J-1 Exchange Visitor Scholars

We are so pleased you are preparing to bring a J-1 Exchange Visitor to the University of Notre Dame! We have provided instructions below for:

The Department of State Exchange Visitor Program allows for the exchange of research scholars and professors and promotes the exchange of ideas, research, mutual enrichment and linkages between research and academic institutions in the United States and foreign countries.  There are multiple categories of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa, and the category is determined by the visitor’s education level, length of stay and activities on campus. More information about these different J-1 categories can be found here

New Scholar Appointments


Determine if this appointment will go through The Office of Postdoctoral Affairs or The Office of the Provost. All faculty appointments go through the Provost; all postdoc and non-faculty appointments go through the Postdoc office. If your scholar does not seem to fit these categories, please call Human Resources for assistance. 

For appointments through The Office of the Provost, contact them for instructions on meeting the following requirements:

  • a completed background check through the Office of the Provost
  • a record of hire in Banner and an assigned NDid number, which will be confirmed by the Office of the Provost in an email to the appropriate Dean’s Office

For appointments through the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, submit the following documentation to Diana Dickson in the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (ddickson@nd.edu):

  • Scholar’s CV/resume in English
  • Scholar’s home address (if not on CV/resume)
  • Copy of scholar’s passport
  • Request for Appointment Form (postdocs.nd.edu)

In order to begin the J-1 Application for a New Exchange Visitor, an NDid number is required for the J-1 Scholar. To have an NDid number, all requirements listed in Steps 1 & 2 must be met. The appropriate office will provide the NDid number when the appointment process is completed. The Banner record and NDid may not be accessible in ISSAlink until the day after the NDid is assigned, but if it is not available within 24 hours, call ISSA for assistance.  

Special Note regarding Hire Dates: J-1 visa regulations require scholars and their dependents to carry health insurance for the duration of their program. If your scholar will receive university benefits, please consider the following:

  • If the hire date is the 1st of a month, benefits are effective on the day of hire.
  • If the hire date is after the 1st of a month, the scholar will be required to pay full insurance premiums until the 1st of the following month. Alternately, the scholar may purchase a short policy from another insurer to bridge the gap until university benefits begin.

Complete and submit the Immigration Request Form. If it is determined that a J-1 visa is appropriate, departments will work with ISSA and either the Provost's or the Postdoc's office to follow the steps below. Please wait for determination from the ISSA office before moving to the next step. You will be contacted within 3 business days regarding follow-up questions or with a recommendation and next steps.


Complete the Confirmation for J-1 Exchange Visitor’s English Proficiency Form (fillable form).

Federal visa regulations (Federal Regulations section 22 § 62.10 (a)(2)) require that an assessment of the Exchange Visitor’s English language proficiency be obtained by the program sponsor (University of Notre Dame) to confirm that the J-1 Exchange Visitor possesses “sufficient proficiency in the English language, as determined by an objective measure of English language proficiency, to successfully participate in his or her program and to function on a day-to-day basis.”

This requirement can be met in one of three ways: 1) By interview; 2) With a TOEFL or other recognized English test; or 3) By written verification from an English instructor/program.

Language Test or Interview Exceptions:

  • Native English speakers from countries where English is the only official language
  • Non-native English speakers who have received at least 80% of instruction in English at an institution in home country or abroad
  • Non-native English speakers who have completed two consecutive years of full-time high school or university study in the U.S. or other country where English is the only official language
  • Non-native English speakers who have a minimum of one year of full-time employment in the U.S. or other country where English is the only official language

Once completed, this form must be uploaded to the Department Information section of the Exchange Visitor’s application on ISSAlink.nd.edu, as noted in Step 4.


You are now ready to request the DS-2019. Go to ISSAlink to provide access to the J-1 Applicant Information form to the scholar and complete the Department Information form. Screenshot instructions can be found here

To complete Step 4, you will need digital copies (only PDF, JPG, BMP, or PNG formats accepted) of the signed appointment letter to upload for the Department Information form.  

*If this is an appointment through the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs, Diana Dickson will have to approve and upload the signed appointment letter.

You will need to inform the scholar that she or he will need digital copies (only PDF, JPG, BMP, or PNG formats accepted) of the following documents to upload for the J-1 Applicant Information form:

  • scholar’s ID page in passport
  • all dependents’ (spouse and children under 21) ID pages in passports
  • proof of funding if ND is not paying the scholar (funding requirements and acceptable types of funding can be found here)
  • any previous DS-2019’s, especially if the scholar is transferring from another program or school

If you need assistance, contact us at issa@nd.edu or 1-5243.


Once both ISSAlink application forms have been completed and submitted, ISSA will confirm receipt and process the Form DS-2019 within five business days.


Review DS-2019. ISSA will issue an electronic copy of the DS-2019 to the scholar and department; please review for accuracy.


Confirm scholar attended ISSA's Scholar Welcome Session. ISSA reviews essential information about the J-1 Scholar's status and responsibilities while in the U.S. The scholar will complete the J-1 Validation process upon arrival to the ND area, but this session helps ensure their ongoing compliance.

Program Extensions (Reappointments) and Changes

Go to ISSAlink to complete the Scholar Program Extension or Change form, which can be found on the left under Departmental Services. In order to complete the Program Extension or Change form, you must have digital copies (only PDF, JPG, BMP, or PNG formats accepted) of the following documents to upload:   

  • Upload a copy of the reappointment letter
  • Upload proof of funding, if ND is not paying the scholar 

ISSA will confirm receipt of these documents and process the Form DS-2019 within five working days. When the DS-2019 packet is ready, ISSA will send an email to the department contact who completed the Program Extension Request, letting him or her know it is ready to be picked up at Notre Dame International in 105 Main Building.

Late Arrivals or Early Terminations

Go to ISSAlink to complete the Scholar Late Arrival or Scholar Early Termination form. 

Department Responsibilities:

  • Contact the Office of the Provost or Office of Postdoctoral Affairs to complete the appointment process.
  • Verify the scholar has the necessary background and sufficient English language skills for the activities they will be performing on campus prior to the scholar's arrival.
  • Provide access to the scholar to ISSAlink’s J-1 Applicant Information form.
  • Complete the ISSAlink Department Information form.
  • Organize logistics regarding the arrival of the scholar, arranging housing and providing other information as necessary. 
  • Confirm the scholar attended a Scholar Welcome Session and completed J-1 validation.
  • Report scholar updates, including extension requests, changed program dates, late arrivals, and early terminations in a timely fashion. Updates can be reported via ISSAlink and email