Incoming International Participants

IU welcomes you as a visiting exchange scholar

Congratulations on your selection to participate in the exchange program with Indiana University. Now that your academic program host has been secured, there are several steps that you will need to complete to prepare for your arrival. Learn more about the campus of Indiana University (Bloomington or Indianapolis) that you be visiting.

Step 1: Complete the scholar information form

Submit the information form for visiting exchange scholars. To complete the form, you will need the following:

  • A scanned copy of the photo page from your passport
  • Proof of English proficiency if your native language is not English
  • Financial documentation
  • Exact arrival and departure dates
Start the information form

Proof of English proficiency

You can read more about the language proficiency requirement on the Office of International Services website. A letter (printed on official letterhead) from a qualified faculty or staff member indicating your proficiency in English will be sufficient; the international office at your university may be able to provide such a letter. Alternatively, you may request that a qualified faculty or staff member at your university interview you in English and complete this online form:

Access the English proficiency interview form

Financial documentation

  • The Office of International Partnerships at Indiana University will notify you about any financial documentation that is required for your visa. You may be required to upload current financial documentation that lists the sources and amounts of financial support you have secured for your program, totaling at least $1200 per month for the duration of your invitation. You may upload a letter from your home institution (on official letterhead) that states the financial support provided or a copy of a recent bank statement (preferably with the currency converted to U.S. dollars).
  • If you are bringing your spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21, or both, you must show access to $500 per month for the first dependent and $300 per month for each additional dependent.

Exact dates of visit

You should not begin the form until you have determined the exact dates of your intended visit. 

After the dates of your visit are set, we will initiate your J-1 scholar visa application and send you a link by email to complete the section for “Applicant Information.” After that section is completed, we will issue the Form DS-2019 or “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status.” The form allows you to seek an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in order to obtain a J visa to enter the United States. Indiana University will send the DS-2019 to you by express mail.

Save the cover letter that accompanies the DS-2019. It includes your IU identification number, required to create your IU email account and complete the check-in process upon arrival at IU.

Step 2: Complete tax and wire transfer documents

This step should be completed only if you will be receiving financial support from Indiana University.

After you have received your J-1 visa and booked your flight, complete the pre-arrival form. Before you begin the form, you should download and fill out the following documents:

  • International Tax Questionnaire
  • Tax Cover Sheet for International Visitor
  • W-8BEN
  • Disbursement Voucher Certification
  • International Wire Transfer Form

Fill out the documents to the best of your ability. If you are uncertain about the information requested on a document, leave that field or question blank. A staff member will contact you if additional information is needed.

Download the documents

You should complete and upload these documents before submitting the form. If you are staying in an on-campus apartment in Bloomington, you should provide your flight itinerary (upload as a PDF or type the details into the form); our staff members inform the on-campus housing office of your anticipated arrival time so that they are prepared for your check-in.

Start the pre-arrival form

We will submit the above documents to our financial management and procurement services offices to ensure you are complaint with U.S. federal tax regulations and able to receive your living stipend by wire transfer. Please be aware that the living stipend will be deposited after you arrive at Indiana University.

Other useful resources to help prepare for your visit

Ground Transportation from/to the Indianapolis International Airport

After you have booked your flight and know your arrival time at the Indianapolis International Airport (IND), you should arrange ground transportation to your apartment.

Payment of U.S. taxes

If you are receiving financial support from Indiana University, it is your responsibility as an international scholar to file a tax report (called a tax return) with the U.S. federal government on any income you have received. U.S. income includes wages, tips, scholarships, fellowships, fee remissions, certificate of deposit interest, investment income, and stipends.

Learn more about filing taxes

Bus services in Bloomington and Indianapolis

All visitors to the Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses may ride the campus buses free of charge.

Read about Bloomington bus services

Read about Indianapolis bus services

Visiting exchange scholars on the Bloomington campus will receive a bus pass to ride any City of Bloomington bus free of charge. Any accompanying dependents (spouses or children) must pay to ride a City of Bloomington bus.

Health insurance coverage

IU's Office of International Services has helpful online resources about the health insurance coverage offered through Indiana University.

Learn more about health insurance coverage