Visiting scholars

J Visa categories | Eligibility | Insurance | Dependants | HousingMeals | Faculty host expectations | Visiting scholar expectations | SEVIS responsibilities|

SUNY Oswego welcomes international visiting scholars on a J-visa to our campus. Improving international education of SUNY-Oswego students is a clear objective of various college initiatives.  Visiting international scholars are a resource in providing an international perspective for students, faculty members, and campus community. 


J visa categories:

1. Professor: The professor category is for a foreign national who enters the United State for the primary purpose of teaching, lecturing, observing or consulting at accredited post-secondary academic institutions, museums, libraries or similar types of institutions. A professor may also conduct research, unless disallowed by the sponsoring organization.

2. Research scholar: This category is for a foreign national who enters the United States for the primary purpose of conducting research, observing or consulting in connection with research projects at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited academic institutions, or similar types of institutions. A research scholar may also teach or lecture, unless disallowed by the sponsor. The research scholar or professor's appointment to a position shall be temporary, even if the position itself is permanent. Incidental lectures or short-term consultations are permitted with the approval of the responsible officer so long as they are directly related to the objectives of the participant's program and do not delay the exchange program's completion date.

3. A short-term scholar must be a professor or research scholar or someone with similar education and or experience. Participants collaborate on special research projects, teach a semester at a college or university, or lecture, consult or observe in a variety of settings in education and research in the United States. The maximum duration of stay is six months. No program extension will be considered and no change of category will be considered.

 Eligibility: Visiting scholars with a Ph.D or Ph.D candidates with teaching or research appointments at a university are eligible to apply for residency at SUNY Oswego. Please visit this site for eligibility requirements and restrictions.

 Preliminary inquiries:  A SUNY Oswego staff or faculty can recommend that a visiting scholar submit a letter of interest or an interested visiting scholar can initiate a review for residency by submitting a letter of interest to the chair of the department. The letter must be supported with a resume, purpose for the visit, a research plan and evidence of funding source through their home country or home institution.

 Formal review of a request: Upon receipt of the letter of interest and supporting documents, a formal review of the request will be conducted. The successful applicant will receive an invitation letter from the Dean of the school and a host faculty member will be assigned as the faculty host to the visiting scholar.  The invitation letter should contain; the name of the visiting scholar, purpose (teaching or research), the topic and the area of their research interest, host department and host faculty members names, dates of their stay, funding source for the visiting scholar. Priority will be given to:

  • Fully funded scholars, especially Fulbright-funded scholars or scholars funded by the home country or institution (Fulbright scholars will have their visa applications executed and reviewed by the Fulbright Foundation).
  • Scholars who either have a relationship with an Oswego faculty member or who are  renowned in the profession or known in the field.
  • Scholars who are at an institution that has an exchange agreement with SUNY Oswego.
  • Scholars with specialization and ability to generate co-authored papers with faculty.

Formal application: The Dean's office will submit the letter of invitation and the documents provided by the visiting scholar to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). The ISSS office will contact the visiting scholar to request the following documents to be sent to their office:

  1. Visiting scholar application can be downloaded here.
  2. Documentation evidencing academic accomplishment.
  3. Documentation evidencing employment at a college.
  4. Copy of passport page with photo and passport holder information.
  5. Proof of effective English language ability for research scholar category applicants and either TOEFL 95iBT or 7.0 IELTS for professor category applicants.
  6. Documentation from home institution or home country evidencing financial support for the duration of the residency at approximately $1200 per month for the scholar and approximately $500 a month additionally for each dependent.
  7. Official transcripts of degree,  if the scholar will be teaching a course while on campus.
  8.   International money order for of $1,500 in United States dollars from your postal service made payable to ”Auxiliary Services”  for application processing and administration fee which includes mandatory health insurance coverage for up to 6 months. Please note: this fee is required for all visiting scholars and includes SUNY mandatory medical insurance only for the scholar. Scholars are responsible for purchasing health insurance for their dependents upon arrival to SUNY Oswego (contact ISSS Office).

Upon review of the application and supporting documents, the ISSS office will issue the DS-2019 and mail it to the visiting scholar along with instructions for visa application and pre-orientation materials.

Insurance: Visiting scholars are required to purchase SUNY HTH medical insurance for themselves and their dependents. Visiting scholars are strongly encouraged to purchase dental and vision insurance as these can be very costly without insurance and they will be personally liable for the costs.

Dependents: Visiting scholars may bring their dependents. The dependents would have to provide documentation to the ISSS office and be covered by medical insurance.

Housing: There is limited housing available on campus. There is no campus housing for scholars who bring children. If there are no rooms available on campus it would be the visiting scholar's responsibility to find off campus accommodation with the assistance of the faculty host.  

Meals: Visiting scholars can purchase on campus meal plans and/or cook their own meals in the residence hall kitchen. The ISSS office provides cooking and eating utensils.

Expectations: The visiting scholar and host faculty will be expected to carry out responsibilities at SUNY Oswego.

Faculty host expectations: The host faculty should be the liaison between the visiting scholar, the ISSS Office, and the campus community. As the primary contact, the host faculty will provide assistance during the residency of the visiting scholar and will be expected to do the following:

  1. Arrange an office space and computer for the visiting scholar and orient the scholar to the campus including the Penfield library. 
  2. Introduce the visiting scholar to the department and students.  
  3. Pick up and drop off the visiting scholar at the airport, show the scholar around town, and help the scholar settle-in by assisting with shopping.
  4. Work with International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) to identify on-campus housing. If this option is not available or not appropriate, the host should help the visiting scholar in finding off-campus housing with assistance from ISSS.
  5. Notify the campus community, Institute of Global Engagement (IGE), and the visiting scholar committee of the visiting scholar's expected arrival on campus.
  6. Submit a written report on the achievements of the visiting scholar to the respective school's international committee and ISSS. The report should document the visiting scholar's classroom presentations, meetings with students and the general campus community, as well as any research efforts begun or concluded.

Note: Some reasonable expenses incurred by the faculty host such as transportation, meals, settling in costs for the scholar, etc. may be eligible for reimbursement; contact the ISSS office for more information.

Visiting scholar expectations:Visiting scholars should interact significantly with the campus community.  A visiting scholar will be expected to

  1. Deliver at least one public presentation at a departmental or college level
  2. Deliver at least one presentation through the Institute of Global Engagement (IGE)
  3. Deliver a presentation at Hart Hall or organize an activity at Hart Hall
  4. Meet with classes or student groups that share common characteristics or interests, participate as a guest speaker within the scholar's disciplines, or in courses related to language and culture, etc.
  5. Comply with the Resident Life and Housing guidelines if living on-campus
  6. Submit an exit survey
  7. Submit a report on achievements, presentations, and research efforts to the faculty host with copy to the ISSS Office, 102 Sheldon Hall.

SEVIS responsibilities: Visiting scholars are responsible for complying with U.S. federal laws and regulations governing the J-visa.

  1. Upon your arrival on campus, please visit the ISSS office to receive the signature of the RO or ARO and orientation materials.
  2. Report your change of address to the ISSS office within 10 days.
  3. Depart the U.S. within the 30 days after the end of the program
  4. Apply for extension before the expiration of the program
  5. Maintain required health and accident insurance
  6. Keep your passport valid at all times
  7. Carry your original documents when traveling outside of Oswego City 

Please notify the ISSS office if you plan to:

  1. depart unexpectedly from the U.S. 
  2. apply for an extension
  3. bring your dependents for a visit
  4. lose any of your travel documents
  5. travel to countries that may require a visa

For information on applying as a visiting scholar to SUNY Oswego, please send an email to