As a world-class institution, UNC Greensboro welcomes faculty and researchers from around the world. The Exchange Visitor Program, administered by the U.S. Department of State, allows UNCG to use the J-1 Exchange Visitor immigration classification to invite or employ visiting scholars including foreign professors, research scholars, short-term scholars and specialists in the U.S. temporarily.
The International Programs Center (IPC) facilitates the process of departments inviting international visiting scholars who will come on a J-1 visa. Services provided include assisting departments through the visiting scholar invitation and appointment processes and issuing of the DS-2019 immigration document and visa acquisition. Upon their arrival, IPC also offers visiting scholars a new scholar orientation program, immigration and other advice throughout their stay, and cultural programming opportunities.
Departments wishing to appoint international faculty, staff, or researchers to permanent and/or tenure-track related EHRA positions in such visa/immigration classifications as H-1b, O-1, TN, or permanent resident should visit Immigration Services in the Office of the Provost.
About the J-1 Visa
A J-1 Scholar is a visiting professor, researcher, or specialist who has been approved to temporarily enter the United States for a specific educational purpose. The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State to promote international educational exchange of expertise and stimulating collaborative teaching and research efforts. Exchange is truly at the core of the program and based on this philosophy and directive. For a concise overview of the J-1 Exchange Visitor program, reference the Department of State J-1 visa Fact Sheet.
Pertinent Department of State policies and procedures related to the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program are outlined on this page.
- Resources & Documents
- Roles & Responsibilities
- Selecting a J-1 Scholar
- Invite a J-1 Scholar
- Arrival & Orientation
Please review the following forms and procedures once it has been determined that the J-1 visa category is appropriate for you and your scholar:
Overall Packet (Print this first for review!) Then proceed to the forms below in writable/editable versions.
Faculty Interest Form
J-1 Scholar Data Form - Part A (Department Request and Verification)
J-1 Scholar Request Form - Part B (Scholar Profile)
Insurance Requirement Attestation Form
Sample Memo to Request a Visiting Scholar Appointment from the Dean
Sample Memo to Request a Visiting Scholar Appointment from the Provost’s Office
Sample Memo to Visiting Scholar Requesting Documentation
Note: It is important to begin the scholar invitation process 90 days prior to the intended start date of the J-1 program. This will help to avoid a consular/visa security clearance delays in visa approval due to such circumstances as a name check, country of citizenship or sensitive area of research.
Roles and responsibilities of the sponsoring department and host faculty member(s):
- Assisting with housing and arrival arrangements (IPC can provide information and resources upon request).
- Providing a workspace and arranging library and computer access.
- Collecting current contact information for scholar (email and mailing address).
- Advising the J-1 Scholar to check in with IPC immediately upon arrival at UNCG.
- Supervising the scholar during their stay in the U.S., and reporting to IPC any updates to the arrival date and the termination and/or departure of the scholar from the University.
- Communicating any concerns about immigration, orientation to the campus and community, insurance or other related assistance to IPC.
- Offering cross-cultural interaction between the J-1 Scholar and the department’s faculty and staff.
Roles and responsibilities of IPC:
- Providing information to university faculty and staff on the protocols for hosting international visiting scholars at UNCG, including working with Human Resources to invite visiting scholars to UNCG.
- Issuing form DS-2019 “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1)”.
- Liaising between visiting scholars and UNCG offices, U.S. government, and the community.
- Conducting the required “New Scholar Orientation” to discuss maintenance of immigration status matters, making copies of the scholar’s visa documentation and insurance information, and delivering information about IPC services and programs.
- Maintaining scholars’ current U.S. physical address in the SEVIS database,
- Advising scholars on all visa-related matters including immigration and travel, and educating J-1 scholars and their dependents on their rights and obligations.
- Providing cultural and social activities for scholars throughout the year.
Here are some tips for getting started:
- Contact overseas colleagues or their students.
- Get in touch with acquaintances from international and regional conferences, including those where you have met visiting scholars already in the U.S.
- Contact overseas institutions with whom UNCG has exchange agreements (consult the IPC about existing and possible future exchange agreements).
- Advertise through professional organizations, etc. (generally for paid positions such as postdoctoral fellow or adjunct faculty).
Further considerations when looking to invite a J-1 international visiting scholar:
- Academic Credentials: The department must ensure that the J-1 Scholar has the appropriate academic credentials to perform the proposed activity. A Bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement for international visiting scholars.
- English Proficiency: English proficiency for J-1 Scholars from countries where English is not the official language must be evaluated by the Department prior to submitting the J-1 Scholar Request Form.
- Scholar Types: International visiting scholars can come to UNCG in one of several categories depending on their length of stay and purpose of their work. To learn more about these categories, click here.
