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J-1 Student Intern VU

Application Process

Before completing the Exchange Visitor Application please make sure the Principle Investigator (PI) or hiring/hosting manager has completed the Visa Deemed Export Questionnaire (VDEQ). As of September 1, 2017 this form must be completed online and submitted directly to Vanderbilt Export Compliance (VEC) via the following link:

Once the VDEQ has been completed, please be sure to have the following documents available for upload before submitting the Exchange Visitor Application:

  1. J-1 Student Intern Application
  2. Exchange Visitor’s English Proficiency Documentation
  3. Appointment Letter or Letter of Invitation
  4. Proof of Financial Support, if prospective Exchange Visitor is not supported entirely by Vanderbilt funds


In addition, if the Exchange Visitor is a transfer they must complete the SEVIS Transfer Form. Transfers include those who are currently in the United States participating in a J-1 Student Intern program and Vanderbilt J-1 Student Interns who wish to change departments within Vanderbilt.


The requesting department should ensure that both the Exchange Visitor Personal Information and Visa Deemed Export Questionnaire are both complete before completing the Exchange Visitor Application.

If the prospective scholar will be sponsored wholly or in part by non-Vanderbilt funds, a copy of the appointment letter and proof of financial support must be attached.

If the intern is eligible, ISSS will prepare a Certificate of Eligibility (DS-2019) and a form DS-7002 training plan for the requesting department to mail to the intern, along with the additional information provided by ISSS. The intern will then need to take the DS-2019 and signed DS-7002 to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to apply for a J-1 visa and will enter the US in J-1 status.

English Proficiency

As of January 5, 2015 new regulations require that exchange visitors demonstrate sufficient English language proficiency to successfully participate in this program and to “function on a day-to-day basis” [22CFR62.11(a)(2)].

This requirement can be met in one of three ways for Vanderbilt University Exchange Visitors:

  1. Submitting results of a recognized English language test – TOEFL or IELTS
    • Minimum acceptable TOEFL scores: 550 paper-based test; 213 computer-based test; 79 internet-based test
    • Minimum acceptable IELTS score 6.5
    • Please note that test scores are only valid for two years beyond the test date. Scholars who choose to submit test scores should submit results of a test administered within two years of the J-1 program start date
  2. Submitting signed documentation from an English language school or from the scholar’s current academic institution.
    1. Certification from an English language school confirming the necessary level of English proficiency must be based on completion of a program within two years of the J-1 program start date.
  3. A documented interview conducted in English either in-person or by videoconferencing. ISSS will need to know the following information:
    1. Date of interview
    2. Who conducted interview
    3. How was interview conducted? In-person, Skype, video/web camera, other
    4. Was your candidate able to manage your regular rate of speech? Yes or No
      • If not, did slowing your speech rate impair the focus on meaningful conversation? Yes or No
    5. Did you have to repeat questions, phrases, expressions? Yes or No
      • If so, did repeating yourself impair the focus on meaningful conversation? Yes or No
    6. Did the candidate seem to understand and respond to your actual question(s)? Yes or No
    7. Was the candidate’s pronunciation understandable? Yes or No
      • If not, could you understand enough of what the candidate said to sustain the conversation? Yes or No
    8. Based on your review of the exchange visitor’s English language proficiency do you think the scholar will have any difficulty participating in his/her program at Vanderbilt or functioning on a day-to-day basis? Yes or No
      • If yes, please explain:

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