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J-1 Visa Application Process


Information will be collected from the department and scholar, and a final approval will be required from the Department Chair.

The department will need to have the following electronic files ready to upload:

  • Letter of Invitation/Offer Letter which includes any funding details of any OHIO funds (if applicable) to prospective Scholar
  • English Proficiency Evidence (department is required to collect and evaluate this evidence)

The Scholar will need to have the following electronic files ready to upload:

  • Funding Information (if not fully funded by department)
  • Copy of passport for Scholar and any dependents

As of April 27, 2023, designated sponsors for the Exchange Visitor Program are permitted to digitally sign and electronically transmit the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (J-Nonimmigrant) (Form DS-2019). This means that ISSS will email the DS-2019 to the visiting scholar. 

When the international visitor receives the Form DS-2019, he or she will need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee of $220 (information included with the DS-2019) and apply for a J-1 visa to enter the US. 

Dependents do not need to pay a SEVIS fee but they do need to apply for J-2 visas. This may also take several weeks.

Arrival/Check in

The international visitor may enter the US up to 30 days prior to the start date on the DS-2019. The Exchange Visitor must report to ISSS within 3 business days of entering the US.

Important: if the visitor is not able to enter the US and report to ISSS during the window noted above, ISSS will need to issue an updated DS-2019 with a later start date. Please contact ISSS if this situation arises.

After arriving at Ohio University, the international visitor and the department host/contact must report the arrival to ISSS and schedule a new scholar orientation meeting. The international visitor must present their immigration documents including their passport, DS-2019, and I-94 when reporting their arrival. The orientation meeting will include information about maintaining immigration status, health insurance, and applying for a Social Security Number.

The department must notify ISSS when the visitor departs the university early or at the end of their program.

Departments: Request a J-1 Visa for a Scholar

To request immigration documents for an international visitor, the department must initiate the "J-1 Visitor Application" eform group in iCats

iCats is a software system that offers form submission and tracking through an online portal.

Access iCats

Requesting Departmental Access to iCats

Click here to expand full information

  • Go to the iCats webpage
  • Select Department and click Request Access
  • Enter all information in the ---Departmental Access Request Form--- and click Request Access at the bottom of the page.
Form View
  •  Once complete, you will see a pending review message and should receive a confirmation email. 
iCats review screen

Visiting Scholar Extension

Extension requests must be made in iCats

Once you have an account you can log in using your Ohio University ID and password. On the left side menu, select Departmental Services. You will see a request for "Extension of J-1 Exchange Visitor". Select that option to begin the process. Note that once you complete the department information the eform will be routed to the scholar. Once the scholar provides their information, you will be notified to route the eform to your department chair for final approval.