Sponsoring and Extending a Visiting Scholar Without J-1

The application process for scholars without a J-1 Visa Document is detailed below.

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Before You Sponsor

a scholar who is coming to Columbia to do independent, non-collaborative research only. See the University's description of a Visiting Scholar in the Faculty Handbook.

  • a scholar conducting collaborative research. If collaborating, an officer-level research appointment is appropriate.
  • a visitor coming to Columbia to perform a service for a very short period and leave—such as to conduct a workshop or give a lecture. If the visitor needs an immigration status allowing the visitor to be paid, contact us so we may determine which status is appropriate.

The Visiting Scholar Designation is normally held for up to one year. The duration of the designation cannot exceed the duration of the scholar’s legal status in the United States.

  • You will first need to obtain written approval of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs for the Visiting Scholar designation.
  • After obtaining the Provost's Office approval, we will determine if J-1 sponsorship is required.
  • We will issue the UNI within 5 days of a complete application.

Submit application 3 months before the start date.

This allows time for us to confirm the appropriate visa classification for the visit.

Please review the University policy.

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How to Sponsor

CUIMC departments should contact ISSO-CUIMC.

Steps to sponsor a Visiting Scholar without J-1
Step 1

Gather your documents

Step 2

Log in to the Scholar Sponsorship Portal (SSP) with your UNI and password to submit all three parts of your application

This application consists of 3 parts. All 3 parts must be completed before we receive your application. Contact us if you are a department administrator requesting access to the SSP.

Learn more about the SSP

To learn about the process and what each part covers, please visit our SSP Overview page.

For online help and tutorials, visit our SSP Department Guide.

Step 3

Receive the Visiting Scholar UNI

Within 5 business days of receiving a complete application, we will send the UNI with activation instructions to your scholar by email. 

Do not put Visiting Scholar data into DIA! We authorize UNI creation and provide your scholar with guidance on ID card issuance. Visiting Scholars do not appear in the Columbia University directory.

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Extending a Visiting Scholar Without J-1

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Before You Extend

All extension requests must first be approved by the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Appointments before proceeding with ISSO.

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How to Extend

CUIMC departments should contact ISSO-CUIMC.

Steps to Extend VS Without
Step 1.

Gather your documents and information


Email us the supporting documents as one pdf file

Step 3.

We will contact the scholar when the UNI account has been extended

Within 5 business days of receiving a complete application, we will send the Visiting Scholar confirmation of the UNI extension and guidance on extending the ID card.