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Visiting Scholars


If allowed by the exchange agreement, UC partner universities may nominate exchange visitors to the University of California.

Visiting scholar status is appropriate for faculty / junior faculty and research-level graduate degree candidates who do not require student status, course enrollment or a UC transcript, and who are able to conduct independent research at an advanced level. Post-doctoral appointees (paid researchers who have not yet held a teaching position) are not eligible.

All participants must satisfy English language proficiency and health insurance requirements.

Limitations and Benefits

Visitors will not receive a transcript, be an enrolled student or be eligible for UC student housing or student services. UCEAP will pay campus-wide visitor's fees and associated fees, if any, charged by UC for the issue of the DS-2019 by the host UC. Visitors receive library access through the host department. Access to a computer and office space in the department may or may not be offered by the host. Non-campuswide visitor's fees, visa application fees, SEVIS fees, travel / transportation, living expenses and health insurance are paid by the visitor.

UC Host Invitation Requirement

Invitations from a UC faculty and department must be secured by the visitor (or faculty at the home university). In contacting UC faculty and departments, prospective visitors should include a specific statement of purpose for their visit accompanied by a curriculum vitae or resume. Invitations need to be in writing (letter or e-mail). UC faculty and departmental contact information can be found at each campus web site.

Link to the UC Online Directory

UCEAP's Role

Once visitors are nominated by their home university and have received a formal invitation by a UC faculty and department, the UC Education Abroad Program assists with acquiring the visa certificate of eligibility (DS-2019) and providing information about UC and community accommodations.

Required Documents

Prospective visitors will need to complete and send the following documents:

  • UCEAP Funding Worksheet
  • UCEAP Nomination form
  • UCEAP Address and Emergency Contact Information form
  • Invitation letter from a UC faculty member or department
  • Resume / CV
  • Proof of English language proficiency, as required by the host UC
  • Photocopy of the personal information page of the passport
  • Proof of funding (which may include any combination of the following):
    • copy of your award / scholarship letter
    • bank letter or statement in your name
    • private sponsor' / family member's statement of support

Provide all documents as scanned files. Include translations if documents are not in English.

Preparation and Processing Timeline

Identify a UC host in advance of the planned visit.

Provide UCEAP with a copy of the written invitation at least two to four months before the proposed visit. Once an invitation has been submitted to UCEAP, allow six to eight weeks for issue of the DS-2019 certificate of eligibility for the J-1 visa. Visitors should also allow at least six to eight weeks for completion of the U.S. visa application process. 

Be aware that just before and during the summer break (June through July or August, depending on the campus) departmental staff and faculty at UC may be away and unable to respond or provide the required authorizations.


Refer to the UCEAP Funding Worksheet for the current estimated living expense amounts required by each UC campus for issue of the DS-2019 certificate of eligibility for the J-1 visa. Required amounts are subject to change. The amounts provided are estimates only and actual expenses may vary depending on the visitor's lifestyle and extra activities. Travel is not included in these estimates.

Health Insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for visitors to UC. The U.S. Department of State requires all J-1 visitors and their J-2 dependent family members to have health insurance coverage with the following minimum benefits throughout their stay:

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness 
  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000
  • Medical evacuation expenses to the visitor's home country in the amount of $50,000
  • Deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness

An insurance policy secured to meet the benefits requirements must be underwritten by an insurance corporation with an A.M. Best rating of "A-" or above, an Insurance Solvency International, Ltd. (ISI) rating of "A-I" or above, a Standard and Poor's Claims Paying Ability rating of "A-" or above, or a Weiss Research, Inc. rating of B+ or above. Alternatively, visitors may hold a policy that is backed by the full faith and credit of the government of the exchange visitor's home country.

Visitors should refer to the health insurance requirements and information provided on their UC host campus web pages. See links below. Costs vary depending on the age of the visitor and the length of stay.

UC Campus Links for International Visitors

UC Berkeley

UC Davis

UC Irvine

UC Los Angeles

UC Riverside

UC San Diego

UC San Francisco

UC Santa Barbara

UC Santa Cruz