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 the campus community. 

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Application Process

Based on the purpose and duration of your visit, J visas can be categorized into three areas- professor, research scholar, and short-term scholar. Learn more about each category, eligibility and application process. For information on applying as a visiting scholar to SUNY Oswego, please send an email to

J Visa Categories

Short-Terms Scholar

Professor Research Scholar
Purpose of Visit Lecture, Observe, Consult, Training, Demonstrate special skill(s) Teach or lecture at university, observe or consult Research, Observe, or consult in connection with a research project
Visitor Eligibility A short-term U.S. visit to lecture, observe, consult, train, or to demonstrate special skills  Temporary, non-tenure track appointments. Minimum qualifications: bachelors' degree with appropriate experience in the field in which research is to be conducted. Not physically in U.S. for all or part of 12-months preceding start date, unless excluded according to 22 CFR 62.20(d)(2)(iiii). Please visit this site for eligibility requirements and restrictions.
Duration of U.S. Visit 1 day – 6 months 3 weeks – 5 years
Repeat participation Yes. No waiting period Yes. After 24 months residency outside U.S.

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 member 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. Click here to complete the Visiting Scholar Application.
  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 $1,800 per month for the scholar and approximately $750 a month additionally for each dependent.
  7. Official transcripts of degree,  if the scholar will be teaching a course while on campus.

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.

Mandatory in-person orientation

When J-1 scholars secure their visas and buy flight tickets, they are required to let the ISSS Office know to schedule the mandatory orientation. At the orientation,  J-1 visiting scholars are asked to provide their U.S. addresses and phone numbers to activate their immigration records. They also need to make a payment for insurance and/or administrative processing fees.

To make a payment, visiting scholars can pay by cash, credit card, or by international money order of $487.50 per month 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.

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). 


Learn more about insurance, dependents, housing and meals by clicking each section below.  


Medical insurance is mandatory for international scholars and their dependents attending SUNY Oswego.

  1. The State University of New York Medical Insurance Plan is mandatory for all J visa  scholars and their dependents attending SUNY Oswego. Exceptions apply only to those scholars and students officially sponsored, covered, and thoroughly documented by a national government or international agency.
  2. As long as a scholar remains in the USA on SUNY Oswego's J visa, medical insurance will be required.

While you can download the summarized insurance coverage, we made some key points about the medical insurance fee and its coverage.

1. The cost for a month's coverage of medical insurance is $US 487.50. Please note that this amount is only for scholars, there will be extra charges for dependents.

A.  Plan deductible: $200 in-network and out of network: $400 out of network
B.  Coinsurance: 80% in-network and 60% out of network
C.  Prescription copay: $30/$60/25% in-network
D.  Physician Office Visits: $25 copay in-network, $50 out of network provider
E.  Laboratory services: $50 copay in-network  
F.  Specialist Office Visits: $25 copay in-network, $50 out of network provider
2. The State University of New York Medical Insurance Plan is comprehensive, and it provides unlimited coverage. This includes ambulance services, vaccines, emergency visits, GYN visits and preventive cares. Please note that dental and vision will be covered only when under the age of 19 and accidental. 
3. You can get Telehealth services through UnitedHealthcare which means you can speak to the representative in your own native language about your mental health. 
4. As long as the dates are within coverage dates, you will be covered anywhere globally except within 50 miles of your home country residence.


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


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.  


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.

Be Aware of Scams

U.S. Department of State has seen an uptick in housing and rental scams where exchange visitors transfer money before they start their program to a fraudulent realtor or landlord, scamming the victims out of hundreds if not thousands of dollars.  Other reported scams involve phone calls from alleged government representatives demanding personal information and money with threats of deportation from the U.S.

Please refer to the links below for helpful resources to protect your identity and information.

If you fell into any kind of scam, please contact as soon as possible.

Expectations & Responsibilities

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  one presentation at the Institute of Global Engagement (IGE) brown bag (bring your own) lunch
  3. Submit an exit survey
  4. Comply with the Resident Life and Housing guidelines if living  on-campus
  5. Deliver a presentation at Hart Hall, 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. 
  6. Submit a report on achievements, presentations and research efforts to the faculty host.

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 
Contact us if you...
  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

Please email us at