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International Visitors and Scholars

Global Scholars

Each year Santa Clara University welcomes international scholars, professors and researchers from around the world.  Our International scholars are sponsored by departments and programs throughout the University and engage in a wide variety of academic collaboration, research, and study.

The Global Engagement Office leads the International Scholar Program and faculty with interest in hosting international visitors as part of SCU’s growing program are encouraged to email to discuss their interests.

Host an International Scholar

Process Overview

International Visitor Proposal

Roles & Responsibilities Related to International Scholars

Resources and Forms for Scholars 

Scholar's DS-2019 Request

Scholar's Request for Dependent DS-2019

Required Financial Documentation for Personal Funding

Mandatory Insurance

Estimated expenses

Affidavit Of Support

English Proficiency


Santa Clara University’s J-1 programs are managed by the Global Engagement Office. Specific inquiries should be directed to International Student & Scholar Advisor, who is under the supervision of the Director of International Students and Scholars. Please contact GEO at 408-551-3019;

A J-1 Scholar is the term for any international professor or researcher who has been invited to visit our university under the sponsorship of our J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. Historically, these people were sometimes called “Visiting Research Scholars”. Sometimes we use the word “Scholar” in a technical sense related to the language in the Department of State regulations, which may have additional nuances, but, in general, we refer to all visiting international professors or researchers as “J-1 Scholars”.

The role of SCU Host Coordinator is designated by the hosting department, program or school as being responsible for the academic, professional and personal needs of the J-1 Scholar. The Host Coordinator also interfaces extensively with the Global Engagement Office during the J-1 Scholar invitation, and pre-arrival process. 

The Invitation Letter is the formal document inviting a qualified international professor or researcher to come to the U.S. under the sponsorship of Santa Clara University’s J-1 Exchange Visitor Program. Invitation Letters may not be issued without the approval of the Global Engagement Office.

All J-1 Exchange Visitors and their J-2 dependents are required to maintain qualified health insurance coverage for the entire duration of their stay in the U.S.

Santa Clara University specifically requires that our J participants purchase the Gallagher International Students and Scholars Insurance - Silver Plan. It is mandatory that all SCU sponsored J participants (and their J-2 dependents) purchase this insurance. This plan meets all U.S. government, University and Affordable Care Act requirements. There is no waiver or appeal.

Once your immigration sponsorship documents have been issued, you will be contacted by your International Student and Scholar Advisor with more information on how to enroll in this required insurance plan.

It is the personal responsibility of all J participants to ensure they are in compliance with state, federal and University rules regarding insurance coverage.

The letters are drafted by the Global Engagement Office using a template that meets immigration requirements and which has been approved by Legal Counsel and Risk Management. The template is customized by the Global Engagement Office based on the information on the Request to Host a J-1 Scholar form.

This letter is signed by the Dean of the Hosting School. Since it is an Invitation rather than an Offer, the letter does not require any countersignature by the J-1 Scholar.

Unfortunately, no. The template of the letter has gone through extensive drafting and review. If you believe a change is required, please contact the International Student & Scholar Advisor in GEO.

“Offer Letters” are typically issued by Human Resources to extend an employment offer. “Appointment Letters” are issued with the oversight and approval of the Provost to convey academic/teaching appointments. If the prospective J-1 Scholar will be receiving payment from SCU or has any teaching responsibilities you must disclose this on the Request to Host a J-1 Scholar form so that the Global Engagement office can work with the other offices on campus to secure any required approval prior to the Invitation Letter being issued.

It is the expectation of the US Department of State that J-1 Scholars are integrated into the academic community. Since J-1 Scholars are under the control and immigration sponsorship of SCU, they must be provided a workspace on-campus; they should not be expected to work exclusively off-campus. J-1 Scholars do not need to be provided a private office.

As soon as possible, a scanned copy of the letter should be provided to the J-1 Scholar via email. The email should include the International Student & Scholar Advisor and any other person included in the CC line of the Invitation Letter. Once this email goes out, the International Student & Scholar Advisor will begin the immigration process with the J-1 Scholar. The Original signed Invitation Letter should be forwarded via intercampus mail to the International Student & Scholar Advisor in Global Engagement Office to be included in the package containing all other original documents required for visa application abroad.