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Apply - J Scholars/Interns

Congratulations on being invited to Illinois State University.

Illinois State is pleased to host visiting scholars from around the world. Your presence on campus helps increase mutual understanding between the people of Bloomington-Normal and people of other countries, increases our campus diversity, and enhances professional development among faculty and staff.

International Student and Scholar Services is here to help you with immigration matters and various other aspects of your stay. Please feel free to contact us anytime.

Application Process

4 Months to Arrival

  • Host discusses activities and reviews application process with ISSS (if new to process).
  • Host department logs in to the ISSS Scholar Portal and submits a New Sponsorship Request .
  • If the request is approved by ISSS, both the faculty host and the scholar/intern will receive an email notification and will be given access to complete an Initial J-1 Request.

3-4 Months to Arrival

  • Host coordinates with scholar to complete the Initial J-1 Request.
  • Please read and follow all instructions on the request and complete as many fields as possible (not just the required fields).
  • Once the request is complete, the faculty host should notify ISSS via email. The request will be sent for approval from both the department and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.
  • If approved, a DS-2019 will be generated.

2-3 Months to Arrival

  • Scholar schedules a shipment for the DS-2019.
  • ISSS sends the scholar pre-arrival packet electronically, including ULID activation information.
  • Scholar pays the I-901 SEVIS fee, J-1 visa application fee, and any other visa-related fees.
  • Scholar schedules a visa appointment at the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy.

1-2 Months to Arrival

  • Scholar receives visa approval (if visa is denied, scholar may reapply).
  • Scholar makes travel and housing arrangements with the assistance of the host.
  • Scholar confirms health insurance coverage with ISSS.

1 Week to Arrival

  • Scholar contacts ISSS once they have arrived on campus.
  • ISSS schedules a mandatory orientation related to immigration and an introduction to Bloomington-Normal.


  • Scholar attends the mandatory orientation session with ISSS.
  • Scholar obtains a Redbird ID card and pays the fee.
  • Scholar's program begins.