Exchange Visitor Program

The purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program at MSU is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges. Missouri State University can host exchange visitors that have established a relationship with an academic and/or administrative department. Contact International Services for more information.

Classification of Exchange Visitor

Proper classification of the exchange visitor on the Form DS-2019 is very important because US law governing the program does not permit exchange visitors to change categories (i.e., changing from research scholar to a student) or activities after arriving in the US. Thus the primary purpose of the visit of a research scholar or professor must always be some combination of research, teaching or observation, although they may also audit and/or enroll in course work part-time as part of their Missouri State University activities. Since their stay in the US is limited to a maximum of five years, they should not be encouraged to begin any combination of activities lasting more than three years in duration. If any question exists as to whether the primary purpose of the exchange visitor's activities at Missouri State University is research/teaching/training or formal degree studies, please contact the Office of International Services before the issuance of the official form DS-2019. Persons whose primary purpose is study must follow the normal Missouri State University procedures for admission as a student. They may not be brought to Missouri State University as research scholars. Furthermore, Department of State regulations prohibit exchange visitors previously in this country in any J-1 research/professor category from reentering the US as J-1 researchers or professors for 12 months.

Short-Term Scholars

There is also a category for short-term scholars. This category is used for those who come to lecture, conduct research, observe, consult and/or to participate in seminars, workshops, conferences, study tours, professional meetings or similar types of education and professional activities under the auspices of Missouri State University. Short-term scholars may be brought in for one day to a maximum of six months, but their stay as an exchange visitor cannot be extended beyond the initial six months for any reason. Because exchange visitors are permitted to be employed, to receive honoraria and/or be reimbursed for expenses, this category is convenient for use by speakers and other participants at Missouri State University sponsored conferences, short courses, seminars and colloquial. If you have any questions about potential liabilities related to the short-term scholars category, please contact the Office of International Services.

The Goals of the Exchange Visitor Program

Under the terms of its Exchange Visitor Program, the Missouri State University is authorized to invite international professors and researchers, faculty and visitors to campus for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, observing, conducting research, demonstrating special skills in the general interest of international academic exchange. Participants use the Form DS-2019 to apply, at an American Consulate, for a J-1 visa to enter the United States. The English Language Institute has been designated as the office responsible for Missouri State University's Exchange Visitor Program by the university and the Department of State (DOS) to issue form DS-2019. Information can also be accessed by logging on to the DOS J-1 exchange visitor web site.