A J-1 visa is issued to a participant in an Exchange Visitor Program approved by the U.S. Department of State. Participants can be in one of the following categories: student, research scholar, professor, short-term scholar, alien physician, or trainee. To obtain a J-1 visa, an individual must be accepted by a U.S. institution and then issued the Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019) by the sponsoring agency. Missouri State University is authorized to issue the DS-2019 to students who qualify to enter the United States under the University's J-1 exchange program. The University also receives students sponsored by other agencies such as IIE, AMIDEAST, LASPAU and others.
Students must maintain legal status throughout their program while studying under a J-1 visa. The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 emphasizes the need for students to take responsibility for maintaining J-1 student status.