Obtaining a Visa

Application for DS-2019 Form

A DS-2019 Form or “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status” is a Department of State controlled document that allows exchange visitors to acquire a proper visa to study or do research in the U.S.  The Office of Global Affairs issues the DS-2019 on behalf of East Carolina University. The Office of Global Affairs issues the DS-2019 on behalf of East Carolina University. An Application for DS-2019 Form must be approved by the Department Chair and Dean. The form can be scanned to the Responsible Officer at the Office of Global Affairs. Other requirements are listed on the Inviting an International Scholar portion of this website.

English Proficiency Determination

The US Department of State requires that visiting scholars have “sufficient proficiency in the English language to participate in his or her program” and function within the community. More information on English language proficiency requirements can be found on ECU’s English Proficiency Certification Form.

If a personal interview is required, three individuals from the sponsoring department must participate. When completed, please print, sign, and return the form to the Office of Global Affairs.

Program Beginning Date

The letter of invitation should state the beginning and end date of visit. The Beginning Date should be a realistic arrival date and allow time for Office of Global Affairs processing, mailing, and receipt of package by the Visiting Scholar, and administrative processing time required by the Embassy to issue the visa.

The Visiting Scholar has a 30-day arrival window. The Visiting Scholar should not begin research at ECU until checking in at the Office of Global Affairs. If the visitor is delayed, does not, or will not show up within this 30-day arrival window, it is imperative to notify the OGA, J-1 Responsible Officer BEFORE the window has expired.

Program End Date

The Exit Window allows 30 days to pack, travel inside the U.S., and to make return travel arrangements. The Visiting Scholar must not be engaged in research on or off campus after the last date listed on the DS-2019 form.

The J-1 visa is extended for a period of one year only, or the funded period. Extension requests must be made prior to the Visiting Scholar’s End Date with sufficient time to process the extension. The program dates can only be changed prior to validation by the Office of Global Affairs.

DS-2019 Form

When all required documentation has been received and English Proficiency verified, the DS-2019 form will be created. The department will be notified to pick up the visa package from the Office of Global Affairs.

The department is responsible for mailing the DS-2019 visa package and the letter of invitation to the incoming Visiting Scholar. The Visiting Scholar will take the DS-2019 to the Consular Office to apply for the J-1 Visa.

The DS-2019 form is a controlled document. It must be mailed in a manner it can be tracked. Suggestions for mailing are: UPS, FedEx, and DHL.

Special notes

Visiting Scholars at ECU:

  • may audit classes, however, they are not allowed to take classes for credit.
  • are not allowed to perform duties that require patient contact unless it is incidental to their primary purpose of observing, consulting, teaching or researching.