Incoming Exchange Student Info


To apply to UA as an Exchange Student, your institution must first nominate you.  Please have your exchange advisor at your home institution review the processes on our Exchange Partner page.


  1. The deadline to apply for Fall Semester Exchanges (Beginning August 2021) is May 1, 2021.
  2. The deadline to apply for  Spring Semester Exchanges (Beginning January 2022) is October 1, 2021.


  1. Application Form
  2. Copy of Transcripts (in English)
  3. Copy of English Proficiency Scores (if applicable)
  4. Study Plan/Course Registration Form
  5. Copy of Main Passport Page
  6. Proof of Funding

Email Application Document Attachments (please save your files with your name in the file name) to



The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal SEVIS Fee is generally a one-time fee and is required of those who are applying for an J-1 visa.  Proof of fee payment must be presented at the visa interview.

SEVIS FEE Payment Guide:

How to Complete the I-901 and Pay the SEVIS Fee
Payment of the SEVIS fee may be made by you or by any other individual, either in the United States or abroad, including family or friends. Payment can be made in U.S. dollars by credit card online at

To complete form I-901, you must enter two types of information:

  1. J-1 Visa Applicants need to enter the UA J-1 EXCHANGE VISITOR PROGRAM NUMBER: P-1-03854, and
  2. You must enter your SEVIS ID number (e.g. N00*******), which is printed at the top of the DS-2019 form.

Applying for a J-1 Student Visa – The DS-160 and Visa Interview

Once you have received your DS-2019 from The University of Alabama, you may apply for a visa up to 120 days prior to your program start date.

  1. First, you should pay the SEVIS Fee as outlined above, which is required of all new J-1 students and must be paid prior to applying for your student visa.
  2. Second, you should submit the online visa application form DS-160.  The DS-160 now requires you to input your Social Media history as a standard question.  The question asks for all social media platforms you have used in the past 5 years and the username(s) or handle(s) you have used on those platforms.
    • The U.S. Embassy may ask you to also complete a DS-5535 Form, which is a supplemental questionnaire regarding your travel, employment, and residence history and family. Please note, not every visa applicant will be asked to complete the DS-5535 form.
  3. Finally, you should set your visa appointment.  You should plan to apply for your visa stamp at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over your place of permanent residence. Prior to scheduling your interview, you can check visa appointment waiting times online (Click here, to check Visa Waiting times).

No visa stamp is required for Canadian and Bahamian citizens.  However, Canadians and Bahamian’s must have a valid J-1 DS-2019 to enter the U.S. as exchange students, and they must pay the SEVIS Fee prior to arrival.

Please note that depending on your country of residence and field of study, visa processing times can exceed one month so apply early.  You will need to include the potential for visa delays in your travel plans.

Documentation Required for the Visa Interview
Please refer to the U.S. Department of State Web site: J-1 Students and Exchange Visitors.

You should also consult your U.S. Embassy or Consulate to see if there are any additional country-specific visa application requirements.

Visa Interview – Proving Non-Immigrant Intent
J-1 visas are considered non-immigrant visas. Accordingly, during the student visa interview, applicants must establish their non-immigrant intent to the satisfaction of the consular officer.  Non-immigrant intent means that you have binding ties to your home country and have a home which you have no intention of abandoning, and that you will depart the United States when you have completed your studies. It is impossible to specify the exact form the evidence of non-immigrant intent should take since applicants’ circumstances vary greatly.

10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Non-immigrant VISA 


Exchange students are required to live on-campus. Once admitted to the exchange program, an application for housing must be completed.  The housing application will be accessed here:


Incoming Exchange Students have two options for housing on-campus.

Burke Hall

Option 1: Dorm-Style Housing – Burke Hall
Burke East and West offer residents a fully furnished room. Most rooms are double-occupancy with community bathrooms, though some suites are available. Burke hall is located near on-campus dining options, Mary B’s and Burke Dining, which are conveniently located on the first floor. Residents have access to common spaces areas on each floor, the 1st floor living room and laundry room, and community kitchens on the 4th and 5th floor of East and the 2nd floor in West. Students are responsible for providing their own trash receptacles, cookware, eating utensils, and cleaning supplies.

The Highlands

Option 2: Apartment-Style Housing – The Highlands
The Highlands offers residents a fully furnished 3 bedroom 2 bath apartment equipped with its own private kitchen. The hall is located near on-campus dining options, Presidential Terrace, Lakeside Dining, and Lakeside Market. The community’s activity center provides residents with a study lounge and laundry room. Students are responsible for providing their own trash receptacles, cookware, eating utensils, and cleaning supplies.

student health center sign


Immunizations are required and must be completed before course registration.

All incoming students, regardless of classification, must have the following vaccinations:

  • Meningitis Vaccine – One dose at age 16 or greater
  • 2 Measles Containing Vaccines – One must be a MMR vaccination after 1980
  • TB Screening – Within one year

Full details and instructions on completing and submitting your immunization forms can be found here:


Health Insurance is required for all international students. Students are automatically enrolled in a school policy unless a waiver is completed.

Health Insurance Information, Brochures, and Waiver Forms can be found here:



Pickups from the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport (BHM) are done once before international orientation every semester. Details will be emailed to exchange students prior to the start of the semester.