Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What general policies explain the process of bringing a visiting scholar from another country to the university for an extended stay?

A: An international visitor who comes to the university for purposes of academic study, teaching, research, or participation in university activities for a period of 30 days or longer is defined by federal law as an "Exchange Visitor" or "Visiting Scholar." The person is specifically here for the purpose of engaging in collaborative activities with a Cal State Fullerton faculty member, or administrative employee. These guests must adhere to the entry requirements and monitoring procedures set by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office (ICE) under the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

For more information about the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program please visit:

Q. Who may invite international delegations and visiting scholars to come to Cal State Fullerton?

A: The Associate Vice President for International Programs, acting on behalf of the University President, prepares all invitations to visiting scholars. No faculty or staff member has any authority to extend a formal invitation for an extended stay to a prospective visiting faculty member or scholar from another country. Such invitations are issued only after receiving a positive recommendation from the applicable department chairperson and the dean of the hosting college. Part of the rationale for this centralization of invitations is for university compliance with federal monitoring of the activities of such guests. Please contact the International Students and Scholars office (657) 278-7113, located in College Park 207 (CP-207) for additional information.

Q. What matters should be covered in a request to invite a visiting scholar or delegation that may be coming for an extended stay?

A: A successful international experience begins with, and is heavily dependent upon, the active commitment of an individual faculty member or administrator who is willing to commit the personal time and possibly even personal resources to assist the visitor with her/his smooth integration into the campus culture as well as orientation support in dealing with the challenges of southern California living. That faculty or staff "sponsor" must be named in the invitation form. The role of the department chair and dean is to provide assurances that the visitor will be accorded access to shared office space, library privileges, technological access, and a modest amount of clerical support for the duration of the visit.

Q. What is required to obtain the necessary Visa and how does a visitor go about that process?

A: Upon receipt of all the necessary and supportive documentation from the Visiting Scholar, a staff member in the International Programs Office issues a federal DS-2019 form along with the invitation letter from the AVP for International Programs, which the prospective guest then uses at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate office located in her/his home country to obtain the visa. The typical visa status is that of an Exchange Scholar "J-1" visa. Accompanying dependents would apply for "J-2" visas.

Q. What about personal finances? Isn't the cost of living in Southern California quite high relative to other areas of the world?

A: The government's Student and Exchange Visitor Program requires that the prospective visitor have access to financial resources that are adequate to provide for a reasonable standard of living while in Southern California. In addition, that requirement is to ensure that the person does not become an "economic burden" on our local, state, or federal governments. In advance of the DS-2019 being issued, the visitor must provide proof of financial support. In the amount of $2500 for the visitor for each month that he/she plans to be in the United States and $500 for each dependent who may be accompanying the visitor. Certification of those funds may be in the form of a bank statement, scholarship or fellowship letter from a government agency, or institutional sponsor (such as the Fulbright program) or some combination of those sources. That documentation must be provided to the International Students and Scholars office in CP-207.

Q. Does Cal State Fullerton provide financial stipends or salaries to visiting scholars?

A: In general, the university does not provide cash stipends or general financial support to long-term Visiting Scholars. On occasion, a Visiting Scholar may be hired to teach one or more courses depending upon the needs of an academic department, the visitor's academic specializations, and the recommendation of the appropriate college dean. In order to meet compliance with visa restrictions, those arrangements must be worked out in advance of the person's visit. If the individual is hired to teach one or more courses, he/she is also designated as a Part-Time Faculty member and accorded the privileges and responsibilities as specified under the bargaining agreement with the professional organization representing the CSUF faculty. Anticipated teaching opportunities, if any, and the associated salary will be specified in the letter of invitation.

Q. Where do I obtain further information?

A: For additional information about inviting a visiting scholar to Cal State Fullerton, please visit our Visting Scholars page.

You may also contact the International Students and Scholars (ISS) office by email: or by phone: (657) 278-7113.