Visiting Scholar Request

This is what the administrative process looks like if you decide to sponsor an international scholar at SILS. It is the process in its entirety, and you won’t necessarily be involved in every step. Note that unless you have pre-selected a scholar yourself, scholars are required to secure a faculty sponsor on their own. You may receive e-mails from individuals hoping to work with you. Should you accept one of these requests, you will follow the steps listed below. Any questions can be directed to Kaitlyn Murphy, SILS International Programs Coordinator: (

  1. The process MUST begin 4+ months before the scholar’s intended arrival. 
  2. In conjunction with the department, consider the feasibility of the international scholar invitation in regard to: 
    1. Space (Will they have somewhere to sit and work?)
    2. The time you are able to devote to the scholar once they arrive (The J-1 visa program is administered by the U.S. Dept. of State and is expected to be both an educational and cultural experience for the scholar.)
    3. Hosting a scholar involves drafting a specific invitation letter; regularly meeting with the scholar once he/she arrives on campus; orientating him/her to UNC, SILS, and (sometimes) the surrounding area; engaging with him/her when it comes to research, publications, etc.; and if needed, supporting the scholar throughout the visa process
  3. Complete the Faculty Interest Form and your Letter of Invitation for the scholar. Submit all aforementioned forms to Kaitlyn Murphy ( These forms must be submitted NO LATER than 4 months before the candidate’s arrival. The invitation letter must follow the template, as UNC's International Office does not accept any other format.
    1. Your letter of invitation will likely be sent directly to the scholar. Also keep and provide a copy for SILS. We will need it for visa processing. 
  4. Once approved, Kaitlyn will send further instructions so that we may formally invite the scholar to SILS. The scholar will be asked to complete:
    1. DS-2019 Request form (visa paperwork)
    2. Original documents certifying financial support (translated in English, showing the name of the person receiving the funding, the amount of funding in US dollars, and the source of funding) 
    3. Translation Certification 
    4. Most recent CV
    5. Scanned copied of passports and passports for any dependents 
  5. Scholar sends (mails) completed forms to Kaitlyn. 
  6. Kaitlyn completes International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) paperwork and requests DS-2019 from ISSS Office. 
  7. Kaitlyn picks up DS-2019 when it’s ready and mails it to the scholar so they can obtain their visa. 
  8. Scholar makes appointment with US Consulate in their region of residence. NOTE: Wait times for visa appointment scheduling and visa processing varies considerably from country to county. Just because your scholar has been mailed their DS-2019 does not guarantee that they will be granted a visa. 
  9. Scholar arrives within 30 days of appointment/visa start date. Scholar checks in with ISSS Office.

    View org chart of process.