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Who are Visiting Scholars? Visiting scholars are persons who have been invited to come to Tufts to engage in research and related academic and scholarly activities. While visiting scholars must be invited by a Tufts department or center, they are not employees of Tufts and do not receive any employee benefits. In most cases, visiting scholars will be self-funded and self-guided in their research activities.

Visiting scholars who need visas to come to the US will be sponsored by Tufts as J-1 Exchange Visitors, in either the J-1 research scholar or J-1 short-term scholar category.  These visa categories are part of the BridgeUSA exchange programs overseen by the US Department of State. For more information about J-1 categories, read below. Once Tufts has agreed to sponsor you as a J-1 visiting scholar, you will be issued a Form DS-2019 visa certificate so that you can apply for a J-1 visa and enter the US in J-1 status.

Eligibility for Visiting Scholar Status

You are eligible to come to Tufts as a visiting scholar only at the invitation of a Tufts faculty member, with the approval of the faculty member's department chair and the department's school dean. Note: at Tufts, there is no central process for requesting visiting scholar status. Instead, each school has its own policies and procedures for approving visiting scholar requests. To obtain an invitation, start by contacting a department faculty member or the school that matches your scholarly interests for more information about how to obtain visiting scholar status with an appropriate department.

Once you have been invited to join Tufts as a visiting scholar, your host department will start the visa certificate request process for you. You will be contacted by the International Center or your department during this process to provide additional information needed to obtain a visa certificate. Do NOT submit any documents to the International Center until you have been offered an invitation from your host department, and until your department has started the visa process for you.

Please read the information below for more details regarding J-1 visiting scholar status, fees, and other processes. If you have questions, you can contact the International Center J-1 scholar advisor for your school.

Form DS-2019 Visa Certificate

Once the International Center has received a completed request for J-1 Exchange Visitor status for you, we will issue a Form DS-2019 visa certificate to you. It usually takes the International Center about 1 - 2 weeks to process a complete request for J-1 visiting scholar status. If you will be joined by any family members, separate DS-2019 forms will be issued for them so they can apply for J-2 dependent status. Your Form DS-2019 will include information about paying the I-901 SEVIS fee, applying for a J-1 visa, and coming to the US in J-1 status.

J-1 Visa Requirements