Inviting an international colleague to IUP as a research scholar is not difficult, but requires coordination and communication among several offices:
After discussion with the above offices, the following documents must be submitted to the Office of International Education in a timely manner for the proper invitation packet to be created and sent via airmail (seven to 21 days, depending on country). Per the U.S. Department of State, a sponsor must verify that a visiting scholar has sufficient proficiency in the English language. Therefore, if a department is interested in hosting a scholar based on credentials, but without prior, in-person interaction, a Skype interview should be conducted before the invitation process begins.
With regard to immigration, research scholars are sponsored by IUP with a DS-2019, which enables the research scholar to apply for a J-1 visa at the closest American embassy and/or consulate in his/her home country. This process can take weeks, and, unfortunately, IUP cannot guarantee that research scholars will obtain the J-1 visa.
Before the visa application, the research scholar will have to pay the $180 SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) fee. The I-901 SEVIS payment must be completed a minimum of 72 hours before the visa appointment. IUP does not pay for either the SEVIS fee or visa application fee.
Please note that all J-1 visa holders and J-2 dependents must have appropriate health insurance as required by the Department of State. A brochure and Office of International Education invitation letter outlining the minimum requirements will be sent to the research scholar.
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