Inviting a Scholar

Departments, faculty sponsors, and administrators play a key role in inviting Visiting Scholars to work and conduct research at UD. International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is available to support you in this process.

What is a Visiting Scholar?

An individual whose activities and length of stay fall under one of the categories listed below:

Category A. An individual concerned primarily with teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting. May also participate in departmental research. If primarily to conduct research, Category B below more appropriate, even if the individual is a professor in his or her home country. Length of appointment: 3 weeks to 5 years in duration.

Category B. An individual concerned primarily with conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project; also allowed to teach or lecture. Length of appointment: 3 weeks to 5 years in duration.

Category C. A professor, research scholar, specialist, or a person with similar education or accomplishments coming on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills. Length of appointment: less than 6 months in duration.  

In order to enter the US and engage in these activities, a Visiting Scholar must apply for a J-1 visa. If these activities or lengths of appointments do not suit the visiting scholar, contact our office to explore other visa options.  

What is a J-1 visa?

A visa designed to foster global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges. This visa is commonly used by US universities to invite foreign academics to teach and/or conduct research on their campuses. All J-1 visa holders are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program in order to share their exchange experiences.

Note: The J-1 visa cannot be used for ladder-track or tenured appointments.  

The Visa Waiver Program/B-1/B-2 visa vs. J-1 visa

While U.S. immigration inspectors have wide discretion in granting entry to the U.S., they do not view the Visa Waiver Program or the B visa as appropriate for someone coming to a University to conduct any research especially for an extended period. In addition, many embassies and consulates now require the J-1 visa be used for such purposes. 

What is my role in all of this?

At the heart of educational and cultural exchange is the relationship between the faculty sponsor (host) and the Visiting Scholar. As the faculty member inviting the Visiting Scholar, you are responsible for initiating this request and serving as his/her primary support person in the US.  

Is timing a consideration?

Our office requires 1-2 weeks to review the application materials. Additionally, scheduling and obtaining a visa may require another 4-6 weeks after that. In other words, the earliest you can expect a Visiting Scholar to begin his/her appointment is two months from now.

How do I get started?

Email with a brief description of your plans and we will send the necessary documentation to you to fill out.

Is there a place for the visiting scholar to stay?

The ISSS office operates Scholar House, two multi-room occupancy apartment buildings located in close walking distance to campus. To reserve a space, complete the Scholar House Reservation Form. Space is limited.