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Responsibilities of the Host Department

In preparation for the arrival of the visiting scholar, the host academic department should complete the necessary visa and employment forms, request a Banner ID, assist with transportation and housing matters, and arrange for departmental introductions and workspace.

Special Considerations In Hosting Scholars: Scholars need support for both during their program, and also as they finish, such as if they have difficulty exiting the US.
Submit Visiting Scholar Sponsorship Request

The department will submit a request to sponsor a visiting scholar to the Office of International Students, Scholars & Programs (ISSP). For details see J-1 Visa Sponsorship. 

Note: Fulbright scholars will receive the DS-2019 from the Fulbright Program. Thus, the host department does not need to complete this step if hosting a Fulbright scholar.

Banner ID

The department must request a Banner ID for the scholar. This will enable them to obtain a W&M ID card, Swem library access, etc. If the scholar will be employed by the university, this will automatically happen at Human Resources with the Personnel Action Form. If not, an affiliate/other ID must be requested from IT.


The department is responsible for assisting the scholar in finding local housing. The university currently does not have housing available for international scholars, so private housing must be secured in advance of their arrival. Although ISSP does not coordinate housing for scholars, it does provide some information on housing options.


The department should help to arrange transportation for the visiting scholar from the airport. Please see ISSP's information on transportation options.

Employment Forms

If the scholar will be paid or employed by W&M or VIMS, the department must ensure that the appropriate Human Resources and Payroll forms have been completed. For details on the I-9, SSN, and tax forms, see hiring non-immigrant employees. 

Office/Work Space

The department should arrange for access to building, an office and/or work space, access to a computer, etc.

Departmental Orientation

The department provides an orientation to introduce the visiting scholar to colleagues, resources, etc.

Responsibilities of ISSP

The Office of International Students, Scholars & Programs (ISSP) will prepare the international scholar for arrival by handling all visa/immigration-related issues, interactions with government agencies, introduction to university and local resources, and cultural programming.


ISSP will issue the DS-2019 immigration document and advise on the visa process, and will register the scholar's SEVIS (Immigration) record after arrival. For details see J-1 Visa Sponsorship. 

Note: Fulbright scholars will receive the DS-2019 from the Fulbright Program. The program will also be responsible for providing immigration advice to the scholar.

International Scholar Orientation

ISSP will conduct an orientation for all visiting scholars sponsored by W&M or VIMS, introducing them to the resources available at the university (e.g. Swem Library, Campus Recreation, course auditing etc.) as well as to life in Williamsburg and Gloucester (e.g. public bus system, shopping, restaurants, international community organizations, etc.).

Government Agencies

ISSP will answer questions and help to resolve issues pertaining to government agencies, such as Social Security Numbers, Driver’s Licenses, etc.

Cultural and Community Programs

Through International Family Network, ISSP provides cultural programs to help connect visiting scholars and their family members to the community and introduce them to local US culture.