Stony Brook University Visiting Scholar/Student Paperwork Guide

You need contact your host professor for research opportunities and positions. Your host would send you a conditional invitation letter to support your application for fellowship/scholarship.

If you are awarded fellowship/scholarship, congratulations. And now it’s time to get your paper work done.

Once you receive the fellowship/scholarship certificate, please forward it to your host. The department will need it for the invitation (employment) letter.

First, your department/your host will send you a formal invitation letter (Non-salaried appointment letter) attached with HRSF0055 Demographic Data Form and Volunteer Agreement, in which will specify the purpose, length, and compliance requirement of your visit.

You should sign the forms and return them to your department administrator, together with your personal information form.

You don’t need to fill in the Volunteer ID number and Social Security Number or Campus ID as you don’t have one yet. And you can use your current address for the residential address, which you will update when you arrive at Stony Brook.

The form is used to generate a Stony Brook ID for you and keep a record in the University database.

With the signed letter and information form, the Department will work with HRs at the College and University to enter your information to the University system and generate an Employment (Campus) ID for you. The Department will also request the Visa and Immigration Services (VIS) to issue you a visa document (DS-2019 Form). This usually takes one to two weeks. Employment ID is very important. You will use it for your application of visa document, and you will use it for your identification at Stony Brook University.

Next, you need to work with Visa and Immigration Services (VIS) to get your DS-2019 form (if you have family members, you should also get an independent form for each visitor coming with you). VIS provides online access where you can upload all required documents online. Note you cannot upload a file or fill the form until VIS approves the departmental request. Choose Limited Services for first time user, you will need your employment ID, date of birth, and a limited access PIN to access it. Upload all listed documents and confirm submission. If you have not received your PIN, you can request online with your employment ID.

The following forms will be required once you enter the accessVIS system:

  • Biographical Information
  • Dependent Spouse/Child (optional)
  • Exchange Visitor Proof of Financial Eligibility
    • SBU Minimum Financial Required: J-1 Principal $28,750/year, J-2 Spouse $8,955/year, J-2 Child (each) $4,955/year
    • A proof of your domestic personal salary and other personal funds are required if your fellowship/scholarship cannot meet the SBU minimum requirement.
  • Proof of English Proficiency
  • International Health Insurance
    • The insurance is required but you are suggested to purchase upon your arrival.

Your host and the departmental head will need to fill in a request form online from VIS to provide the necessary details pertaining to the activities of the proposed J-1 Scholar. The VIS will start processing your DS-2019 once your full application and documents are received. This usually takes one to two weeks. Once your DS-2019 form(s) is(are) ready, the Department will pick it up and send you by express mail at your local address. Please make sure the address at your Demographic Data Form is current.

Now you are ready to apply for a J-1/2 visa at US embassy or consulates. You should work with your scholarship sponsors for any further requirements.

The whole process might take one to three months, so prepare early and wait patiently.

Good luck with your visa application.

We look forward to seeing you at Stony Brook!

Note: This is not an official guide, you should always refer to your department and VIS for updated information. The guide is prepared by Dr. Gang He with the real experience and input from Dr. BAI Hongtao and other visiting scholars to facilitate visiting scholar/student's paperwork.