are the steps for inviting a new scholar to UCI. Please note all J-1 initial requests must be submitted to the International Center through inter-campus mail or hand delivery. The processing time for a new DS-2019 document is about 15 business days from the time a complete request is submitted to the International Center.

Step 1: Determine if the scholar is eligible for J-1 sponsorship by reviewing the listed titles below [Series; refers to the ranks or levels within the title series]:

  • Visiting Scholar
  • Visiting Graduate
  • Visiting Undergraduate
  • Visiting Professor Series
  • Visiting Professional Researcher Series
  • Visiting Project Scientist Series
  • Project Scientist Series
  • Specialist Series
  • Professional Research Series
  • Adjunct Professor Series
  • Lecturer
  • Junior Specialist [job description must require a minimum of a bachelors degree]
  • Postdoctoral Scholars
  • Staff Research Associate II, and above

Step 2: The UCI host department will attest to the English proficiency of the J-1 scholar using the English Language Proficiency Certification Form.The department may choose from one of the three options on the form in order to certify that the J-1 scholar is proficient in the English language. This form should then be included with the other forms listed in Steps 4 and 5 below.

Step 3: The UCI host department will prepare a Department Invitation or Offer Letter and send to the scholar. Once the letter has been sent to the scholar and the position has been accepted, a copy of the letter will be provided to the International Center together with the other forms listed in Steps 4 and 5 below. Per updated U.S. Department of State regulations, the letter should include (but is not limited to), the following details:

  1. Academic appointment title
  2. Dates of the appointment
  3. Department administrative contact person and contact information
  4. Job duties
  5. Number of working hours
  6. Wages and compensation (if none, please mention that no compensation will be offered)
  7. Insurance costs. Please mention whether or not the scholar will be offered health insurance benefits:
    • If UCI benefits, include a benefits guide, or employee cost chart, with offer letter and mention it as an enclosure or attachment to letter. Please note, CORE Benefits do not meet J-1 health insurance requirements.
    • If no UCI benefits, you may include, for example: “You will be required to obtain health insurance benefits that meet the minimum requirements of the J-1 program. Costs and instructions for enrolling in the UC Irvine Visiting Scholar Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan can be found on the UCI International Center website at
  8. Itemized list of all fees charged to scholar by department (if none, please mention that no fees will be charged to scholar)

Step 4: The prospective scholar must complete Form A, attach a copy of their passport biographical page, and send it to their host UCI department. If the scholar will be bringing dependents, a completed Dependent Request Form, with copies of each dependent’s passport biographical page, must also be sent with Form A.

Step 5: The UCI host department will complete Form B, AP-21, AP-PX1 or AP-VS1 [signed at department chair level], J-1 Physician's Form [if the scholar is a M.D.], Scholar Recharge Form, and send or drop-off a complete J packet to the International Center [Zot Code: 5255].

Step 6: A DS-2019 visa document will be issued and mailed to the new scholar. The scholar will take this document to apply for a J-1 visa stamp.

Step 7 [if applicable]: The host UCI department is required to inform the IC if the scholar cannot arrive by the start date listed on the DS-2019. The new start date must be reported in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System [SEVIS]. Failure to report this date may affect the scholar’s entry into the U.S. in J-1 status and participation in the J-1 Exchange Visitor program to do research/teach at UC Irvine.

Step 8: The scholar will need to complete New Scholar Check-In at the IC upon arrival to the U.S.


Travel Signature

Request Process


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International Center

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