Inviting International Scholars to Cal Poly Pomona

J Visa Categories

Cal Poly Pomona is authorized by the Department of State to invite research scholars and professors for collaborate research. The International Center partners with CPP faculty in the invitation process to ensure our campus compliance with regulations governing the J1 Exchange Visitor program.

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 document called a Certificate of Eligibility or DS2019, 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.

Those in the Research Scholar and Professor categories 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. Exchange Visitors in the Professor category 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 any 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 required by the Department of State to purchase health insurance that meets the minimum requirement. 

In an effort to ensure all Exchange Visitors meet the State Department requirements, health insurance must be purchased through Wells Fargo Student Insurance, a company Cal Poly Pomona contracts with to provide health insurance coverage.

CPP Hosting Faculty Considerations

  • New regulations require verification of English language proficiency. There are three ways the CPP faculty can ensure the new requirement is met:
    • Exchange visitor is from a country where English is both the only official language of the country and the language of instruction (such as United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada)
    • TOEFL iBT score of 80 with no less than 20 on each section or an IELTS score of 6.5 with no less than 6 on each band score (submit copy of test score with this form)
    • Documented interview by the faculty sponsor conducted via: in-person; by videoconferencing; or by telephone
  • 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 Request 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. This is the document the Exchange Visitor needs 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 assisting the exchange visitor.

Forms and Other Information

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