Visiting Scholars

The exchange of professors and research scholars promotes the exchange of ideas, research, mutual enrichment and linkages between research and academic institutions in the United States and foreign countries.

NOTICE: If you are a J1 scholar and need advising or any other service from our office please email us at to schedule a telephone or teleconference meeting. If you need a travel authorization signature then we will meet with you in person, otherwise, we will work with you remotely. 

NOTICE: We are closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak. Arrivals under the J program to UTRGV are suspended for the foreseeable future. Please reach out to us with specific requests and concerns. 

 Professor & Research Scholars must:

  • Not be a candidate for a tenure track position;
  • Not have participated in and completed a professor or research scholar program within the last 24 months preceding the beginning date of their new program’s commencement;
  • Not have participated in a J-Visa program for all or part of the 12-month period immediately preceding the start date of a professor or research scholar program unless they meet one of the following exceptions:
  • The participant is currently in a professor or research scholar program and is transferring to another institution in the United States to continue their current Exchange Visitor Program;
  • The participant’s prior physical presence in the U.S. on a J-Visa Exchange Visitor Program was less than six months in duration; and
  • The prior participation was as a short tem scholar.

Short-Term Scholars must:

  • Be a professor or research scholar or someone with similar education and or experience.
  • The maximum duration of stay is six months;
  • No program extension will be considered; and
  • No change of category will be considered.


Exchange Visitor Program Application and Fee

If your school or department is interested in hosting a scholar or researcher from a foreign institution you will have to submit an Exchange Visitor Program Application and pay a $105 application processing fee to International Programs and Partnerships through the UTRGV ePay Portal. 

The Exchange Visitor Program application fee may be paid by the visiting scholar's home institution, UTRGV's hosting department, or the visiting scholar themselves. The payment may be made in the resources tab located on the left-hand side. 

Hosting Professors or Departments must submit all the required documents to the department of International Programs & Partnerships through the online application at least 80 days prior to the exchange visitor's proposed start date. Incomplete applications will not be processed. 

Exchange Visitor Program Insurance Requirement

U.S. Department of State regulations require that sponsors (colleges, universities, or agencies which promote educational exchange) monitor insurance coverage for all exchange visitors. Proof of insurance coverage must be supplied to our office upon your arrival at UTRGV or your Exchange Visitor status must be canceled. 

Insurance Regulations

Visiting Scholar/Researcher Agreement

All Exchange Visiting Scholars at UTRGV that are not hired through the Office of Human Resources must sign the Visiting Scholar/Researcher Agreement.  

Once we have received the completed Exchange Visitor Program application packet we will issue the DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status for your scholar. The visiting scholar then will submit an application to the local U.S. consular office in the home country to acquire a J-1 Visa for entry in the United States under the J program of the U.S. Department of State.

Guidelines and Procedures At Arrival

Scholars must check in with the Office of International Programs and Partnerships within 7 days of arrival in order to validate the program on SEVIS. If the program is not validated within 30 days of  the program start date, the program will be automatically canceled in SEVIS and the Exchange Visiting Scholar will need to depart the USA.