The J-1 Exchange Visitor visa allows academic institutions and other educational exchange programs to sponsor international scholars to participate in educational and cultural programs in the United States.


Middlebury College and Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (Middlebury/MIIS) have been approved by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to serve as the visa sponsor for international visitors to participate in teaching, research and degree programs at Middlebury/MIIS and its affiliates. The J-1 visa program is managed by a shared database called SEVIS.

To be eligible for the J-1 visa an individual must meet the following criteria:

  • Must have a temporary academic appointment that meets one of the categories listed below
  • Must have adequate financial support for all living expenses, including additional financial support for accompanying spouse and children either from Middlebury/MIIS or any other sources.
  • Must meet or exceed the established English Language Proficiency requirement. To learn more about the English Language Proficiency requirement, please click here.
  • Must maintain health insurance which covers for sicknesses or accidents during the period of time when they are in J status for themselves and any accompanying spouse and children. Failure to maintain health insurance coverage may jeopardize a J visa holder’s status.

You can find more detailed information regarding health insurance here.


J-1 Professor (Middlebury College and MIIS) or J-1 Research Scholar (MIIS only)

J-1 visa holders in the Research Scholar or Professor category may remain in the United States for up to five years on the J-1 visa. There are some restrictions to this category. Research scholars and/or professors who complete their J-1 programs and leave the United States are not eligible to return as J-1 visa holders in the Research Scholar or Professor Category for 24 months.

Paid employment for J-1 research scholars or professors is permitted only if it is described on the Form DS-2019 issued to the J-1 visa holder. In most cases, it is not possible for a J-1 visa holder to accept paid employment outside of Middlebury/MIIS. However, there are occasional exceptions. Please consult the ISSS for more information regarding the possibility of employment outside Middlebury/MIIS.

NOTE: Middlebury is approved for the Professor category.  MIIS is approved for both the Professor and Research Scholar categories.

J-1 Short Term Scholar

A professor, research scholar, specialist, or a person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the United States on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special may remain in the United States for up to six months. No extensions are permitted beyond six months. Access to Middlebury/MIIS facilities may be limited. Check with the hosting department for details. Paid employment for J-1 short-term scholars is permitted only if it is described on the Form DS-2019 issued to the J-1 visa holder.

NOTE: Middlebury and MIIS are both approved for this category.

Application Process

ISSS is notified that a person has either been hired or granted an unpaid temporary research position and given a copy of the contract/offer letter.  Then ISSS will contact the prospective employee to obtain the necessary information and documentation.  The prospective J-1 Exchange Visitor must follow the instructions provided.  ISSS also will work with the hosting department to obtain additional internal information that is needed

When ISSS has all the required information we will create the Certificate of Eligibility for J-1 Exchange Visitor (DS-2019) and mail it with supporting documentation to you.  You will then apply for the J-1 Visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Last updated 05/23/2023 by Kas

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