Invite an International Visitor

UNC Charlotte welcomes international faculty and scholars to teach, conduct research, and collaborate with colleagues on its campus. During an academic year, UNC Charlotte hosts approximately 125 faculty and scholars from more than 25 different countries.


The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State. Its purpose is for temporary educational and cultural exchanges and collaboration rather than long term employment. Exchange visitors are expected to return to their home countries at the end of their participation in the program to share their experience. Participants in the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program include visitors coming to teach, do research, observe, consult, or demonstrate specialized knowledge or skill.

Benefits to the University include several aspects of educational enrichment and contribute to the internationalization of the University as:

  • Participants collaborate on special research projects, teach a semester at a college or university, or lecture, consult or observe in a variety of settings in education and research in the United States.
  • Participants experience an interchange of knowledge and skills among foreign and American specialists who are defined as experts in a field of specialized knowledge.
  • Scholars facilitate the exchange of ideas and research in a variety of fields between people of the United States and people of other countries.

J-1 exchange visitors at UNC Charlotte can range from a post-doc researcher, a professor or researcher on sabbatical at UNC Charlotte, a scientific collaborator, a guest lecturer, or a professor or researcher at UNC Charlotte for up to 5 years. J-1 exchange visitors may be paid by UNC Charlotte when such activities are part of his/her program. Tenure-track appointments are not eligible for J-1 status.

The US Department of State has approved UNC Charlotte to provide J-1 programs in the following categories: Researcher, Professor, Short Term Scholar, Specialist, and Student Intern. Each category has specific requirements. To initiate a UNC Charlotte sponsorship request for a J-1 exchange visitor, you must be a department administrator or faculty member and login to the ISSO Scholar Portal (see login instructions below). The ISSO staff will review the request and contact you if additional information is required.


Program length runs from a minimum of 3 weeks to the maximum period allowed for a specific program classification as follows:

  • Research Scholar: 5 years
  • Professor: 5 years
  • Short Term Scholar: 6 months
  • Student Intern: 1 year
  • Specialist: 1 year

Please allow 3 months between ISSO’s receipt of the completed application and your exchange visitor’s program start date. While ISSO takes only 5 business days to issue the DS-2019s, exchange visitors need time to schedule their visa interviews and for the U.S. Consulate abroad to issue the visa stamp.

  • The sponsoring department is responsible for providing the following documentation via the ISSO Scholar Portal (note: please work through your Business Service Coordinator to request access if needed – see J-1 Application Procedures below);
  • Completing and emailing the Export Control Form to (DO NOT upload this form to the ISSO Scholar Portal)
  • Submitting a Banner record and Sponsored Guest Account (if unpaid);
  • Providing cultural and professional exchange opportunities for the exchange visitor;
  • Arranging for campus privileges (such as use of the library, computing, parking, etc.) These benefits can be extended to exchange visitors who will not be paid by UNC Charlotte by offering the them a courtesy or affiliate faculty appointment;
  • Notifying ISSO of changes to program start/end dates.

Per federal regulations, ALL J-1 visa holders and their J-2 dependents MUST have medical insurance for the period of their appointment, starting on the day of arrival. Failure to maintain health insurance is a serious violation of the Exchange Visitor Program regulations and will result in the cancellation of your program.

The insurance coverage must meet the minimums set by the Department of State as follows:

  • $100,000 per accident or illness
  • Medical evacuation of $50,000
  • Repatriation of remains of $25,000
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness

The insurance policy must be underwritten by an insurance corporation with an A.M. Best rating of “A-” or above; an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of “A-1” or above a Standard and Poor’s Claims Paying Ability rating of “A-” or above; “A-“or above by Fitch Ratings, Inc.; “A3” or above by Moody’s Investor Services; or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above. Alternatively, the sponsor (UNCC) may ascertain that the EV’s policy is backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the EV’s home country.

For UNC Charlotte appointments eligible for University sponsored health insurance (post-docs and full-time appointments only), your coverage will not begin until the month following your arrival or program start date, whichever is later. Therefore, you are still required to purchase coverage effective on your date of entry into the U.S.

Below are several links to U.S. health insurance companies offering plans that meet the new J-1 requirements

Click here for additional health insurance information.


To initiate a UNC Charlotte request for a J-1 Exchange Visitor, you must be a department administrator or faculty member and login to the ISSO Scholar Portal (see login instructions below).

The responsibilities of the Academic Department, the International Student/Scholar Office, and the Exchange Visitor are detailed below:

The Academic Department (inviting a faculty/scholar exchange visitor):

  1. Identifies a current faculty to be the visitor’s liaison and extends an invitation as either a paid visitor or as an adjunct visitor, if no University payments are going to be made; Invitations cannot be extended to individuals for tenure-track appointments.
  2. Provides written verification of financial resources via:
    • UNC Charlotte appointment letter
    • Guarantee from another source (government, insitution, personal)
      • Minimum monthly suppport (current as of 12/2022 and subject to change):
      • $1700 – for scholar
      • $700 – for spouse
      • $400 – for child
  3. Makes arrangements for office/research space for the visitor and housing:
    • Initiates the export control process directly with the Office of Research Protections and Integrity
    • Assesses the scholar’s English language skills to perform job duties and navigate daily functions
    • Provide a copy of the finalized contract (if applicable to position)
    • University apartments are sometimes available for visitors who come without family. To request a housing reservation, complete the Guest Housing Reservation Form.
  4. Upon visitor’s arrival, assists with mandatory check-in at ISSO and orientation to the University;
  5. Initiates all requests for extensions of a J-1 program via the ISSO Scholar Portal (see login instructions below). These must be approved by the ISSO and will be evidenced by and updated DS-2019.
  6. Ensures that a UNC Charlotte Sponsored Guest Account (ID # and email) has been created prior to the exchange visitor’s intended arrival date. This information will be required on the ARRIVAL NOTIFICATION FORM in the ISSO Scholar Portal.

The International Student and Scholar Office:

  1. Reviews the Sponsorship Request in ISSO Scholar Portal