California State University, Fullerton

Visiting Scholars

Visiting Scholar Event_group pic

CSUF Visiting Scholars Fall 2014 Welcome Event

 Additional Resources

California State University, Fullerton, welcomes visiting scholars, also known as Exchange Visitors (EV), for stays of varying duration in order to conduct research, teach, and/or consult with faculty members at the university. Such visits are in keeping with the university's mission and goals, which express its aspiration "to combine the best qualities of teaching and research universities" and its commitment to "promote collaborative and innovative exchanges with other educational institutions." Visiting scholars from abroad may especially contribute to the internationalizing of a campus that sees itself as "a regional university with a global outlook."

Visiting foreign scholars and faculty are participants in the "Exchange Visitor Program" regulated and operated by the US. Department of State.
As a Program Sponsor, CSUF is authorized by the State Department to participate in the Exchange Visitor Program. A host of complex regulations limit the conditions and circumstances under which we can invite an Exchange Visitor and severely restrict the activities of the Exchange Visitor and dependents while in the United States. A visiting scholar may be invited as an EV in one of the following J-1 non-immigrant visa categories:

J-1 Visa Category Intent/Main Activity Duration of Program
Professor Teach/lecture in the EV’s area of expertise minimum 3 weeks; maximum 5 years *
Research Scholar Conduct research in the EV’s area of expertise minimum 3 weeks; maximum 5 years *
Short-Term Scholar Engage in short-term activities related to the EV’s area of expertise e.g. engage in research projects, guest lecture, conduct master classes, etc. minimum 1 day;
maximum 6 months

(Note: NO extension is allowed; there are no exceptions)

Other visa eligibility requirements:

  • An exchange visitor cannot be a candidate for tenure track position.
  • An exchange visitor cannot be hired on campus as a graduate assistant while engaging in intended activity throughout his/her stay.
  • EV's in categories 1 and 2 are not eligible for repeat participation in the same category for a period of 2 years (24 months) after the end of the program.
  • Note: this rule does NOT apply to short-term scholars.

* Although the maximum time is 5 years, it is our current practice to recommend initially one year with the possibility of extension. Evidence of financial support must reflect the entire duration of program at time of initial application.

For details on visa regulations, please contact Jeni Lynch at the International Students and Scholars Office (CP-207)
Tel: 657-278-8652


The process of facilitating an Exchange Visitor's temporary stay on campus involves the following steps:

  1. Faculty initiates the invitation by completing the Visiting Scholar Initiation Form
  2. Faculty obtains approval of the proposed visit by appropriate department chair and college dean.
  3. Faculty submits the completed the Visiting Scholar Initiation Form to Associate Vice President for International Programs, CP-207.
  4. International Students and Scholars (ISS) Office emails "DS-2019 Request Form" to Exchange Visitor requesting personal data and evidence of financial support.
  5. Upon receipt of all required documents, the Associate Vice President for International Programs (AVPIP) issues a formal invitation letter.
  6. A Form DS-2019 is issued by the International Students and Scholars Office and express mailed to EV together with the formal invitation letter by AVPIP and other pre-arrival information such as procedures for visa application, purchase of health insurance, etc.
  7. The actual J-1 visa for the Exchange Visitor is issued by a U.S. Consulate or Embassy overseas.

Exchange Visitor Responsibilities

  1. The EV will have sufficient funds for the duration of the proposed activity including funding support for family members, if any. EV's providing personal funds will be required to submit financial evidence of U.S. $2500 per month, and an additional $500 per dependent. This information will be sent to EV's by IP staff.
  2. The EV understands the requirements of mandatory health insurance. It is the responsibility of the EV to purchase the health insurance policy upon arrival.
  3. The EV will inform IP staff when the following occurs:
    • Changes in financial support
    • Termination of program before end date
    • A need to travel outside the U.S. for more than 30 days