Departments wishing to sponsor a visiting scholar from overseas will need to provide information to support the scholar's application for a J-1 visa. The U.S. Department of State's Exchange Visitor Program allows scholars, students and performers to work on specific cultural and educational projects in the U.S. This is a non-immigrant visa category designed to foster greater cultural understanding by encouraging interaction between U.S. citizens and individuals involved in education and cultural work in other countries. Participants are expected to return to their home country at the end of their program to share the experience.

Sponsor an International Scholar

To sponsor a visiting exchange scholar, you will need to submit the following to our office:

  • a copy of the sponsor application form (linked below)
  • a copy of the scholar's passport information page
  • documentation of the scholar's financial support
  • a copy of the interview form below or other proof of English proficiency

Some of the information on the sponsor application form can be filled out directly by you (such as the purpose of the scholar's visit and the kind of duties s/he will have), while other information should be requested directly from the scholar (such as the required financial statements). The J-1 information sheet below provides more information on the Exchange Visitor Program and the responsibilities of sponsoring departments. All Exchange Visitors must provide proof of adequate health insurance for the duration of their stay (see Proof of Health Insurance below).

Please understand that visa processing can take a long time, so make every effort to get the completed sponsor application to us no less than two months before your scholar's planned visit. We will use the information you submit to generate a preliminary form that the scholar will need to take to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in his or her home country for an in-person visa appointment. We do not grant visas; that determination is made by the U.S. Department of State. We begin the process and then, once the scholar has been approved by the U.S. government and arrived on campus, we check them in and provide an overview of the expectations associated with the visa. We are happy to answer questions -- either yours or theirs -- and to provide assistance throughout the process.


  • Request to Sponsor a Exchange Visitor: to be completed by the sponsoring department and the proposed visiting scholar
  • Visiting Scholar English Language Proficiency Interview Form: documented proof of English proficiency is required, so please submit a signed copy of this form with the application above unless the scholar con provide alternate proof of English language ability (i.e. from a standardized test or home university certification)