Departments wishing to sponsor a visiting scholar from overseas will need to have the request approved by their departmental and college leadership as well as upper administration. This process ensures that the university can provide proper support to visiting scholars and maintains compliance related to international scholars as determined by the Department of State.

The application to sponsor a visiting scholar requires that faculty work with the scholar to provide information to support the scholar's application for a J-1 visa. The U.S. Department of State's Exchange Visitor Program allows scholars, students and performers to work on specific cultural and educational projects in the U.S. This is a non-immigrant visa category designed to foster greater cultural understanding by encouraging interaction between U.S. citizens and individuals involved in education and cultural work in other countries. Participants are expected to return to their home country at the end of their program to share the experience.

OEA handles campus approvals and sends the scholar's information on to International Student Admissions and Programs, which will process the initial visa paperwork.

Sponsor an International Scholar

To sponsor a visiting exchange scholar, you will need to submit the following to our office:

  • a copy of the sponsor application form (linked below)
  • a copy of the scholar's passport information page
  • a copy of the passport information page for any dependents the scholar wishes to bring with him/her (only spouses and children are eligible)
  • documentation of the scholar's financial support
  • a copy of the interview form below or other proof of English proficiency

Some of the information on the sponsor application form can be filled out directly by you (such as the purpose of the scholar's visit and the kind of duties s/he will have), while other information should be requested directly from the scholar (such as the required financial statements). The J-1 information sheet below provides more information on the Exchange Visitor Program and the responsibilities of sponsoring departments. All Exchange Visitors must provide proof of adequate health insurance for the duration of their stay (see Proof of Health Insurance below).

Please understand that visa processing can take a long time, so make every effort to get the completed sponsor application to us no less than two months before your scholar's planned visit. The information you submit will be used to generate a preliminary form that the scholar will need to take to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in his or her home country for an in-person visa appointment. UWG does not grant visas; that determination is made by the U.S. Department of State. We begin the process and facilitte visa check-in and orientation once the scholar has been approved by the U.S. government and arrived on campus. We are happy to answer questions -- either yours or theirs -- and to provide assistance throughout the process.


  • Request to Sponsor a Exchange Visitor: to be completed by the sponsoring department and the proposed visiting scholar
  • Visiting Scholar English Language Proficiency Interview Form: documented proof of English proficiency is required, so please submit a signed copy of this form with the application above unless the scholar con provide alternate proof of English language ability (i.e. from a standardized test or home university certification)

After Your Scholar Arrives

Scholars will need to make an appointment to check in with the appropriate campus authority. Details on setting this up will be sent to scholars once UWG has issued their visa-request forms. You should maintain communication with your scholar before arrival to assist them with airport pick-up. While they are on campus, make sure to let them know about campus or departmental events that you think they'd find interesting or that will help them get a better sense of life on campus or in the U.S. If you need to request email access for your scholar, have your department chair submit a request frorm to ITS (available here).