International Visiting Scholars

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program

The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is administered by the U.S. Department of State to foster global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges. The Exchange Visitor must intend to return home upon completion of the educational objective. For more information, see j1visa.state.gov.

The University of Akron is authorized to host Exchange Visitors in the following categories:

  • Short-Term Scholar
  • Professor
  • Research Scholar
  • Student
  • Student Intern

Please note:

Familiarize yourself with the Host Department Responsibilities before requesting a DS-2019 to invite a J-1 scholar to your department.


Emergency or urgent situation

Exchange Visitors with an emergency or urgent situation, can contact the U.S. Department of State’s Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) Emergency Hotline.

A Department representative is available 24 hours a day.

Emergency Hotline: 1-866-283-9090


Visiting Scholars Program Categories

CategoryPrimary Activity at UADuration of Stay
Professor An individual whose primary purpose is teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting on a non-tenure track appointment. Participation in departmental research is permitted. 5 years maximum, including time spent at another institution in J-1 status.

Individuals who have had J-1 or J-2 status (e.g., Student) longer than six months within the past 12 months are ineligible for the Professor or Research Scholar categories, unless the individual was a Short-Term Scholar.

Individuals in J-1 or J-2 status in the Professor or Research Scholar category within the past 24 months are ineligible for a new Professor or Research Scholar program.
Research Scholar An individual whose primary purpose is conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project under the supervision of UA faculty. A research scholar also may teach or lecture. 5 years maximum, including time spent at another institution in J-1 status.

Individuals who have had J-1 or J-2 status (e.g., Student) longer than six months within the past 12 months are ineligible for the Professor or Research Scholar categories, unless the individual was a Short-Term Scholar.

Individuals in J-1 or J-2 status in the Professor or Research Scholar category within the past 24 months are ineligible for a new Professor or Research Scholar program.
Short-Term Scholar An individual who is a professor, research scholar, or person with similar education or accomplishments who enters for a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills. 6 months maximum. No extension of stay beyond 6 months.

Host Visiting Scholars

Host Department Responsibilities

  1. Start the process at least 4 months in advance of the scholar’s expected arrival date. The International Center will do its best to accommodate and expedite requests when needed, but the scholar may face delays with visa issuance and/or travel arrangements.
  2. Follow the steps below before sending an invitation letter to the scholar:
    1. Host professor determines that the scholar has the appropriate academic credentials (at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field).
    2. Host professor obtains approval from chair/director to invite the scholar.
    3. Host professor drafts invitation letter based on invitation letter guidelines (see above).
    4. Host professor completes pages 3 & 4 of Request for Form DS-2019 (see Forms section below). Host professor must obtain adequate proof of the scholar’s English proficiency (per J-1 regulations) at this stage. If the host department is using the documented interview method, conduct the interviews using the English Language Proficiency Interview Form.
    5. Host department creates a Personnel Action Form (PAF). For self-funded or sponsor-funded scholars, this will be a “no-pay” PAF.
    6. Host professor fills out the Visiting Scholar Agreement (including the required Exhibits) and submits it to the Chair/Director for review, along with the PAF. You can obtain a template of the Visiting Scholar Agreement by emailing Robyn Brown, rkb@uakron.edu.
    7. Chair/Director reviews all documents and signs:
      1. PAF,
      2. Page 4 of Request for Form DS-2019,
      3. Page 3 of Visiting Scholar Agreement, and
      4. Page 3 of Exhibit B, Mutual Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).
    8. Chair/Director forwards the Visiting Scholar Agreement (including Exhibits) and PAF to the Dean for signatures.
    9. Host department forwards the Request for Form DS-2019, Visiting Scholar Agreement (including Exhibits), and PAF to the International Center. The International Center will pass these documents on to the Office of General Counsel for review, which will in turn pass them along to the Provost for signature.
  3. After the Visiting Scholar Agreement has been signed by all UA parties:
    1. The International Center sends a copy of the Visiting Scholar Agreement and PAF to the host department and HR.
    2. The host department sends the following documents to the scholar:
      1. Visiting Scholar Agreement (including all Exhibits), and
      2. Pages 7-9 of the Request for Form DS-2019.
    3. Scholar signs Visiting Scholar Agreement and obtains signatures from home institution on the Visiting Scholar Agreement (including Exhibit B).
    4. Scholar completes Request for Form DS-2019 and attaches required supporting documents.
    5. Host department sends the completed Visiting Scholar Agreement to the International Center, along with the completed Request for Form DS-2019 and all supporting documents.
    6. International Center will notify host department when the Form DS-2019 and welcome information are ready for pickup.
  4. When Form DS-2019 is ready:
    1. Host department ships Form DS-2019 and welcome information to the scholar by DHL, FedEx, or UPS. We recommend that you do not send by USPS Global Priority, as tracking information to the final destination may not be available.
    2. Visiting scholar applies for visa.
    3. Host department informs International Center if the scholar’s arrival is delayed or the scholar decides not to come to UA. If the scholar is delayed, an updated Visiting Scholar Agreement may be needed before the International Center can prepare an updated DS-2019.

  • Ensure that the scholar does not begin his or her scholarly duties until the start date on the Form DS-2019 has been reached
  • Ensure that the scholar appears in person at the International Center with his or her immigration documents and proof of insurance meeting the J-1 requirements. This should occur as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after the program start date on the DS-2019.
  • Encourage the scholar to participate in opportunities for cultural exchange along with their academic activities.

  • Inform the International Center immediately if the department intends to terminate the scholar’s program before the end date on the scholar’s Form DS-2019. Such intention must be communicated before taking action to terminate the program.
  • Request approval from the International Center before the scholar:
    • Changes job duties or departments within UA;
    • Conducts activities at a site other than the primary site listed on the Form DS-2019;
    • Changes supervisors; and/or
    • Participates in off-campus lecture or consultation for which he or she will receive remuneration.
  • If the department wishes to extend the scholar’s program, submit an extension request, updated Visiting Scholar Agreement, PAF, and supporting documentation at least 2 weeks prior to the program end date listed on the Form DS-2019.
  • Report to the International Center within 24 hours any incident specified on the J-1 Exchange Visitor Incident Reporting Rubric
    • If you need to report an incident outside normal business hours, contact Robyn Brown at 330-703-8703 or rkb@uakron.edu.

Invitation Letter Guidelines

Your invitation letter to the J-1 scholar must include all of the following information:

  • Employer name and address;
  • Dates of the position;
  • Job duties;
  • Number of hours per week the scholar is expected to engage in the research/scholarly activities;
  • Wages from UA:
    • If the scholar will not be receiving wages from UA, indicate how the scholar will be funded
      • – e.g., by their home university or government, a grant, personal funds, etc.; and
  • Other compensation and benefits:
    • Such as access to UA libraries, labs, etc.
    • If the scholar and their dependents are eligible for UA health insurance.

More information

Forms

Incoming Scholars