Effective January 2015, federal regulations require that J-1 Exchange Visitor program sponsors must determine that prospective J-1 Exchange Visitors have sufficient, verifiable English language skills to participate in the program and to function on a day-to-day basis.
Departments wishing to sponsor a J-1 Exchange Visitor will submit evidence to OIS documenting how English language proficiency was measured. Supporting documentation for proof of proficiency should be dated and less than one year old.
Departmental hosts can use one of the following objective measurements to document English language proficiency:
- Recognized English language test
- Internet-based TOEFL minimum 79
- Print-based TOEFL minimum 550
- IELTS minimum 6.5
- MELAB minimum 79
- SAT Critical Reading Section or SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing 500
- ACT English section 21
- Pearson PTE 53
- Signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school confirming language proficiency level
- A documented interview conducted by the sponsoring department, either in-person or by videoconference - a telephone interview is acceptable if videoconferencing is not available
- Confirmation that the exchange visitor’s native language is English. View the list of countries.