An exchange visitor is a foreign national who has been selected by a sponsor to participate in an exchange visitor program. The exchange visitor enters the United States on a J-1 visa. Any accompanying spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age may apply for J-2 visas.
Academic departments may host an international scholar (exchange visitor) in the following categories:
PROFESSOR/RESEARCHER (from six months up to five years)
- is someone who is engaged in this program for the purpose of teaching, conducting research, or both. The maximum stay in this category is five years that must be used consecutively in a non-tenure track position.
- is someone who is participating in a USD program for six month or less.
NOTE: For questions relating to foreign nationals filling tenure track faculty and permanent positions, please contact our Human Resources Office.
STEPS/PROCEDURES IN HOSTING AN INTERNATIONAL SCHOLAR
- Complete an application form for Request for DS-2019, Certificate Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (Note: The hosting department must complete the DS-2019 Request Application, not the international scholar.)
- For paid positions: A teaching/payment contract is required.
For non-paid positions: prepare an invitation letter for the visit
The invitation letter must state the following:
- Name of the hosting department
- Name of USD faculty member serving as host
- Duration of the visit: Beginning and end dates
- Purpose of visit (research topics)
- Title of the position
- Office space available to the exchange visitor, if any
- Party responsible for funding the exchange visitor's health insurance* (if the exchange visitor is expected to cover his own medical insurance expense, it must be clearly noted in the letter)
Note: Invitation letter must be signed by the Dean or Department Chair
- Present evidence that the exchange visitor has adequate English skills to function as a visiting scholar
- Proof of funding (applies whether scholar is USD-funded, self-funded, or other institution-funded)
- Submit all the above documents to OISS for review and DS-2019 issuance (we are in Serra Hall 315)
*HEALTH INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS: Participants of the Exchange Visitor Program are required by the US Department of State to have health insurance that meets very specific standards. In this regard, USD offers a health insurance plan specifically designed for international students and scholars and meets the Department of State's requirements. For summary of benefits and most current pricelist, please contact OISS.
PREPARING FOR THE ARRIVAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOLAR
As the hosting department, you are expected to accompany or direct the exchange visitor in completing the following steps:
- Set up a time to meet on campus
- Contact OISS to schedule an immigration check-in appointment
- Remind the international scholar to bring: passport, I-94 card, Form DS-2019, and proof of health insurance (proof of health insurance must be in English), if applicable
- Provide OISS with a local address in San Diego for SEVIS validation
- Visit the Human Resources office
- E-Verify validation- to check employment eligibility
- USD ID number issuance
- USD ID card and email address
- Contact the Payroll Office for tax-related procedures and tax treaty questions
- Provide an orientation* on USD campus and US life in general (required by law)
- You may also assist the exchange visitor by referring them to this J-1 Scholar Checklist
Note on Dates of Visit: Please notify OISS immediately for any changes (either beginning, end, or both) on the scholar's dates of visit
*Program regulations require sponsors to offer appropriate orientation for all exchange visitors. The orientation may include, but is not limited to, the following information:
- Life and customs in the US
- USD Campus Life
- Local community resources (e.g. public transportation, schools, recreation facilities, etc.)
- A description of the program they are participating in
Some of the information required in orienting exchange visitors are already provided by OISS during check-in and mandatory regulatory and insurance orientation. If further assistance is required by the hosting department in orienting a visiting scholar or professor, please let OISS know and we would be happy to provide some additional guidance.
For more information on the process of sponsoring a visiting professor or scholar, you make contact (619) 260-4598 to make an appointment with either Responsible Officer (RO) Chia-Yen Lin, or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) Rhona Reyes.