Steps to Establish a Teacher Exchange with CHF
to sponsor foreign teachers on J-1 exchange visas

Welcome to the CHF Set-up Guide!  The Cordell Hull Foundation has been sponsoring exchanges for the last seventy-two years allowing foreign teachers to obtain J-1 visa status to work for 1-3 years, with possible extension for a 4th and 5th year.  Being nonprofit, we strive to make it as affordable and painless as possible while making sure the school and teacher stay in compliance with the regulations.  

  • Step 1 – SCHOOL  Read the ELIGIBILITY requirements necessary on: can sponsor teachers for K-12 schools or if the school is a foreign-language immersion school, also in K-3 and K-4.  If the school is a pre-school, after-school, or adult language school, we cannot.
  • Step 2 – SCHOOL  Complete the New Exchange Program Form in one of two places:
    New Program Form on this website: New Exchange Program Application for School, District or State
    Note:  This form has been deactivated by Turbify, and we are currently producing another form.  In the meantime, you can still fill it out, copy and paste it into the body of an email, and send to  Fill out all information in the blanks. When finished, click on the SUBMIT button at the bottom of the page. You will then receive a draft agreement describing CHF working terms.
  • Step 3 – SCHOOL
    Read and sign the draft CHF Memo of Agreement that will be emailed to you directly from Panda Docs when you first establish a relationship with CHF
    ** custom-tailored to your school, district, or state,
    ** outlining the working arrangements to establish a teacher exchange.FEE to sponsor a teacher for the first year is $1,400, payable in advance.
    FEE for the second year is $800.
    FEE for the third year is $400.
    Flat FEE to extend for a 4th and 5th year is $1,200 plus the existing State Department Extension fee (currently $367).
    The school must pay these sponsorship fees, but either school or teacher can cover the cost of J-2 dependent:
    J-2 Spouse:  $300/year             J-2 Child:  $100/year

  • Step 4 – SCHOOL emails to CHF –
    CV or resume of teacher to verify their qualifications
    name(s) and email address(es) of new teachers to enable CHF to send our instruction email on how to apply.
    The school will be sent a link to access your custom CHF Google drive folder to upload:
    ** Public schools:  Most recent annual report from State Department of Education
    ** Private Schools:  Current K-12 accreditation from state or regional agencyAll schools:
    1.  CHF Roster form to enter the needed teacher details (Google sheet)
    2.  Recruitment Report form to report how you tested the teacher’s English fluency (fillable PDF)
    3.  Cost of Living Estimate (fillable PDF)
  • Step 5 – TEACHERS
    CHF: The Cordell Hull Foundation sends teacher(s) an information email from Panda Docs how to fill out a CHF Teacher Application Form, and upload other necessary application documents.
    Teachers:  must click on the link to access this important introductory document.
    Teachers:  must access the Cordell Hull Bio on our website to answer the first essay question: – Click on français for the French version or español for the Spanish version.We will also send teachers a link to their CHF Teacher Onboarding Portal in order to upload the documents needed.  We will not prepare J-1 visa paperwork unless all these documents have been uploaded.  Teachers should rename the documents to reflect the content.  They can click on the language icon in the upper right corner to change the descriptions of documents needed if it’s not clear in English.
  • Step 6 – SCHOOL
    (simultaneously while teachers complete application procedures) fills out a J-1 Teacher Roster form for all teachers on one form, accessible in the school’s CHF Google folder.
    If teachers are paid by the government in their country of origin, the school might have to ask the teacher for the salary figure.  Note:  Foreign teacher salaries must be commensurate with American teachers who have the same number of years of teaching experience and the same education qualifications (Bachelors, Masters, . . .)

    Reminder to schools:  Do not ask teachers to fill out this form.
  • Step 7 – SCHOOL: 2 reports
    1. Fill out a Cost of Living Estimate with approximate costs for all teachers in your city or region, then upload to CHF Google folder – Fillable PDF
    2. Fill out a Recruitment Report specifically explaining how you tested the candidate’s English, both verbally and written, then upload to CHF Google folder – Fillable PDF
  • Step 8 – School sends sponsorship fee to the Cordell Hull Foundation for the first year ($1,400).  Following the spirit of exchange spelled out in the Fulbright Hayes Act, we do not allow teachers to pay the CHF sponsorship fee.
  • Step 9 – CHF  After establishing a working relationship via a Memorandum of Agreement and receiving the necessary paperwork, CHF then enters, creates and sends J visa DS-2019 support forms, an instruction cover letter, and other documents and to the teacher directly.
  • Step 10 – TEACHER  In order to obtain a J-1 visa stamp in the passport, the teacher must make an appointment for an interview with a consular officer at the American Embassy in the home country which can take from 1-3 weeks depending upon the country. Upon request by the school or district, CHF will issue renewal DS-2019 forms for second and third year J-1 visa terms.
  • Step 11 – TEACHER  The American Embassy charges an “entrance” fee of $185 to approve and process the J-1 visa passport stamp plus a separate SEVIS-901 fee of $220.  Exchange teachers check the website of the American Embassy in their home countries to follow the specific procedures required for J-1 non-immigrant visas.  The minimum document requirements are the interactive DS-160 form and SEVIS-901 form.  J-1 visa regulations require the exchange teacher to have sufficient grasp of English to pass the visa interview at the American Embassy, gather the visa application paperwork, and pay fees to obtain the J-1 visa stamp in the passport.  See CHF Instruction video on US Embassy Interview Tips with the consular officer.
  • Step 12 – If the teacher is scheduled to attend a physical orientation – customarily staged in August and September on the East Coast (i.e. New York City); in September and October on the West Coast (i.e. San Francisco); in October or November in the South (i.e. Atlanta) – either the school or teacher may need to make travel arrangements.
    Teachers must bring to the physical orientations their passport, DS-2019 form, plus those of all family dependents in order to receive travel validation signatures.  If the school is not located in an area where at least 10 teachers are sponsored by CHF, we will send them an interactive orientation course in either English, French, Spanish or Mandarin that takes 2-3 hours to complete.  It consists of videos and interactive questions.
  • Step 13 – If hotel and flight accommodations are necessary for teachers to attend the CHF orientation seminar for first-year teachers, this cost may be borne by either the sponsoring school, district, or teacher. The Orientation Seminar is the most important aspect of the Teacher Exchange Program and will not be waived unless a teacher has previously attended a CHF J-1 Visa orientation in the past two years.  The State Department is constantly adding new rules and procedures of which we are responsible to inform teachers and schools.

    The teacher exchange program becomes increasingly complex to operate.  One non-profit mission and the reputation of CHF is to try to simplify as much as possible where possible, and to make sure new teachers understand their responsibilities by offering orientations in multiple languages.