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U.S. Department of State regulations [22 C.F.R. §62.10(a)(2)] require that applicants for J-1 Exchange Visitor Immigration status are proficient in English. Prior to issuing a DS-2019 the OIS must ensure that every J-1 Exchange Visitor (EV) possesses sufficient proficiency in the English language, as determined by an objective measurement of English language proficiency, to participate in his or her program and to function on a day-to-day basis. The Faculty Sponsor must verify each applicant's English language proficiency using one of the following accepted procedures.

Option 1: Completion of Bachelor's or Higher Degree Where English is the Language of Instruction

The OIS will waive the English Proficiency Test/Interview requirement for an EV sponsorship application that is accompanied by a diploma or transcript showing an earned bachelor's or higher degree from any Institution in the following countries: 

Antiqua and BarabudaGuyanaSt. Helena
AustraliaIrelandSt. Kitts and Nevis
BahamasIsle of MannSt. Lucia
BarbadosJamaicaSt. Vincent and the Grenadines

Canada (except Quebec)

Cayman IslandsNamibiaTurks and Caicos Islands
DominicaNew ZealandUganda
FijiNigeriaUnited Kingdom
GambiaSierra LeoneUnited States
GrenadaSouth SudanZimbabwe

Option 2: Recognized English Language Test

Results of TOEFL or IELTS that meet or exceed the following minimums.

TestMinimum ScoreValidity

Paper-based version: 600
Internet-based version: 100

Exam date must have been within the last 2 years*
IELTSScore of 7 or aboveExam date must have been within the last 2 years*
* Revised 4/2018

Option 3: Documented English Proficiency Interview

The Faculty Sponsor may conduct an interview *in English* with the EV, either in-person or by video conferencing, or by phone if the first two options are not viable, The English proficiency must be documented by completing the J-1 English Proficiency Attestation Form and submitting it to the OIS.


If you have questions about the English proficiency requirement, please contact the OIS at