Information for Visiting Scholars

Visiting Scholars include individuals who come from another Institution to the University for a specified period of time. The expectation is that these individuals will return to their home institutions at the end of their appointment period at the University of Delaware. There is no salary paid to the visiting scholar as their home institution normally continues to pay the individual and provide the associated benefits. There are no UD benefits associated with a Visiting Scholar appointment, except that they can be issued the UD ID card for library access, parking access, IT/NSS access, etc. Visiting Scholars can receive reimbursement for expenses, if approved.

Application Process
J-1 scholars will have their initial contact with a teaching or research faculty in a UoD department. First, the visitor will clarify details of the visit including length of stay, funding arrangements, etc., with the department. The department will then gather certain required information from the scholar and give relevant information to the Office of Foreign Student Scholar (FSSS). In turn, the FSSS will forward the DS-2019 document to the scholar so that the scholar may obtain J-1 status.

The DS-2019 form acknowledges that the University has invited the scholar to visit the institution, has authorized your visit, and supports your application for J-1 status. The DS-2019 is not a "visa", and a scholar cannot enter the U.S. with the DS-2019 alone; to enter the U.S., the DS-2019 works in partnership with the J-1 visa stamp in the passport.

If you are not currently in J1 status, you will need to pay the SEVIS fee in order to obtain a J visa, enter the US or change to J status or change to J scholar status. OIE will send detailed instructions on paying the fee with your visa document.

Obtaining J status from outside the US
After receiving the required DS-2019 document from the University and paying the SEVIS fee, make an appointment for a visa interview at a United States Embassy or Consulate. At the visa interview, present the DS-2019 and SEVIS fee payment receipt, along with other required information. For specific information on applying for the U.S. visa at the consulate nearest to you, visit the U.S. Department of State website at

Dependents (spouse and/or children only) who will accompany the scholar to the U.S. will need to apply for J-2 visas. Children who are J-2 dependents must be legal dependents, under the age of 21, and unmarried. When applying for the J-2 visa(s), take the family's passports with to the U.S. Consulate along with proof of marriage (for the spouse) and birth certificates for each child.

The visa application process can take several days or several weeks, so plan accordingly. If visa processing takes longer than you anticipated, contact FSSS for advice. We strongly recommend that you do not enter the U.S. in another status, such as B-1/B-2 tourist. You may have difficulty changing your status in the U.S., and more importantly, the immigration official at the port of entry may not permit you to enter the U.S. without your J-1 visa.

Obtaining A Social Security Number
As with all employees in the US, employees in J-1 status must have a valid US Social Security number in order for the payroll office to process payment. Even those who will not receive pay in the U.S. will find it convenient to have an U.S. Social Security number. To obtain a Social Security number, you must apply in person at a nearby Social Security Administration (SSA) office at least 2 weeks after you have entered the US. It takes approximately 2 weeks for your entry to the US to be recorded in the immigration database that the SSA must check before they can assign a number to you. You must take your passport, DS-2019, I-94 card (found in your passport) and the SSN application.

To apply you must submit a completed social security application (available in our office) , and you must show your passport, your I-94, I-20 or DS-2019, and a letter from OFSS if you are working on campus. One of the forms of identification must be at least one year old.

The nearest Social Security office is located at:

Suite 200
920 W Basin Road
New Castle, DE 19720
(302) 323-0304
Get Directions to local Wilmington office

When you receive your permanent Social Security number, you will need to report the change to the Office of Foreign Students & Scholars.
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