When the department wishes to sponsor any international visiting scholar, they must first complete the Visiting Scientist/Scholar Agreement (VSA) in the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, for all international scholars. Only those offered temporary, full-time employment with Baylor funding are exempt from this requirement. This preliminary step requires some advance planning and must be completed prior to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) issuing the immigration documents for the J-1 Exchange Visitor. Plans to invite a J-1 scholar should begin three to four months in advance of the appointment start date to allow for case review, document preparation, mailing immigration documents, and visa processing. In some cases, scholars may experience significant delays in visa processing abroad due to possible US government "Administrative Processing" or security clearances.
Departments may request a J-1 visa (DS-2019) through ISSS for an Exchange Visitor to come in the category of Research Scholar, Visiting Professor, Short Term Scholar or Degree and Non-Degree Seeking Students. The information and requirements listed below only apply to the Visiting Scholars and Research Scholars. They do not receive a stipend in their appointment, nor does their appointment imply tenure or continuation at the University.
Form DS-2019 is the document required for a scholar to apply for a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa. This form will be issued when ISSS receives notification of the VSA approval, receives the Department DS-2019 Request Form submitted by the host department, the Scholar's DS-2019 Request Form and all financial documentation.
The initial request by the hiring department can be for up to a maximum of five years. Verification of financial support is required. Funding may be from the university, the Exchange Visitor's government, personal funds or a combination of these sources. Documents verifying financial support from a source must be emailed to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).
Health Insurance Requirement - All other scholars (part-time BU employees and/or those with outside funding) must purchase Baylor's mandatory J-1 health insurance policy and for all accompanying dependents. Insurance must be purchased and in effect, 10 days before your arrival at Baylor or their SEVIS record will be terminated.
The hosting department must consider the following responsibilities and criteria of the J-1 before appointing a scholar in J-1 status:
The hosting department must submit the Visiting Scientist/Scholar Agreement to the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and receive approval before contacting the ISSS (all scholars with outside funding and/or receiving some BU funding).
The hosting department should submit the Department DS-2019 Request Form to ISSS 3-4 months prior to the arrival date and no later than 6 weeks before.
Immigration regulations require proof of sufficient supporting funds before immigration documents can be issued. These funds may come from Baylor, an outside organization, government or the individual may be supported by his/her personal funds. The funding document must have been issued within the past 12 months and translated in English.
The scholar and any accompanying dependents must purchase Baylor's mandatory health insurance which should be in effect 10 days before arrival. Failure to secure or maintain adequate health insurance will result in termination of the J-1 program participation.
J-1 scholars are not eligible for tenure track positions.
All J-1 scholars are required to have a least a bachelor's degree and relevant experience in their field of expertise, plus English language proficiency.
The intent of the appointment/affiliation with the University must be temporary, and the visitor must plan to return home upon completion of the educational objective.
The department will mail the DS-2019 to the scholar to his home country via express mail. The scholar will then take the DS-2019 to the US Embassy or consulate to apply for a J-1 entry visa.
J-1 scholars must always be in possession of an I-94 card, a current DS-2019 and a valid passport which accurately reflects their purpose for being at Baylor.
The Visiting Scholar or Research Scholar designation may be extended after one year, up to the 5-year cap, with prior approval and additional financial documentation for the extension.
The exchange visitor may only perform duties limited to the objectives on the DS-2019 form. Any additional employment must be directly related to his/her original objective, and must be authorized in writing by IS3 in advance.
An exchange visitor may not change departments without prior approval from OVR.
Departments should immediately notify ISSS of terminations or departures of exchange visitors.
Scholars who are unsure of their future plans with respect to employment at Baylor or in the US, and who would be subject to the two-year home country residence requirement upon departure, would do well to consider alternative immigration classifications.