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Office of International Studies and Programs

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Phone: +1-509-963-3612
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Central Washington University
Office of International Studies and Programs
Hebeler Hall 102
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7408

English Proficiency for International Scholars

Department of State regulations mandate J-visa sponsors proactively verify and document that the “exchange visitor possesses sufficient proficiency in the English language, as determined by an objective measurement of English language proficiency, successfully to participate in his or her program and to function on a day-to-day basis” through “a recognized English language test, by signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school, or through a documented interview conducted by the sponsor either in-person or by videoconferencing, or by telephone if videoconferencing is not a viable option”.

Exchange visitors may satisfy this requirement in one of the following ways:

Option 1:Proof of citizenship of an Anglophone country, in the form of a scanned, electronic copy of the biographical/photo page of a passport from any of the following countries: American Samoa, Australia, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, [Anglophone] Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Ireland, Jamaica, Liberia, New Zealand, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago and the United Kingdom.
Option 2:Proof of having obtained a degree at an English-medium post-secondary institution or, in the case of Student Interns, proof of study in an English-medium degree program.
  • US institutions and institutions in other Anglophone countries: Official transcripts or a copy of the awarded diploma are sufficient.
  • Other institutions: Official English-language transcript and official letter from the institution verifying English as the language of instruction.
Option 3:Official letter from a language school or qualified individuals at an institution of higher education verifying the candidate’s English proficiency.
Option 4:

Proof of sufficient score on an established English proficiency test (see chart). Scores must be less than two years old in order to be valid, and the official report should be sent directly to OISP.

J-1 Category


Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Test


International English Language Testing System
Student (undergraduate)716.0
Student (graduate)796.5
Student Intern716.0
Short-Term Scholar


Research Scholar806.5
Option 5:Videoconference interview. The prospective scholar may contact CWU’s University English as a Second Language (UESL) program and request a virtual interview (via a videoconferencing program or, if necessary, via telephone) by qualified UESL staff.  Following the interview, UESL staff will provide their determination in regard to the scholar’s language proficiency, in a signed assessment submitted to the appropriate OISP staff.


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