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Inviting an International Scholar

Inviting an International Visitor to Duquesne University

Any academic department that plans to invite and sponsor international scholars to Duquesne must follow a procedure that is in accordance with U.S. Immigration Law. The Center for Global Engagement at Duquesne is authorized to issue an immigration document called the DS-2019, to help visitor secure a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa. The authorization includes scholars who wish to visit as Professors, Research Scholars, Short-Term Scholars, Specialists and Students. (More information on these categories is provided below).

We ask that you consider the following when seeking approval from your department chair and Dean when inviting a visiting scholar.

Obtaining Human Resources Authorization - Background Check

  • For an exchange visitor who will be paid to work at the university, there must be a background check done through Human Resources. 
  • Any unpaid visitor is not required to obtain the background check.

Ensuring English Proficiency

  • It is your responsibility as a faculty member to ensure that the Exchange Visitor is proficient in English and is able to function as a scholar in the United States and at Duquesne. 
  • We strongly recommend that you request a TOEFL or IELTS score, or an official letter from the visitor's employer certifying the individual's English ability. You may also want to consider conducting a video interview with the potential scholar to verify proficiency for the nature of their work at Duquesne. 

Requesting the Required Immigration Documents

  • The DS-2019 is the official immigration form needed to obtain the J-1 visa required of Exchange Visitors to the United States. The Center for Global Engagement will issue the DS-2019 to the invited scholar once all of the required documentation and signatures are received. 
  • Your academic department is required to send a DS-2019 request form to the visitor to complete. 
  • Once returned to the inviting faculty member, the reporting Dean must sign-off for final approval. 
  • You must designate your scholar as one of the following categories when submitting your request for the DS-2019. Please be sure to discuss this designation with your department chair and/or Dean. The Center for Global Engagement is also available to clarify any questions you may have. The categories are described as follows:
  • Professor:

    An individual primarily teaching, lecturing, observing or consulting at a post-secondary institution.

    Research Scholar:

    An individual primarily conducting research, observing or consulting with a research project at a research institution.


     An individual who is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill coming to the United States for observing, consulting, or demonstrating special skills.

    Short Term: 

    This category allows individuals to participate in programs of up to 6 months duration in one of our approved categories above.

  • The DS-2019 Request Form - detailed instructions are also provided on this form.
  • The completed DS-2019 Request Form, a contract letter from the department, and the financial guarantee must be submitted to the Center for Global Engagement for final processing and approval.
  • The Center for Global Engagement will issue the DS-2019 and will prepare a Welcome Packet for the new exchange visitor. We ask that the inviting department mail this information directly to the exchange visitor upon receipt so that the scholar can begin their visa application process immediately. 

Arriving at Duquesne

Checking Into the University
  • Once the scholar arrives to campus, s/he must meet with the staff in the Center for Global Engagement to "check into" the university. The exchange visitor will be "validated" in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) upon arrival. 
Health Insurance
  • Health insurance is required by the U.S. State Department. The Center for Global Engagement will discuss health insurance options with the visiting scholar and will ensure that the scholar is compliance with immigration law. 
Gaining Access to Campus Facilities
  • All exchange visitors are required to complete a Personal Data Sheet provided by the Office of Human Resources that will provide the visitor with a "temporary" social security number for use on campus. 
  • Once the form has been processed by Human Resources, the exchange visitor will be able to receive an ID card, gain access to all buildings, the library, computer labs, and other appropriate facilities. 
Obtaining Social Security Numbers
  • Exchange visitors who will be employed and compensated by an academic department on campus will be required to secure an official Social Security Card from the Social Security Administration in downtown Pittsburgh. 
  • The Center for Global Engagement will provide the instructions and required forms that the scholar will need to apply for the SS#. 
Maintaining Contact
  • As a faculty host to a visiting scholar is it important that you keep in regular contact with the scholar to ensure that their research and obligations are fulfilled according to the agreement.
  • It is important that you inform the Center for Global Engagement if you believe the visiting scholar is not complying with the terms of the visit. 
Please feel free to contact the Center for Global Engagement to inquire about more details regarding visiting scholars.