Exchange Visitor Information

The overall purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) is to enhance communication and understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchange.  It is carried out pursuant to the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961.  To apply for the J-1 visa, participants must submit form DS-2019 (formerly IAP-66) to the American embassy or consulate. The motivation of St. Thomas University (STU) to implement a Visitor Exchange Program is to provide international exposure and learning experiences for both STU community and international exchange students and scholars.  Additional information on the J-1 Program can be found at:

St. Thomas University has been designated the United States Department of State (DOS) to host Short-Term Scholars.  The Short-Term Scholar program normally runs six (6) months.  Selected scholars are required to return to their home country upon completed of the program to fulfill the objectives of the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961. It is understood that some exchange visitors will be subject to a two year home residency requirement (Section 213.e) that, unless fulfilled or waived, will bar them from obtaining H-1B status or permanent residency, in addition to other lawful means of remaining and working in the U.S.

Exchange visitors are defined as J-1 non-immigrate visa holders, pursuing specific program objectives with an academic institution that has received appropriate designation by DOS and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS).by within the U.S. The staff members of the International Student & Scholar Services have been designated by the DOS as Responsible Officer (RO) and Alternate ROs (ARO).  

The Staff of ISSS are the designated liaisons who work directly with the DOS and USCIS. They are not employed by any U.S. government agency. Their role is to assist scholars through the transition phase and provide services and information needed to maintain lawful status while participating in the exchange program at St. Thomas.  Please contact ISSS whenever you have any questions of concerns.