International Studies & Programs

Home > Visa and Immigration > MSU Departments > Hosting J-1 Scholars

Hosting J-1 Scholars

If your academic unit is interested in hosting a visiting scholar on a J-1 visa, you will need to request a DS-2019 form through OISS. The scholar will need the DS-2019 form to apply for a J-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad or to change status to J-1 from within the U.S. The request for a DS-2019 must be submitted to OISS at least 8 weeks prior to start date of the scholar’s program at MSU.

DS-2019 Request Process

Step 1: Determine J-1 category

There are three J-1 scholar categories.

Professor: A foreign national whose primary purpose is teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting. Also may conduct research. Programs can last up to 5 years.
Research Scholar: A foreign national whose primary purpose is conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project. Also they may teach or lecture. Programs can last up to 5 years.
Short-Term Scholar: A foreign national who is a professor, research scholar, or person with similar education or accomplishments who enters the United States for a short-term visit for lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills. Maximum length of program is 6 months.
Choose the category that matches the nature and the length of your scholar’s visit. Contact the OISS J-1 Team if you need assistance or email your questions to oiss(at)  

Step 2: Have the prospective scholar send you their information

The scholar must complete and send you the J-1 Scholar Electronic Request Questionnaire (PDF). You will need the responses from the form to complete the DS-2019 request.

The scholar must send you the following documents in .pdf, .jpg, or.doc format:

Step 3: Write an invitation letter using our template

Step 4: Submit Export Control Worksheet (ECW)

Submit the Export Control Worksheet (ECW) to the MSU Office of Export Controls & Trade Sanctions (OECTS).
OISS cannot issue a DS-2019 until after OECTS approves the ECW.

Step 5: Submit DS-2019 request to OISS

OISS will review the request within 10-15 business days.
If the prospective visitor has been a scholar at MSU in the past, please submit the J-1 DS-2019 Scholar Request for Repeat Visitors (PDF)
If this is the scholar's first visit to MSU, please submit a J-1 Scholar Web Application.

Step 6: Mail DS-2019 to prospective scholar

When the DS-2019 is ready to be picked up by your department, you will receive an email from jvisas(at) The packet will contain of two sets of documents - one for the scholar including their DS-2019 and another for your department.
Applicants must present the original DS-2019 form at a U.S. Consulate when applying for a J-1 visa.
Do not email, fax, or electronically share the DS-2019 with the scholar. Immigration regulations prohibit electronically sharing DS-2019s with anyone, including OISS, the scholar, you, and your department.