Per U.S. State Department requirements, the J-1 Exchange Scholar must possess proficiency in the English language. This requirement serves to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the visitor and their U.S. co-workers. This also ensures that J-1 scholars will be able to be productive and start the program objectives from day one without having to struggle with English comprehension.

In order to be eligible for UMass Lowell J-1 sponsorship, all new and transfer J-1 scholars will need to provide evidence of English Language Proficiency in one out of two ways:

  1. Copy of a diploma that confirms the scholar earned a degree from a U.S. institution or from an institution of higher education that operates in English, or
  2. Take an English Proficiency Test through the J-CHECK website.
    • Once the ISSO receives confirmation of your satisfactory score via J-Check, and assuming all other required documents have been completed and received by the ISSO, we can proceed with the issuance of your J-1 visa document.
    • If the scholar must utilize option 2, the scholar will find UMass Lowell on the J-CHECK website. Click on “Find My School”.

You must score at least 3.5 if coming to UMass Lowell to do research or 4.0 if to teach.

The cost of the test is $99 USD, and it is the scholar’s responsibility to pay this fee. Payment is made by clicking on the "I need to purchase J-Check" link at the bottom right of the UMass Lowell page. Please note, you are not required to use PayPal. There is a "pay with credit card" link at the bottom of the page. Please allow 24 hours for payment processing.

You will be issued a J-Check ID and password upon payment of the fee. The ID will be valid for one year. And the grade and results will be valid for two years.

You will be given the opportunity to take one practice test, and we recommend you take it. You and our office will be sent the final score within 24 hours of you taking the actual test. You must have a web-cam to allow J-CHECK staff to verify your identity and monitor the test.