Inviting International Scholars to Cal Poly Pomona

J Visa Categories

Cal Poly Pomona International Center in partnership with CPP faculty has authorization from the Department of State to invite research scholars and professors to come to the U.S. as temporary visitors in the J-1 visa category for specific program objectives on our campus.

Under Federal regulations, colleges and university departments may invite visiting research scholars and visiting professors to the campus to collaborate on research projects, give lectures or seminars, or even teach a class for a quarter. A visiting foreign scholar or professor must have a specific objective stated on his or her immigration documents, and that objective may not change, even if he or she changes from one institution to another.  International visitors may be invited to come in one of the following categories:

  • Short-term Scholar, 6 months or less
  • Research Scholar, 6 months to 5 years
  • Visiting Professor, 6 months to 5 years

Short-term Scholars may lecture, observe, consult, and participate in seminars, workshops, conferences, study tours, professional meetings, or similar types of educational and professional activities. Short-term scholars may not extend their stay in the US.

Visiting research scholars and professors may participate in all of the above type of activities and may stay in the U.S up to a total of 5 years.  They may not change their objective in the U.S.  J-1 visiting professors may only be in a visiting faculty position – they may not be a candidate for tenure. The visitor may take the place temporarily of someone who is a candidate for tenure, such as someone who may be on sabbatical, but the J-1 may not be in a tenure-track faculty position.

Taking academic classes may not be the main objective or the main activity of the international exchange visitor.  Regulations do not prohibit visiting scholars and professors from auditing or enrolling in academic courses through the Open University as long as this is incidental to their stated objective.  

Colleges and departments should consult with the Coordinator, International Student & Scholar Services in the International Center regarding the process of inviting a scholar to campus.

Required Financial Support

Under Department of State regulations, the University is responsible to verify that the international visitor will have adequate financial resources for travel, living and miscellaneous expenses.  A minimum of $1200 per month for non-academic expenses (housing, transportation, insurance, etc.) is recommended.  Additionally, $500 for spouse and $250 for each dependent should be allowed per month.  The college or department must provide documentation regarding the amount of financial support the scholar will receive from the campus or from another source.

Required Health Insurance Coverage

Exchange visitors (and their dependents) are also required by the Department of State to either submit proof of medical insurance (written in English).  The insurance must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • $50,000 per accident or illness
  • $10,000 in medical evacuation coverage
  • $7,500 in repatriation coverage
  • Maximum deductible of $500 per accident or illness

A medical insurance policy can be purchased at the International Center upon arrival. Scholars are required to show proof of insurance or purchase insurance for their (and their dependent’s) entire stay up to one year at a time. Ask the International Center for the current rate for insurance purchased through Wells Fargo.

Departmental Responsibilties to Consider When Hosting J-1 Exchange Visitor

  • The scholar’s intended research as it relates to departmental or faculty interest
  • Ways the scholar could be involved on-campus while at CPP and contribute by teaching or collaborating with CPP faculty
  • Avaiability of temporary office space for the scholar to use while at CPP
  • Arrival assistance
  • Assistance with housing on or off-campus
  • Participation in American cultural events and holidays

The Process

  1. The faculty member writes an invitation letter to the prospective visiting scholar. Link to sample letter below.
  2. When the prospective visiting scholar has accepted the invitation, the CPP faculty member completes the J-1 Scholar Invitation Form.
  3. The prospective visiting scholar completes the Exchange Visitor Information Form.
  4. Both completed forms and a copy of the invitiation letter are submitted to the International Student and Scholar Services Coordinator along with:
    • The resume or CV of the visiting scholar
    • A copy of the visiting scholar’s passport picture page (their spouse and child’s passport picture page, if applicable)
    • Proof of Financial Support for the duration of the visit for all members
  5. Once the Coordinator for International Student & Scholar Services receives the required documents, the Coordinator will issue a DS2019, which is the document needed to obtain a J-1 Visa and enter the USA. The visiting scholar is required to report to the Coordinator within 10 days after arrival in the USA.
  6. The CPP faculty member is notified when the document is ready to be mailed to the visiting scholar.
  7. The scholar can make an appointment with a US Consulate to obtain a visa.

The International Center is a partner with faculty to invite international scholars to Cal Poly Pomona.  If you need any additional information please contact Kelly McCullen, Coordinator for International Student & Scholar Services at (909) 869-2036 or by e-mail at

Please note that in recent years, housing and transportation have become increasingly difficult to provide for individuals who do not choose or cannot afford to stay at Kellogg West. While the International Center can advise you on options, you should be prepared to think creatively about how to provide housing for your guest.

Forms and Other Information

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