Visiting Faculty/Researchers


Visiting Scholar Process

The process for bringing an international scholar to Baylor has many steps requiring different types and levels of approval as well as multiple required pieces of documentation.  Faculty members who wish to bring a scholar to campus should allow for a minimum of 4 months from the time the process is started until the expected arrival date of the scholar.  This allows time for Baylor to complete its paperwork, for the scholar to request and receive the DS-2019, for the scholar to schedule and attend a visa appointment at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, and for the scholar to make travel arrangements. 

  1. English Proficiency Forms Submitted

    The Baylor faculty sponsor must submit the English Proficiency Forms to verify that the prospective scholar has sufficient English language proficiency to successfully participate in his or her program and function on a day-to-day basis. We recommend that faculty members complete these forms before any other documents since they are required by the Department of State.  Failing the English proficiency requirement automatically disqualifies an applicant.  Click HERE for the forms.

  2. Complete Necessary Baylor Documents
    • For Scholars who will be Auxiliary (not hired by Baylor):  The Baylor faculty sponsor will intiate the Visiting Scientist/Scholar Agreement (VSA) through the Office of Sponsored Programs and follow their process to get all required signatures.  For more information about this form, click HERE.  Once the VSA has been started, HR will send the Auxiliary Request Form to the faculty sponsor.  Both the VSA and Auxiliary Forms must be completed and submitted to HR before ISSS can contact the prospective scholar regarding the DS-2019.  Once HR notifies ISSS that both documents are received, ISSS will contact the scholar to prepare the DS-2019
    • For Scholars who will be hired as Full-time Employees:  The Baylor faculty sponsor will submit the BearQuest.  Once the hiring process is complete, HR will notify ISSS to begin the DS-2019 process.  Only those scholars who are under contract with Baylor as full-time employees, with benefits, are exempt from the VSA and Auxiliary Form requirements.
  3. ISSS emails Prospective Scholar to begin DS-2019

    The scholar will receive an email from ISSS with forms to complete to gather the necessary information for the DS-2019.

  4. Prospective Scholar Submits the Scholar DS-2019

    The prospective scholar should submit the Scholar DS-2019 information.  This includes all documents verifying financial support, letters of invitation from the department, passport copies and any previous DS-2019 forms. ISSS will send an email providing the link to submit and upload all required documents.

  5. International Student and Scholar Services Issues DS-2019

    The DS-2019 is the document required when applying for a J-1 visa at an U.S. Embassy or Consulate. It is necessary for entry into the United States and for maintaining J-1 nonimmigrant status. The Scholar's SEVIS ID number is the 10-digit number in the upper right hand corner above the bar code starting with "N00". The DS-2019 will be mailed to the scholar by the sponsoring Baylor department only after Human Resources have confirmed that all necessary processes are completed.

    If scholars want to bring family members with them, they should read the document below. Each dependent (spouse or child) will be issued his/her own DS-2019 form as a J-2. The J-1 should sign all dependent DS-2019's since they are tied to the principle J-1 SEVIS record.

    Bringing Family Members

  6. Pay the SEVIS Fee and Get a Copy of Your Receipt

    All new scholars coming in J-1 status must pay a $180 SEVIS fee prior to applying for your visa. For more information go to SEVIS Fee Instructions HERE.

  7. Apply for the J-1 Visa

    It's important for Scholars to apply for their visa well in advance of their arrival as it can take several weeks to obtain the J-1 visa. There have been (and continue to be) changes in the visa application process and these changes are usually reflected on the consular web sites (U.S. Embassy Website) The Application for a U.S. visa requires an application fee, valid passport, official photographs, and an interview. To apply for a U.S. visa, scholars will need to present the following documents at the U.S. embassy or consulate nearest to you:

    • Form DS-2019

    • The SEVIS Fee receipt (proof of purchase)

    • A copy of financial support documents (i.e. evidence that there are sufficient funds to meet the expenses at Baylor, e.g. letter of invitation, scholarship letter, and bank statements).

    U.S. consulates typically issue a J-1 visa no more than 120 days in advance of the program start date; however, there have been exceptions, so check the website of the consulate where the scholar will apply for a visa for detailed instructions. Also, scholars may enter the U.S. no more than 30 days prior to the starting date noted on the DS-2019 Form. They should pay attention to the starting date noted on the DS2019 (Item #3). If they cannot enter the U.S. by this date, they should contact ISSS at: (254)710-1461 or Email: so the dates of the SEVIS record can be extended and not invalidated.

  8. Purchase Baylor's J-1 Health Insurance

    All J-1 scholars who are not full-time Baylor employees with benefits must purchase Baylor's mandatory J-1 health insurance policy for themselves and all accompanying dependents. If their program is less than one year, they and their dependents are required to purchase insurance, in full, for the entire duration of their program (as indicated on the DS-2019). If their program will continue for more than one year, they may purchase insurance for the first year and renew the policy in yearly increments. J-1 Scholars must provide proof of purchase to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) 10 days before arrival, or the scholar's SEVIS record may be terminated. The current Enrollment Form can be found HERE. For more information on Baylor's insurance plan for international students and scholars, please click HERE.

  9. Check in with ISSS upon arrival!

    All J-1 scholars must report to International Student and Scholar Services upon arrival to validate your SEVIS record and copy all documents. Failure to do so could result in loss of legal status in the U.S. Scholars should contact ISSS ahead of time to schedule a meeting within the first 5 days of arriving in Waco.  The ISSS Office is located in Hankamer Academic Center, Rm 160.

In addition to the steps listed below, we have prepared checklists that Baylor faculty members and academic departments can use to determine what has been completed and what is still in process.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

J-1 Visiting Scholar (Baylor Employee) Checklist                                               

J-1 Visiting Scholar Auxiliary (external funding) Checklist