This web-site is intended to inform you about the procedures to follow when requesting a DS-2019 to bring a visiting scholar to your department. Please read the entire web-site before proceeding with your request.
J-1 visa rules now make it possible to bring visiting researchers or professors to Wright State University for as long as 5 years. Prior to this time, this category of Exchange Visitor was limited to a maximum stay of 3 years. These changes in immigration/visa regulations were accompanied with some other changes which make it critical to keep WSU visiting researchers/professors well informed and careful about making their long term plans. For example, if a WSU Exchange Visitor Program participant were to come here for a year and then return to his/her home-country he/she may be prohibited from returning on the same visa status for 2 years if no provisions/plans had been made for this return to the US prior to his/her departure from the US.
According to the US Dept. of State, an individual who has participated in the Exchange Visitor Program as a Professor or Research Scholar on or after November 18, 2006, becomes subject to the new two-year bar on "repeat participation" in those categories after completing or breaking the continuity of a five-year period of eligibility. Under DOS's interpretation, the two-year bar applies under two circumstances:
1) If the Professor or Research Scholar completes a full five years of program participation with one or more sponsors or...
2) If, before the full five-year period is over, the Professor or Research Scholar "completes" his or her program. In this case, the continuity of the five-year period is broken, the five-year window is "closed," the individual is not eligible to access the remaining unused time, and the individual must wait for two years before beginning a new program as a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar.
Most visiting foreign faculty members and researchers come to the United States on J-1 exchange visitor visas. The Exchange Visitor Program is run by the U.S. Dept. of State – Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and is designed specifically for the purpose of international educational exchange. The regulations are periodically reviewed and revised. Some of these revisions are of interest to faculty who bring in exchange visitors to collaborate or teach at the University. Of particular importance for the visiting scholar is the requirement that he/she carry adequate health insurance for himself/herself AND for all J-2 family members who will accompany the visitor. This has become a condition of maintaining J status. A visiting scholar is not employable at the WSU unless he or she has adequate health insurance. Immigration law defines people in J status ("exchange visitors") as persons who have the intent to return to their home countries when they have completed their stated program. The penalty for knowingly providing false information in an immigration application is a fine of up to $2000 and imprisonment of up to 5 years (Title 18, US Code, Section 1546). Departments will therefore understand why the UCIE office must have careful documentation for every application we file for any kind of immigration benefit.
This packet contains:
1.General procedures to bring a visiting international scholar to WSU
2.An Initial Request for a DS-2019 form (please make copies as needed) will contain the five documents below. Please read all the information on this web-page prior to completing the forms below.
d) CV or Resume
e) Proof of Non-WSU Funding (if applicable)
f) Photocopy of Passport ID Page
3.A department CHECKLIST guiding your planning to host visiting international faculty and scholars.
4.WSU EMPLOYEE CATEGORIES: The majority of the EV's coming to WSU have been hired to do research in various WSU departmental labs. For a listing of the various research job titles and the associated pay rates, see the WSU Human Resources web page below: http://www.wright.edu/hr/compensation/salsched_research.html
• If you would like to bring a visiting international scholar to WSU, you need to begin the paperwork at least four months prior to the scholar's anticipated arrival date.
• The university does not have any housing specifically set aside for visiting international scholars, nor does WSU have anyone who locates housing for scholars. UCIE can give suggestions about where to begin a search, but finding housing is ultimately left up to the scholar. Language barriers, coupled with the shortage of short-term lease apartments, can make it difficult for a foreign scholar to find housing, so any assistance you can offer would be wonderful! Many scholars stay in a hotel for a few days while they locate housing. (We recommend the Studio Plus on Col. Glenn -- ask for a WSU rate.)
• It is also up to you to determine how your scholar gets to campus; many scholars think that they can just take a taxi, not realizing just how far the airport is from WSU. If you choose not to pick your scholar up from the airport, you will need to let him/her know how to catch a shuttle (and you may need to make a reservation).
• As a faculty contact/host, you act as a mentor for a visiting international scholar. Some scholars truly wish to come to campus and be very self-sufficient, however, if a scholar is hoping to make meaningful connections while at WSU, as a host you are the starting point and can really set the tone for the experience.
If you have any questions about how to bring a visiting international scholar to campus, please contact the UCIE Office (775-5745).
Each year Wright State University hosts more than 20 visiting international faculty and scholars. While most visitors come to WSU to conduct research or teach, all come to this campus at the invitation of an academic department, professional school, or research division. WSU acts as the official sponsor for the majority of these visitors, but some visitors may be self-sponsored or sponsored by such agencies or organizations as the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), US Dept. of State - Office of Exchange Coordination and Designation (OECD), American Institute of Development (AID), World Health Organization (WHO), or International Research and Exchange (IREX). Financial support for these visitors varies: some receive financial support from WSU as temporary members of the faculty; others receive financial support from their program sponsor or their own government; and many visiting scholars provide their own financial support while they are in the United States.
