Visiting Scholar Sponsorship

J-1 Scholar Visas can be granted for a maximum stay of 5 years, and can be used for the following types of positions:

  • Post-Doctoral appointments (grant or state-funded)
  • Faculty or administrators coming pursuant to an exchange agreement
  • Academics and professionals coming to fill visiting positions (e.g. visiting instructors)
  • Self- or government-funded visiting academics (e.g. colleagues coming to collaborate on research, academics on sabbatical, etc.)
  • Foreign graduate students at institutions abroad coming to W&M to conduct dissertation/thesis research

To be eligible for sponsorship in a  J1 scholar category, the foreign national typically must hold the equivalent of a bachelor's degree or higher. Exceptions exist for renowned artists, musicians, and performers.

J-1 Visa (DS-2019) Request Process

Step 1: The department completes sponsorship forms and sends them to [[sjsech, Steve Sechrist]] at the Reves Center:

Step 2: The visiting scholar completes biographical and funding forms and sends them to [[sjsech, Steve Sechrist]] at the Reves Center:

  • W&M Scholar Information Form
  • copy of passport identity page
  • CV
  • research abstract or plan
  • documentation of funding (if not solely W&M funded)

Step 3: The Reves Center issues a DS-2019, prepares a Pre-Arrival packet (includes an invitation letter, J-1 visa application instructions, etc.) and sends it to the scholar. Shipping via UPS or Fed EX is strongly recommended.

Step 4: The scholar applies for a J-1 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in his/her country. Spouse and children may be issued DS-2019s to apply for J-2 visas.


There are no fees that the department must pay.

  • SEVIS Fee ($180): This government fee may be paid either by the department or by the scholar. If the department wishes to pay, the Reves Center will assist with the process. Typically, departments only pay this fee if the scholar will be employed by William & Mary.
  • Visa Application Fee ($160): This government fee is always paid by the scholar.  
  • From the time Reves Center receives a complete request (all documents from department and scholar) it takes 3-5 days to issue the DS-2019 and send it to the scholar.
  • From then one should plan 2-4 weeks to secure the visa. Administrative processing (security checks) at the embassy or consulate can add several weeks to that timeline.