Inviting a Visiting Scholar

Overview

Webster University hosting departments should use J-1 Request Form to request a DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status) for a visiting international scholar. Requests should be made at least 4 months before the scholar’s assignment start date. The information collected on this form will be used to prepare DS-2019. The department must return the J-1 Request Form together with required documents to International Recruitment and International Services in the Office of Admission by email or campus mail. 

To invite a visiting scholar, the sponsoring department should submit to International Recruitment and International Services the following documents:

Checklist

  • Completed and signed J-1 Request Form (PDF)
  • Copy of invitation letter outlining terms and conditions of assignment
  • Copy of passport (biographical page) of scholar and of any dependent
  • Evidence of financial support (see financial support evidence below for more details)
  • J-2 Dependent Form for any accompanying dependents (if applicable)

After receiving these documents, International Recruitment and International Services will review the request to verify that the scholar meets the requirements for the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program sponsored by Webster University. It will take about 5 business days for us to process the application. A staff member at International Recruitment and International Services will then issue a Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status for the visiting scholar and send it with relevant documents to the sponsoring department who will then be responsible for sending it to the visiting scholar. 

Upon receiving the documents the scholar should begin the process of applying for a visa (except for a Canadian or Bermudian citizen who does not require a visa) to enter the United States.

Financial Support Evidence

The U.S. Federal Government requires that Webster University verify evidence of financial support for every exchange visitor and for their dependents before we can issue them the DS-2019 or the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status.

Minimum Funding Requirements

  • $1,200 per month for the scholar
  • $375 per month for spouse
  • $250 per month for each child

Evidence of financial documentation (written in English) are required from any funding source the scholar will be receiving such as:

  • Award letter,
  • Webster University salary or stipend
  • Bank letter or bank statement, or
  • Sponsor letter from employer

Financial documentation should be submitted to International Recruitment and International Services with the J-1 Request Form.

Mandatory Health Insurance Requirement

The U.S. Department of State requires all J-1 and J-2 visa holders to have mandatory health insurance which covers sickness or accident throughout their period of stay in J status. Minimum coverage shall provide:

  • Medical benefits of at least $50,000 per accident or illness;
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $7,500;
  • Medical evacuation to his or her home country in the amount of $10,000; and
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.

Note: Scholars are required to provide proof of health insurance coverage to International Recruitment and International Services following arrival. J-1 exchange visitors who willfully fail to carry health insurance for themselves and their J-2 dependents risk termination from the J-1 program, thus forfeiting the legal right to remain in the United States

Steps to be Taken by the Visiting Scholar

Exchange Visitors invited to Webster University will:

  • Receive Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for J-1 Exchange Visitor Status)
  • Pay the US $180 - I-901 SEVIS fee
  • Obtain a J-1 visa from a U.S. embassy or consulate (except for Canadians and Bermudian citizens)
  • Enter the United States by being issued a “J-1” stamp in their passports at the port of entry (e.g. airport or sea port)
  • Report to International Recruitment and International Services upon their arrival to the United States with their immigration documents and attend an orientation.

 Checking-in With International Services on Arrival

After arriving in the United States the scholar should report to International Recruitment and International Services in the Office of Admission with all his or her immigration documents including those of any dependents within 15 days of arrival. Please contact Wenceslaus P’Oryem at wporyem01@webster.edu to set up an appointment. To validate the scholars' immigration status and participation in the program in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), International Recruitment and International Services is required to meet with the scholars. The scholars should bring the following to his or her appointment with Wenceslaus (Wence) P'Oryem:

Failure to report within 30 days of your start program will lead to automatic cancellation of your DS-2019 and J-1 visa. Please contact the International Recruitment and International Services if a scholar will not arrive on time.

During the scholar’s appointment with International Services, individual orientation will also be conducted to the scholar. Therefore, the scholar should be prepared for an appointment that will last between 45 minutes to one hour.