Nearly all visiting faculty and scholars come to the United States on a J-1 visa specially designed for international educational and cultural exchange visitors. The visa is granted by U.S. consulates on the basis of a DS-2019 (formerly IAP-66) form provided by WSU or a sponsoring agency. Faculty and researchers are normally admitted to the U.S. for one year or less, with the possibility of extending their stay to a maximum of five years.
A few visiting faculty and scholars, those who will be at WSU 9 days or fewer and will visit fewer than 5 academic institutions, may travel on a B-2 visitor visa.
Any faculty member, academic department, professional school, or research division wishing to invite visiting faculty or scholars to the University can contact the UCIE Office at (775-5745) for more information.
Employing departments should be aware that there are different categories available in bringing over a visiting scholar. In brief, these categories are:
J-1 Scholar Nonimmigrant status: Appropriate for temporary employment from between 1 month up to 3 years and or filed through the University Center for International Education Office
H-1b Scholar Nonimmigrant status: Appropriate for temporary long-term employment for up to 6 years, or possibly permanent appointments. H-1B applications are filed through the WSU office of General Counsel.
B-1/B-2 Visitor Nonimmigrant status: Short term (can receive an honorarium only if at WSU no more than 9 days), and can visit no more than five academic institutions. No paper work required through UCIE. Departments may facilitate visa through providing Letter of Invitation.
Immigration law defines "non-immigrants" as: "persons who have an intent to return to their home countries when they have completed their stated program." Departments and prospective visiting foreign scholars should keep these distinctions in mind in preparing documents dealing with nonimmigrant status and in all relationships with consular and immigration officers.
Visiting scholars should come to the United States on appropriate visas. Immigration Services will deny most applications for change of status for people who state one intention when they enter the United States and then immediately "develop" a different set of intentions. Also, visiting scholars in "B"status may receive a payment for expenses and/or an honorarium, not a salary, but that arrangement is for a single event or short series of events (lecture/demonstration) and is limited to a 9 day visit.
Graduate departments and divisions need to be very careful in determining whether it is feasible to obtain proper immigration status for a prospective visiting scholar within the available time frame. Departments must prepare documents for immigration applications early and carefully, and take into consideration the complexities of immigration regulations in planning for staffing positions. Due to new immigration regulations, UCIE suggests that departments and divisions to plan at least four months in advance. Departments and divisions need to be aware of the fact that immigration paperwork prepared by WSU will take a minimum of two weeks to prepare.
The first step in bringing a visiting scholar to WSU is writing him/her an official letter of invitation. This letter should detail the nature of the research the scholar will conduct, and specifically what the department will be able to offer to the scholar. It should explain whether or not the department will be able to offer office space, staff assistance, departmental facilities, salary and or stipend, and the agreed length of stay/dates scholar will be on campus. Who should sign the invitation letter varies with the college, that is, you may need the college Dean's signature if the dept. Chair's signature is not sufficient to meet the college requirements.
All visiting scholars, regardless of the immigration arrangements that are made for them, must have an official University appointment indicating they have an academic relationship to WSU. For those scholars who will not be paid by the University, the appropriate appointment is generally "WSU Affiliate – Visiting Scholar – Non-Employee." Any scholar who will be on the University payroll should be appointed according to the specifications of their contract with the specific department.
The process of bringing an international visiting scholar to WSU is pretty straight forward. The legal paperwork for the scholars' visa is handled by the UCIE office.
Departments and divisions which will be employing a visiting international scholar must have an official appointment from the university before WSU can process any immigration documents. To bring a scholar on a J-1 visa, a faculty member will need to make what is called an "Initial Request for a DS-2019" from UCIE (in the past form was called an IAP-66). This form has many specific questions on it pertaining to the scholar's personal bio data. The faculty sponsor may need to email (or FAX) the prospective scholar specific questions in order to fill out this form.
To fill out the request, the faculty member will need to know the following:
PRIMARY APPLICANT DEPENDENT/S
• Last Name (as spelled in passport) First Name (as spelled in passport)
• Date of Birth Date of Birth
• Country of Birth Country of Birth
• Country of Citizenship Relationship to Primary Applicant
• City of Birth City of Birth
• Gender Nationality
• Country of Legal Permanent Residence
• Position in Country of Residence
• Middle Name, if available
• U.S. Address, if available
Also, UCIE must be able to verify financial arrangements (if sponsored by a program, then a letter of sponsorship; if using personal funds, it is often in form of bank account statement). After completing this form, please submit request to WSU – UCIE Office, Room E190, Student Union.
After receiving a DS-2019 (and other materials), the scholar takes that information with a passport to the local U.S. Consulate or embassy (in the scholar's home country) to apply for a J-1 visa. (In some countries, this is done through the mail.) Some new regulations have been passed recently and your scholar may want to call ahead to the Consulate to ask what forms he/she will need to bring with him/her (i.e., birth certificate). The UCIE Office will provide information on one of these new requirements (the I-901 SEVIS Fee) at the time the DS-2019 is issued. If all goes well, a visa stamp should be issued (within passport), also the DS-2019 form is returned to the scholar. Together, these two items make the scholar valid for entry into the U.S. under the J-1 category.