Before you begin, please review our Quick Guide to Hosting International Visitors and Scholars at UNCG and J-1 Visa Timeline for Scholars New to UNCG. This document will help you to determine the proper category your visiting J-1 scholar may fall under.
The respective UNCG sponsoring faculty/department needs to begin the invitation process 4 months prior to the intended start date of the J-1 program. Beginning the process early is important since consular/visa security clearance may delay visa approval due to such circumstances as a name check, country of citizenship or sensitive area of research. There is a two-part process necessary for IPC to issue a form DS-2019: Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1).
Part 1: to be completed by the Sponsoring Department/Faculty Member and Visiting Scholar
- Initiate discussions with the department:
- Discuss your interest in inviting the visiting scholar with your Associate Dean of Research. Address issues such as department/college policies for visiting scholars, involvement of grant funding, other resources, import/export control issues, etc.
- If the visiting scholar will be paid by the University, the hosting faculty/Department confirms that the position is EHRA and a position number has been assigned. If not, contact the Provost’s Office to create the position. Paid positions require additional position documentation as outlined on the Provost’s HR website Note: International visiting scholars paid by the University through grants or other external funds must contact the UNCG Office of Contracts and Grants for further information and requirements.
- The hosting department chair provides a letter to the respective Dean requesting the visiting scholar appointment, indicating whether the appointment is paid or unpaid and including the sponsoring faculty member’s name. Click here for a sample memo.
- The sponsoring faculty member/Department completes the IPC “Visiting Scholar DS-2019 Data Form, Part A - Department Request and Verification”
- The sponsoring faculty/Department completes the PD-7 “Personal Action Form” (located on the Provost’s Human Resources webpage)
- If applicable, the sponsoring faculty/Department completes the “Phone Verification of Credentials” process (located on the Provost’s Human Resources webpage).
- Sponsoring faculty/Department faxes or emails the following forms and instructions to the scholar for completion and signature. Forms should be returned to the faculty/department:
- The “J-1 Scholar Request Form, Part B Scholar Profile” to the visiting scholar
- Insurance Attestation Form
- PD-7a “Personal Action Form
- Certification Form
- If applicable, request for academic transcripts and phone verification of credentials
- Sponsoring faculty/Department requests the following copies (including for dependents if applicable) from the visiting scholar to be faxed or emailed to the department.
- A copy of the scholar’s biographical page of the passport
- A copy of the scholar’s curriculum vitae (CV) or resume
- Proof of financial support (i.e. letter from the sponsoring department stating the amount available from the department; or letter from the home institution verifying financial support of the scholar for sabbatical leave; or a letter from the home government verifying financial sponsorship; or verification of personal financial support; or a combination thereof). Appropriate levels of financial proof are outlined here.
- Request for official academic transcripts from all post-secondary education institutions attended and phone verification of credentials is required only for those international visiting scholars who will be paid by and/or teaching at UNCG. Therefore, many scholars in the categories of Short-Term Scholar and Research Scholar will not need to complete this step since they will only be conducting research.
- The respective Dean provides a letter of request for a visiting scholar appointment to the Provost’s Office. Sample letters can be found here. The Dean submits this letter along with the following documents along with those from steps 4, 5 and 6 above to the Provost’s Office. If the appointment is for research-orientated activity (as opposed to instruction), the Provost’s Office will forward the paperwork to the Office of Human Resources for processing.
- PD-7 “Personnel Action Form”
- PD-7a “Personnel Action Form”
- Certification Form
- Official transcripts (if required)
- Phone Verification of Credentials form (if required)
- Visiting Scholar DS-2019 Data Form, Parts A and B
- Insurance Attestation Form
- Biographical page(s) of passport and CV or resume
- Appropriate funding documentation if not financially sponsored by UNCG
- Conduct EHRA Background Check as required by the Provost’s Office. More information is available here .
- Send duplicate copies of all documents mentioned in #9 above to the attention of Jennifer Kelley via fax at x45406 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Part 2: Steps to be Completed by IPC
Upon receipt of the Provost’s appointment, IPC will:
- Issue a form DS-2019 “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1)”.
- Issue a welcome letter to accompany the original letter of appointment (which will be sent to IPC from the Provost’s Office), form DS-2019 and a brochure from the Department of State with insurance information.
- Contact the scholar to confirm mailing address and to ensure delivery of form DS-2019 package if IPC is the sender.
- Maintain communication with scholar via email to confirm issuance of visitor’s J-1 visa.
- The scholar will check in at IPC, whose staff will conduct the required New Scholar Orientation to discuss maintenance of immigration status issues and provide information about IPC services and programs.
- Scholar will complete “Personal Data Sheet for Scholars” and copies of appropriate documents will be made, including a copy of the “Post-Employment Personnel Data Form PD-7a.” provided by the hosting department.
For more information about arrival preparations and orientation, please visit our page for Visiting Scholars.