The Department of State (DOS) established regulations effective January 2015 which require sponsors to identify English language proficiency for exchange visitors coming to the U.S. on J-1 visas. Sponsors must review evidence from an objective measure that demonstrates the exchange visitor has “sufficient English proficiency to perform their jobs, navigate daily life in the United States, read and comprehend program materials, understand fully their responsibilities, rights, and protections, and be able to obtain assistance.” Georgia Tech requires evidence of English language proficiency to determine eligibility to participate in a specific Exchange Visitor program at Georgia Tech. The level of proficiency required aligns with category and the type of activities the Exchange Visitor will engage.
- Scholar category: High Beginner level proficiency
- Student Intern, professors and specialist categories: Intermediate level proficiency
The Georgia Tech Language Institute (GTLI) offers an assessment of English language proficiency that will meet this requirement. The assessment is requested by a Georgia Tech host unit. The assessment is arranged by the HR administrator once they have been notified the J Exchange Visitor Program is the appropriate visa type and prior to beginning a DS-2019 request. The GTLI contacts the prospective Exchange Visitor via e-mail to schedule the assessment. The assessment is conducted online using WebEx or a similar platform. Scholar must have a microphone and a webcam, and access to e-mail and the internet .The test will take approximately 30-40 minutes and assess the reading, listening and oral skills, with strongest emphasis on the oral interview. The nominal charge for administering the assessment can be paid by the host department OR the J scholar. The GT Language Institute, two to three days following the assessment, will send an email to the sponsor, the Office of International Education, and the scholar which includes a copy of the assessment report.