Office of Global Engagement

Telephone: 706-542-2900

Click here for our recently updated FAQ Regarding Immigration Status and Services at UGA

Please note: In order to best serve our students and scholars during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Immigration Services will continue to mail documents through fall semester to reduce in-person office visits. See here for more information.

Departments that offer invitations/employment to internationals will need to request that Immigration Services issue any necessary immigration documents the scholar will require for obtaining a visa to enter the U.S., or for obtaining the correct legal status to allow employment at UGA.

In general, the type of activity and purpose of the visit will determine what type of visa will be required. The decision about the type of visa is primarily the responsibility of the department and Immigration Services.

Immigration Services Sponsorship Policies

  • Eligibility +

    J-1 Exchange Visitor scholar or professor sponsorship is limited to non-tenure track, and non-permanent positions requiring advanced degrees. Exchange Visitor sponsorship requires the person to hold at least one advanced post-Baccalaureate degree, or to be an active candidate for a PhD degree.

    Scholars must be able to show funding sufficient to pay all living expenses for the period of stay.  Minimum funding for J-1 scholars/student-interns

  • Important Points about the Exchange Visitor Sponsorship Request +
    • Your scholar must plan to enter the U.S. *before* the start date listed on the DS-2019 form. If he or she cannot enter by this date, you must inform our office so we may amend the start date. If your scholar tries to enter the U.S. after the listed start date, he or she could be denied entry to the U.S.
    • You must ensure that your scholar completes online immigration check in upon arrival on campus. If he or she fails to complete this check in, we will be required to terminate the immigration record, and the scholar will lose legal status in the U.S.
    • The U.S. State department requires that Exchange Visitors prove a certain level of English ability in order to receive a J-1 sponsorship from UGA.
  • Sponsorship Process +

    Requesting Visa Sponsorship

    Please see this link for the complete J-1 Sponsorship Process.

    STEP 1- Not Hired by UGA

    The Office of Research and the Office of Global Engagement (OGE) have implemented VRS hosting procedures for Visiting Researchers unpaid by UGA. Complete a VRS questionnaire. Questions about hosting a VRS can be directed to


    STEP 1- Hired by UGA

    All incoming J-1 Scholars hired by the University of Georgia will be processed through UGA Jobs. After someone’s hiring proposal has been approved, departments will use ID Manager and search by the scholar’s name to get his/her UGA ID number.

    STEP 2

    File an online request for J-1 visa sponsorship in the office’s Compass portal

    Please see the Compass Departmental User Guide, which explains how to request access and submit visa sponsorship requests. 

  • Visa Sponsorship Time-frame +

    Processing times for J-1 initial processing with consular visa application: 1 to 3 months.
    IS advisors will do their best to expedite as needed. We appreciate your patience with delays beyond our control. Processing timeframes for transfers of J status from another U.S. institution can take 1 to 4 weeks.

  • English Assessment for Exchange Visitors +

    To ensure UGA’s compliance with United States Department of State regulations, English language proficiency for scholars seeking J-1 visas and whose applications are received on or after September 15, 2017, must be documented in one of the following three ways.

    1. Test Score
    2. Documentation from a Previous Institution
    3. Interview

    Immigration Services’ full policy for English Assessment

  • Health Insurance Information for Visiting Scholars +

    Click this link for up-to-date information about the federal requirements regarding health insurance for J-1 visa holders: J-1 Health Insurance Information

  • Additional Information +
  • Current Student Interns +

    The U.S. Department of State allows students who are enrolled in degree programs at home universities (in other countries) to be sponsored for an intern position, for up to 12 months duration, in the U.S.