During the past decade, William & Mary has experienced significant growth in its international scholar population as programs and departments have increased the number of visiting scholars they invite. This welcomed development has provided opportunities for hundreds of visiting scholars to come to W&M to pursue their research. At the same time, it naturally increases the demand for services to support them and their families.
To respond to this increased demand, W&M assesses an international scholar fee for all J-1 visiting scholars. Please note that W&M and VIMS employed scholars (e.g., international house fellows, post-doctoral researchers and visiting faculty with teaching appointments) are exempted the fees.
International Visiting Scholar Fee: A one time fee of $350 is charged as part of the J-1 visa document request process in iStart. If the scholar needs J-2 visa sponsorship for a spouse and/or children, $75 will be charged per dependent.
Revenues from the fees are used to manage visa compliance, support, and specialized services for the international scholar community. In addition, federal regulations require that the university provide adequate staffing and services in this area (and we are required to submit a report every year) and thus it is important that we appropriately support our international scholars community.
- Immigration and Scholar Advising: J-1 visa sponsorship and support. Offering enhanced advising services on a variety of matters including J-1 visa sponsorship, immigration advising, life in the U.S., etc.
- Operational and Technological: Staffing and technological infrastructure (e.g., iStart software for immigration data compliance) to better serve the growing international community and fulfilling federal compliance requirements.
- Orientation: Provide support services for new international scholars and their families to acquaint them with the W&M, Williamsburg and Gloucester communities and to facilitate the transition and adjustment to life in the U.S.
- Crisis and Risk management: Crisis management and support for scholars.
- Cultural and Social Programming: Opportunities for cultural, social, and educational programs.
- International Families: Providing support services and programs to the spouses, partners, and children of our scholars.
- Tax Assistance: Continuation of the annual tax software license (prepares tax returns for international scholars) and enhancement of tax filing assistance services.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are these fees being charged?
Over the past decade, the international scholar population has grown significantly as W&M programs and departments increase the numbers of visiting scholars they invite. Our office has taken on the work of supporting international scholars without additional staffing or resources to do so. These fees will allow us to continue offering our programs and services, meet our compliance obligations, and appropriately support the university in its hosting of international scholars.
Who pays the fee?
The fee is charged to the visiting scholar.
Do all schools charge these fees?
Schools differ in how they fund their operations. It is common for public universities to charge orientation and service fees to international scholars. Some private schools charge no specific international fees but charge higher tuition or have substantial private funds available to them. In setting these fees, we sought to stay at the mid range of what other comparative universities charge. We also exempted W&M and VIMS employed scholars (e.g., international house fellows, post-doctoral researchers and visiting faculty with teaching appointments) and thus adjusted the fee accordingly for all others.
If a scholar doesn't use a particular service or program, can the fee be waived or reduced?
The fees support all programs and services specially designed for international scholars. Accordingly, we cannot reduce or waive the fee based on usage of individual services. Our services and programs range from visa document issuance (DS-2019) and SEVIS (Immigration) record administration to international orientation to crisis management to support programs (e.g., International Family Network). All scholars at W&M in J-1 status use at least some of our services.
Questions: If you have questions about the fees, please contact [[ywong, Eva Wong]], Director of International Students, Scholars & Programs.