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Pre-Arrival Support

In your home country, the U.S. Department of State is represented by the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy. The U.S. Embassy or in some cases, the Fulbright Commission or Educational Foundation, recruits and nominates Humphrey Fellows. Fulbright Commissions and Educational Foundations are bi-national foundations for educational exchange sponsored by the U.S. Government in cooperation with foreign governments to administer Fulbright and Humphrey Fellowship Programs in certain countries. 


While on your Fellowship, you will have three key supporters that you will work with: 

  • The Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) 
  • The Institute of International Education’s (IIE) Humphrey Fellowship office 
  • Your host university’s coordinator and staff 

Prepare for Health Care Before You Travel

You will have limited health coverage under the Accident and Sickness Program for Exchanges Health Benefits Policy for the duration of your program. Therefore, we strongly recommend that, to the extent possible, you take care of any health issues in your home country before departing for the United States.

U.S. Visa Regulations

Humphrey Fellows apply for J-1 Exchange Visitor visas. You can learn more about the J-1 visa at the website: 

Initially, IIE will send a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, or Form DS-2019, to the U.S Embassy or Fulbright Commission in your country. This form allows you to apply for a J-1 visa. After you have applied for your visa, had a visa interview, and are approved for J-1 status, the consular division in the U.S. Embassy will stamp the J-1 visa in your passport. 

 Please keep a copy of your passport face page, J-1 visa, and DS-2019 Form in a secure location just in case one of these items is lost during the Fellowship year. Please let IIE know as soon as possible if you lose any of these items so steps can be taken to replace them. 

Travel to the United States

Your Fellowship award provides an economy air ticket to the United States directly from your home country to your academic institution.  This travel will be arranged for you by the U.S. Embassy or Fulbright Commission in country. You are expected to be present at your university campus on the arrival date as indicated on your Details of Award document and your Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status (DS-2019 Form). 


You will receive a $300 travel allowance from IIE within your first payment. This travel allowance is designed to help cover the cost of transportation to and from airports and hotels, transit visas, and any unavoidable stopovers. You should bring cash in USD with you on your trip as a backup for unforeseen situations.

COVID-19 Precautions

For the most up-to-date information on how COVID-19 may impact your ability to obtain your visa and travel to the United States, please speak with your U.S. Embassy or Fulbright Commission.