All visiting scholars are required to have health and accident insurance (for themselves and any accompanying dependents while in the United States) that is in compliance with regulations set forth by the US Department of State. Insurance should be purchased prior to, or as soon as possible after arrival in the U.S. WSU employee insurance alone does not meet these requirements. The faculty sponsor or other person within the division in the graduate department (requesting the DS-2019 document) is responsible for informing visiting scholars about this requirement, since it involves the scholar's financial arrangements. UCIE has information on health insurance policies for international visitors. Visiting scholars who wish to use insurance from their home countries must provide verification that their coverage meets Department of State requirements. A scholar who does not have appropriate health insurance coverage is not employable at the university, and his/her program could be subject to termination.
Exchange visitors are required by US Immigration regulations to maintain adequate health and accident insurance for themselves and any accompanying spouse and/or dependent(s). Information on recommended plans is available in the Univ. Ctr. for International Education (UCIE) Office.
The minimum insurance coverage requirements are:
$50,000 medical benefits per accident or illness.
$7,500 repatriation of remains.
$10,000 medical evacuation to home country.
$500 ceiling on deductible per illness or accident.
Health insurance web links for information on exchange scholar insurance programs:
When the scholar has finalized his/her arrival date, please have him/her call the UCIE Office to schedule an appointment. It is best to inform the UCIE well in advance, so a proper arrival package and orientation can be arranged for the scholar. Scholars are required to check in at UCIE within 15 days of the start date of their program. The university is required by law to report scholars who fail to check in and failure to do so could result in the termination of their program, so this check-in is VERY important.
All visiting scholars who will be on the University's payroll must have a social security number. Since a visiting scholar must have such a number to get on the WSU payroll, there may be a delay in payment to your visitor. In order to be issued a number, the scholar must present his/her passport and immigration documents to the Social Security Administration officials at 220 W. 2nd Street, Dayton, Ohio. Maps and applications are available in the UCIE office. Due to new immigration regulations, it can take up to six weeks to get a social security card. It is very important for all employing departments and divisions to alert scholars that WSU will not be able to pay them until they show evidence that they have applied for the social security card. All scholars should be advised to bring "start up money" to bridge this gap.
Visiting scholars who will not be on the WSU payroll and those who will not be paid will get a WSU-ID card through the assistance of the UCIE and through their department affiliation.
The Exchange Visitor Program does carry with it some limitations that in some cases can be severely restrictive to departments and to prospective visiting scholars. These limitations are the following:
1. Limited length of time to remain in the United States – A maximum of 5 years for professor or researcher categories. No program extensions are possible.
2. Changes in category (i.e., professor J-1 or research scholar to student F-1). Although provided for in the regulations, these types of changes are in reality difficult to obtain. Also, departments should not encourage visiting scholars to try to earn additional degrees while they have entered the United States in the J-1 professor or researcher category.
3. 24-month bar rule - If a visiting scholar has been in the United States on a J program for 5 years, he/she cannot begin a new J program in the professor or researcher categories until two years after the previous program ends. This is commonly referred to as the 2-year bar rule. An understanding of this regulation helps explain why it is necessary to know an incoming scholar's previous visa statuses.
4. Two-year home residency requirement. Those who are subject to this requirement may not change their nonimmigrant classification in the United States and are not eligible to become permanent residents or H-1B temporary workers until they have lived in their country of last legal permanent residence for two years after completing their J-1 program in the United States. So long as these restrictions pose no conflicts with the plans of the department or the prospective visiting scholar, and so long as the department has no plans to retain the scholar beyond the 5-year limit, the J-1 exchange visitor status is usually most appropriate. Exchange visitors who are subject to this requirement are either:
a) Financed in whole or in part by the US or home country government funds. (Grant funding does not count.);
b) From countries where their specific skills are needed, as determined by the Exchange Visitor Skills List published by the USIA; or
c) Medical doctors who come to the United States for advanced medical education or training.
J-2 dependents can apply for work permission from INS as long as their earnings are not used to support the J-1 holder. The time from submitting the application until receiving permission to work will take a minimum of three months. Application forms are available in UCIE; stop by and pick one up if your J-2 dependent would like to apply.
All foreign scholars who come to the University on permanent faculty appointments must eventually obtain immigrant status. In negotiating with foreign scholars for positions as permanent faculty or researchers, departments must always keep in mind the delays and difficulties of obtaining immigrant status. It is important not to make promises that the WSU cannot keep. If a department is offering a foreign individual a tenure-track or tenured position, J status in the professor/researcher category of the J visa, this is NOT appropriate. Please consult with the WSU Exchange Visitor Program Director in the UCIE office (775-5745) or the WSU Office of General Council, for advice on granting tenure-track positions to foreign scholars.
U.S. immigration laws are very complex. The information contained in these pages is designed specifically for scholars and the departments at the Wright State University; other individuals should seek assistance from immigration specialists. Immigration laws are constantly changing, and even though we will attempt to keep these files up-to-date, we cannot guarantee their completeness or accuracy. The information contained herein is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship, nor can it be construed as legal advice.