J-1 Visiting Scholars General Information

Florida International University is the sponsor of the Exchange Visitor Program P-1-04568 which is administered by the Department of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). In this section, the term “sponsor” refers to the Florida International University, the “Responsible Officer” and “Alternate Responsible Officers” are administrators/advisors in the Department of International Student and Scholar Services. Dr. Alejandra Parra, Senior Director, is the primary contact for the Exchange Visitor Program; Mr. Ted Randall is the Responsible Officer (RO) and Ms. Barbara Bormey is the Program Assistant for the program and an Alternate Responsible Officers (ARO). Other Alternate Responsible Officers are Nancy Hernandez , Evelyn Rodriguez and Claudia Biscardi.

Due to the intricacies of J-1 immigration processing, the ISSS recommends that departments submit completed forms to ISSS at least 90 days prior to the proposed start date of the academic activity to enable sufficient time for processing.

Florida International University refers to a scholar as an exchange visitor for U.S. Department of State purposes and as a “visiting scholar” for university purposes. If the scholar’s spouse or children accompany him or her, they are considered dependents and must enter the United States on J-2 visas. The University is authorized to sponsor exchange visitors in five categories: professor, research scholar, short-term scholar, specialist and student.

Annually, Florida International University hosts approximately 140 visiting scholars in the J-1 category.

Department faculty and administrators who wish to invite and/or employ an international scholar in J-1 classification should click on the links under ‘Bringing an Exchange Visitor to FIU’ below to learn about how to request J-1 visa related documentation. J-1 Exchange Visitors visit the university for as little as one week to a maximum of 5 years in paid or unpaid appointments. ISSS will then evaluate all of the forms and supporting documentation and issue necessary forms to assist the prospective scholar in obtaining the necessary visa and approvals to enable the scholar to commence teaching and/or research at Florida International University. Due to the intricacies of J-1 immigration processing, the ISSS recommends that departments submit completed forms to ISSS at least 60 days prior to the proposed start date of the academic activity to enable sufficient time for processing.

Bringing an Exchange Visitor to FIU

OTHER SCHOLAR CATEGORIES

Florida International University employs H-1B “Temporary Workers in a Specialty Occupation” in a variety of paid teaching and research positions. FIU also employs scholars in other immigration classifications such as Trade NAFTA (TN), Persons of Extraordinary Ability (O-1) Department faculty and administrators who wish to employ an international scholar in H-1B, TN or O-1 classification should contact their respective dean’s office.

AFFILIATING WITH A DEPARTMENT OR PROGRAM

Occasionally, FIU faculty and staff have the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from other countries. If you are interested in such a collaboration, you will need an FIU faculty or staff member to host you. Please see the FIU homepage http://www.fiu.edu for links to our academic schools, departments and programs.

Whether you, as the visitor, will be paid by a research grant, by University funds, your own funds, or a combination, it is important to know that there are both U.S. federal immigration regulations and University policies to be followed.

Generally, you will enter the U.S. on a J-1 (exchange visitor) visa as either a visiting research scholar or visiting faculty. The sponsoring faculty member at FIU completes a special form called a DS-2019 Request Form (so named because the DS-2019 is the document number for the J-1 certification form). If you will be coming to FIU on your own funds, you will need to provide your FIU faculty host with documentation showing the source of the funding which shows how much is available for the duration of the stay. This information is required by federal regulation. The form is then approved by the Dean of the appropriate school or college.

Once all of the approvals have been obtained, FIU’s Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) prepares the necessary documents for the hosting department to mail to you.

It is recommended that the necessary forms be completed at least 90 days in advance of the visit. Stays can be as short as a few days or as long as five years, depending upon the interests and needs of the FIU faculty host, and the approval of the appropriate university officials.