J-1 Scholars


The J-1 is a non-immigrant status that allows academic institutions to bring international scholars and students to the US to participate in research, teaching and study in support of the objectives of public diplomacy and mutual educational and cultural exchange.

UW–Madison is approved by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to serve as a J-1 sponsor for international scholars and students to participate in research, teaching and degree programs at UW–Madison. International Student Services (ISS) at UW–Madison handles any student related J-1 programs. International Faculty & Staff Services (IFSS) handles all scholar and non-student related J-1 programs.

The J-1 scholar categories most prevalent at UW–Madison are Research Scholar, Professor, Short-term Scholar, Specialist, and Student. All decisions relating the employee’s J-1 program must be made by the department including choosing the category, the dates of the program, and the duties. Sponsors are required to “ensure that the activities in which exchange visitors are engaged are consistent with the category and activity listed on their Forms DS-2019.” 22 CFR § 62.10(d)(1)


The J-1 non-immigrant process is completed in-house by IFSS. IFSS has been granted the authority by the Department of State (DOS) to create the DS-2019, the J-1 immigration document. This process is a 3-way partnership between IFSS, the hiring department, and the scholar.

The hiring department is encouraged to contact IFSS with any questions about the J-1 process and to discuss procedures.

IFSS uses Terra Dotta System (TDS) for all J-1 requests. If you do not have TDS access, please contact your Dean’s office. The Dean’s office will find a TDS user in your hiring department who can help you or the Dean’s office will ask IFSS to grant you access if you meet the eligibility requirements.

All J-1s must meet UW–Madison’s financial requirements and English proficiency requirements.


UW-Madison’s application for J-1 internship (private sector) designation is moving toward a decision at U.S. Department of State. Until UW–Madison receives a decision on this application, campus units who wish to bring students without a bachelor’s degree to Madison should contact IFSS. IFSS is working with an external vendor to assist with sponsorship. The campus units are required to pay for the costs associated with sponsorship. UW–Madison intends to create internal supporting services for certain J-1 student intern applications in time for summer 2023 internships. The external vendor may still be needed in some cases. Please reach out to Jennifer Taylor if you have additional questions.