Information for Departments Hosting Visiting Scholars

General Information

UNCW (through the Office of International Programs) may sponsor visiting professors and research scholars as part of the Department of State's Exchange Visitor Program. The Department of State's Exchange Visitor Program was created to foster the exchange of ideas between Americans and foreign nationals and to stimulate international collaborative teaching and research efforts. The exchange of professors and research scholars promotes interchange, mutual enrichment, and linkages between research and educational institutions in the United States and foreign countries.

What is J-1 status?

  1. Professor - a professor is an individual primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting. A professor may also conduct research. Minimum stay of three weeks required. Maximum stay of five years.
  2. Research Scholar - a research scholar is an individual primarily conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project. The research scholar may also teach or lecture. Minimum stay of three weeks required. Maximum stay of five years.
  3. Short-Term Scholar - a short-term scholar is an individual coming to the United States on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills. There is no minimum stay required. Maximum stay of six months.

What is the procedure to host a J-1?

To invite a J-1 scholar, submit the appropriate J-1 request form and gather all supporting materials, including:

  • A letter of invitation from the department that states the: (1) objectives of the visit; (2) dates of visit; (3) site of visit; (4) name and title of UNCW faculty who will oversee/supervise the visit; and, (5) terms of financial arrangement, if any
  • Proof of financial support
  • Proof of medical insurance coverage (federal regulation)
  • J-1’s curriculum vitae
  • If J-2 dependents will accompany the EV: proof of financial support, proof of insurance coverage and biographical data for each dependent.

Minimum Funding Requirements

To sponsor a foreign national as an Exchange Visitor (EV), the sponsoring department must demonstrate how the EV and, if applicable, his/her dependents (spouse and children) will financially support themselves while in the US. Proof of financial support may come from UNCW, a US government agency, the EV's government, or another organization. The foreign national may partially support his/her visit, but not entirely. J-1 Exchange Visitors must show at least $1,000/month as proof of financial support; each dependent must show an additional $500/month.

Health Insurance Requirements

Unlike any other immigration category, the U.S. Department of State federally mandates all J-1 and J-2 status holders to carry health insurance coverage that meets Department of State minimums (below). The Office of International Programs will not issue immigration documents without proof of adequate health insurance coverage. To meet this requirement, sponsoring departments or EVs must either purchase the plan available through the Office of International Programs or present proof of alternate coverage that demonstrates the EV (and dependents, if applicable) is adequately covered for the duration of his/her visit to the US. Insurance coverage must meet the following:

    Medical insurance must cover the entire period of participation in the Exchange Visitor program.

    Medical benefits must provide a minimum of $50,000 per accident or illness.

    Medical evacuation must be covered in the amount of $10,000, minimum. (Medical evacuation is emergency medical transportation to the home country.)

    Repatriation must be covered in the amount of $7,500, minimum. (In the unfortunate event of death, repatriation is the transportation of remains back to the home country.)

    The deductible must not exceed $500 per accident or illnes

Categories and Time Limits

UNCW may host EVs in three categories. Hosting departments must determine which category is appropriate for their visitor and submit the corresponding request form to the Office of International Programs.

  1. Professor* - a professor is an individual primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting. A professor may also conduct research. Minimum stay of three weeks required. Maximum stay of five years.
  2. Research Scholar* - a research scholar is an individual primarily conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project. The research scholar may also teach or lecture. Minimum stay of three weeks required. Maximum stay of five years.
  3. Short-Term Scholar - a short-term scholar is an individual coming to the United States on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills. There is no minimum stay required. Maximum stay of six months.

*Immigration regulations prohibit foreign nationals from engaging in repeat participation in the J-1 professor/research scholar exchange program category for a period of two years immediately following the completion of the J-1 professor/research scholar program. This means that once the J-1 professor/research scholar has finished participating in the J-1 program and leaves the US, he/she is automatically subject to this bar. He or she is then ineligible to re-enter the US as a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor for a two-year period.

Regulatory Restrictions

The EV may only be appointed to a position that is temporary; the EV may not be a candidate for tenure in a tenure-track position. Professors and Research Scholars may give occasional lectures and short-term consultations incidental to their primary activities. If such activities will involve wages or other remuneration, the scholar must obtain written authorization in advance from the Office of International Programs (OIP).

Instructions for Hosting Departments

1. Complete the appropriate J-1 request form, depending on the desired category (see above)

2. Gather all supporting materials, including:

  • A letter of invitation from the department that states the: (1) objectives of the visit; (2) dates of visit; (3) site of visit; (4) name and title of UNCW faculty who will oversee/supervise the visit; and, (5) terms of financial arrangement, if any
  • Proof of financial support
  • Proof of insurance coverage
  • J-1’s curriculum vitae
  • If J-2 dependents will accompany the EV: proof of financial support, proof of insurance coverage and biographical data for each dependent.

3. Submit the J-1 request form and all supporting materials to the OIP

  • Once all required materials are received, the OIP will issue the appropriate immigration documents within 5 business days and mail them to the foreign national. The foreign national, with the immigration documents issued by the OIP, will then need to obtain a J-1 visa at a US Embassy. This final step may take several weeks or months; please plan ahead!

 


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