Visiting Scholar Applicants

Thank you for your interest in participating as a J-1 visiting scholar!

Academic departments must request the creation of all DS-2019s for visiting scholars.

Please contact the academic department of your field of major if interested.

Once your academic department has initiated a request you will be invited to the ISSS Gateway Portal.

The Biographical Details and Section 212(e) Certification Form is the first step in the application process, as information on this form will allow you to complete the other required documents. Most Visiting scholars are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program to share their exchange experiences as per the Home Country Physical Presence Requirement under U.S. law.

If the scholar is subject to the 2-year foreign residence requirement of INA 212(e), their accompanying spouse or child will also be subject to that requirement. Before arriving in the U.S., the scholar is required to complete the Section 212(e) Certification form. The purpose of this form is to determine if the scholar is or is not subject to the two-year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement. This requirement must be communicated to the visiting scholar.

Your DS-2019 should be marked if this requirement applies and it will be listed on your J-1 Visa itself. Please email or schedule an appointment with your international advisor to discuss this requirement of your status. 

For DS-2019 creation, financial documentation must be provided to demonstrate that the J1 visa holder will have sufficient funds and resources for the duration of their program. The department of state regulates that this be demonstrated by showing a minimum of $1,200 per month for the Exchange Visitor (scholar or student). $3,000 per year for a spouse, and $1,500 per year per child. In general, we recommend that $4,000 in resources be shown for each dependent per year.

For each dependent added, proof of relationship is required. Meaning, for spouses the marriage certificate (translated into English) and for children the birth certificate (also translated into English). A copy of each passport is needed to verify biographical information. J-2 dependents will also require insurance coverage for the duration they are participating in the J-1 visitors program. This requirement will be added when the dependents are added to their SEVIS record.

Each visiting scholar must provide a copy of his or her résumé/C.V. Your academic department is responsible for reviewing/certifying your credentials. Your program must be suitable to your background and subject of your field of expertise. 

The US Department of State requires that “sufficient proficiency in English, as determined by an objective measurement” be presented for a J1 visa holder to successfully participate in their program. Documentation of an English Language Test, Verification of a Recognized Accredited Institution, or a documented interview by the host department is required for DS-2019 processing.

As a J1 visa holder, insurance is mandatory. The Department of State has designated specific requirements for insurance coverage. To learn about this requirement and to ensure compliance, please contact and review this information from Student Health Services on their website at

The prospective visiting scholar will be instructed to take the DS-2019, proof of financial support, and other documents to the visa interview. Information on the visa application process.

Before the prospective visiting scholar goes to the visa interview at the U.S. Consulate, he or she must pay a SEVIS I-901 fee. The fee must be processed by the Department of Homeland Security at least three business days before the counselor interview.

DOS is charged with reviewing all requests for visiting scholar visas. Most visa applications for study/research in the following fields are subject to a review process that can add 30-90 days to the application process. Please keep visa processing times in mind when determining program begin and end dates.

Before you travel to the United States be sure to bring your passport, visa, and DS-2019 with you. Do not put these items in your checked baggage. It is a good idea to make a digital copy of these documents and leave them with your family before you depart. The Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will review your documents and compare them to your SEVIS record. If the CBP office cannot verify your information, or you do not have all the required documents, you will be moved to a secondary inspection phase. Be sure to bring all documents to prevent secondary inspection as you might be turned away and forced to leave the US.

It is best to fly to Lamber-St. Louis International Airport (Airport Code: STL). Please be sure to check all travel regulations as to what you can and cannot carry onto the plane with you. Allow for plenty of time to get through customs and inspection and arrive on time. Rolla weather can be unpredictable depending on the time of the year. Please be sure to pack for both cold and warm weather. Extreme cold and extreme heat can occur during seasonal changes.

Contact your academic department to assist in making travel plans from St. Louis to Rolla. St. Louis is approximately 110 miles from Rolla. If you are unable to arrange travel arrangements, we recommend traveling with the Van Shuttle Service with USA Express Shuttle Services or if they are unavailable you can likely request services from a third party such as Uber.

USA Express offers their services through reservation only and they are required 48 hours in advance. Additional fees may apply for late reservations. Please visit their website for pricing and scheduling: (

Unexpected traveling expenses may occur. Be sure to plan for additional budgeting for unexpected costs such as flight delays or issues in finding proper transportation or housing. Please inform your academic department contact of your plans and keep them informed so that MST can assist as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

Current Regulations – The Exchange Visitor Program regulations are located in the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, (22 CFR, Part 62) and can be found at the following website.

First step

As a visiting scholar applicant, the first step in the DS-2019 application process is to complete the form, Bio Details/Sect 212 Form, and submit it to the inviting academic department.


Please read about the insurance information requirement that you must fulfill upon arrival in the United States.

Additional Information

For additional information about the J-1 exchange visitor program, please refer to the following Department of State (DOS) common questions page.