Visiting Scholars


The J-1 Exchange Visitor category was developed to implement the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act (Fulbright-Hayes Act) of 1961. The overall purpose of that Act, and the objective of the Exchange Visitor category, is "to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges."

Gonzaga academic departments who would like to invite a J-1 Scholar to engage in scholarly exchange on Gonzaga's campus can submit a request in the ISSS portal.

Gonzaga Department Checklist

Before issuing an invitation letter to the visiting scholar (as soon as possible and at least 9 weeks before the program start date) verify the following:

  1. Academic Match: Hosting faculty identify academic match and transformative relationship with the visiting scholar that will benefit the professional lives of both visiting scholar and host faculty, and possibly both institutions.
  2. Academic Support: The department must demonstrate how they will support the scholar’s academic program. A general rule is that the collaborating professor should be prepared to meet with the scholar a minimum of twice per month. Scholars should be given appropriate access to classroom observations if needed. If teaching is involved, the department must demonstrate how they will support the scholar’s pedagogical alignment with the department’s/College/School’s learning outcomes and expectations.
  3. Office Space: It is recommended, though not required, that the scholar be given office space and access to a computer and telephone line. However, office space is mandatory for teaching scholars.
  4. Plan for Arrival: The academic department should plan to appoint a Faculty host and Administrative Coordinator. The two main point of contacts will serve as liaison between the academic department and CGE. They will also attend to the scholar’s basic needs such as initial grocery shopping, help them set up bank accounts, learn the public transportation system in Spokane.

Requirements of a J-1 Scholar

  • Has an official academic or staff appointment at Gonzaga University.
  • Be in a position that primarily conducts research, teaches (non-tenure track), or observes in compliance with the purpose and intent of the J-1 regulations.
  • Has adequate funding from Gonzaga, their home country's government, their university/employer abroad, or a professional organization.
  • Carry insurance (health, medical evacuation, repatriation of remains) covering the J-1 Scholars and their J-2 dependents that meet the requirements. J-1 Scholars may purchase the health insurance offered through ISSS.
  • Upon entry, Scholars must complete check-in electronically with ISSS for J-1 Scholar Program "Validation" in SEVIS and sign up for J-1 Scholar Orientation.

Satus Duration

J-1 Scholars may hold their status for (total program duration at Gonzaga or elsewhere):

  •  Research Scholar or Professor: 5 years
  • Short Term Scholar: 6 months
  • Specialist: 1 year

Scholar Request Start Dates

  • New from abroad: 30 days or more required
  • Extension, amendment, or transfer-in: 1-2 weeks required


  1. Request submitted to ISSS with completed items (see below)
  2. ISSS staff works on issuance of DS-2019 for scholar to apply for visa (1 week)
  3. Scholar pays SEVIS fee, completes an online DS160: Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form, schedules visa appointment with U.S. Consulate in their home country, is issued J-1 entry visa and enters the U.S. using their DS-2019 Form (1 to 12 weeks depending on visa wait times).

J-1 Scholar Request Document Checklist

  • Completed J-1 Request Form with signatures (including Appendix I)
  • Copy of J-1 Scholar's passport and passport copies of dependents (if applicable)
  • Proof of English Language proficiency via an interview, or through TOEFL or IELTS documents
  • Copy of Scholar's CV/Resume
  • Copy of signed offer or invitation letter
  • Copy of Job Description or Program Description
  • 5 Point MD letter (if applicable)
  • Funding document
  • Current DS-2019 (if a transfer-in request or Scholar had J-1 status before)
  • FedEx shipping label (optional)