Impact of COVID-19 on Exchange Visitor Programs

Please review the ISSS Departments Sponsoring Scholar Exchange Visitors COVID-19 webpage and read this Important Update Concerning New Exchange Visitor DS-2019 Start Sates prior to requesting a DS-2019 for a new scholar exchange visitor program.

Exchange Visitor Program Overview

The  Exchange Visitor Program is intended to foster international exchange, understanding, and collaboration. Exchange visitor program regulations require program sponsors to:

  • Verify and document that the prospective exchange visitor has sufficient English proficiency to function independently both on and off campus.
  • Verify and document that the prospective exchange visitor has sufficient funding for the program
  • Monitor compliance with the exchange visitor insurance requirement
  • Provide cross-cultural activities

    "to give their exchange visitors the broadest exposure to American society, culture, and institutions; and encourage exchange visitors to participate voluntarily in activities that are for the purpose of sharing the language, culture, or history of their home country with Americans, provided such activities do not delay the completion of the exchange visitor’s program" [22 CFR §62.8 (d)].  

Any international scholar for whom the university undertakes visa sponsorship must have some sort of CU Boulder affiliation. This does not mean that the visitor must be on the payroll of the university. Scholars may receive funding from various sources including: the home government, a U.S. government agency, an employer, and/or other sources.

Scholar Exchange Visitor Categories

Category Minimum Participation Maximum Participation Acceptable Activities Special Requirements / Restrictions
Research Scholar / Professor 3 weeks 5 years Teaching, lecturing, observing, consulting and conducting research Bachelor's degree required. No tenure track positions.
Short-Term Scholar 1 day 6 months Lecturing, observing, consulting, training, demonstrating special skills. Bachelor's degree expected.
Specialist 3 weeks 1 year Observing, consulting, demonstrating special knowledge or skills. Sharing expertise. Cannot be filling a permanent or long-term position.
Student Intern 3 weeks 1 year Full-fill educational objectives for degree program in home country. DS-7002 Internship Plan.

Internship position. Good academic standing. Must return home to finish degree.

Department must submit the Exchange Visitor Student Intern Request

Scholar Exchange Visitor Request Process

Sponsoring department/ research institute and/or the inviting faculty member is required to confirm the prospective scholar has the appropriate credentials for the position and exchange visitor category and to initiate the DS-2019 request process.

Complete DS-2019 request paperwork for a new exchange visitor program must be submitted to ISSS at least 2-6 months in advance of the desired program start date.

Office of Export Controls Review

  • All requests to sponsor an exchange visitor for a J-1 visa must be reviewed for export control concerns before ISSS can begin processing the application. As this review can take 1-2 weeks, departments and research institutes requesting to sponsor an exchange vsitor are encouraged to submit applications as early as possible.

The Office of Export Controls (OEC) will assess whether any research activities the Exchange Visitor will be participating in will require obtaining an export license from the U.S. government or implementing other export control measures prior to the visitor engaging in the research. To expedite this process, if the visitor will be participating in sponsored research projects, please be sure to include the project information requested on the DS-2019 Request.

Scholar Exchange Visitor Request Considerations, Timeline & Checklist

  • Please ensure that the speed type for the processing fee is not a Fund 30, 31, 35, 50, 71, 72, 73,74, 78, 80, or 99

Scholar Exchange Visitor DS-2019 Request Form