African dancers
Flags from different countries
People talking at the Festival of Cultures

Application Process: Faculty/Research Scholars

  1. The Community College Department or faculty member decides to invite an international faculty, professor, researcher, or expert to engage in research, teaching, observation or other academic activity at the Community College for duration of 1 week to 5 years.
    1. The department is expected to verify that the exchange visitor’s academic credentials are appropriate to the proposed program objectives and agrees to supervise the activity during the exchange visitor’s stay.  
    2. The department should arrange for office space and access to office equipment (computer, phone, etc), as deemed appropriate to the proposed activity.
  2. Department works with international visitor to complete the Exchange Visitor Request Form 3- 6 months prior to the planned start date to ensure that the exchange visitor will have adequate time to apply for the visa and arrange travel.
    1. The completed form is submitted to International Office with the following support materials:
      1. Copies of current passport biographical page for scholar and any accompanying dependents.
      2. Financial support – bank statements, funding letters or proof of College funding. (Link to Financial Support Form)
  3. International Office will issue a DS-2019 within 5 business days of receiving the complete Exchange Visitor Request Form.
  4. The department will be notified when the DS2019 is ready in order to pick it up to send to the scholar express mail.
  5. Getting the J-1 VISA

The exchange visitor pays the SEVIS fee (I-901) at and applies for the J-1 visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. If the Consular Office determines that the person is a bona fide exchange visitor, the J-1 visa will be granted and the exchange visitor and dependents may enter the US up to thirty days before the start date on the DS-2019.

  1. Arrival Procedures
    1. Once the exchange visitor arrives, he/she must check in with International Office as soon as possible, not no later than within 10 days of start date on DS-2019 form. Failure to do so will jeopardize the individual’s legal status in the US.
    2. During check-in/orientation, the International Office will provide the exchange visitor with basic information about the College, Knoxville Area, and immigration regulations.  
      1. If the exchange visitors will be employed by the department, they will receive a Social Security letter and instructions on applying for the SSN.
        1. The Social Security Office will only accept applications 10 days from the arrival date into the US as noted on the arrival documents.
        2. After obtaining the SSN receipt notice, the visitors may complete the normal Human Resources orientation process to obtain an ID card and other access. 
      2. If the exchange visitors will not be employed, they will be provided with a College ID number. This will allow the visitor to obtain an ID card, access to computers, and the library. 

Tips for the Sponsoring Department

  • Since there is currently no on-campus housing for exchange visitors, special attention should be given to arranging accommodation options for the visitor.
  • Special attention should also be given to planning for the visitor’s arrival and transportation from the airport upon arrival.
  • The department must agree to assist our office with the collection of immigration documentation and proof of health insurance as required by law, to contact our office before changes are made to the exchange visitor’s program, and prior to completion of program.