Information for Departments Sponsoring Scholars
As a Public, Research University, the University at Albany, SUNY regularly hosts visiting scholars. We currently have with us 115 international visiting scholars and 16 interns from over 20 different countries. International scholars and interns are represented in all nine colleges and schools where they conduct research and work in other capacities with UAlbany faculty. International scholars and interns represent a huge asset to our university.
In collaborating with our faculty and students, visiting scholars bring novel insights on academic issues that helps to advance the research agenda and enrich the learning experiences for our students. Hosting these individuals therefore confers a great deal of responsibility on the host department and should not be taken lightly. It requires some advance planning and a commitment to the following responsibilities:
- Ensuring that the international scholar has information on how best to get to the airport to where they will stay, and providing information on local hotels
- Assign a faculty member to supervise the research or other approved activity of the scholar
- The host faculty member should check in with the scholar at least once per week to see whether there are issues or concerns, or simply to discuss the progress of their work
- Provide office/work space to be used on a regular basis
- In the absence of dedicated housing for visiting scholars, assist with identifying housing in the Albany area
- Invite scholar to departmental, committee and other appropriate forums for interaction with other faculty at the departmental level
- Involve scholar in departmental cultural and social related activities
Inviting an International Scholar to UAlbany: What the Faculty Member Must Do
While the initial contact with the potential visiting scholar may come from the person overseas, in the end it will be someone from the University at Albany who must invite the scholar to come. A letter of invitation is a requirement so that the scholar can obtain a visa and in some cases, so that he/she can obtain funding, or possibly release time from an employer.
1. Download and complete the DS-2019 request form and submit it to: Tara Evans, ISSS, SL G-40, fax: 518-591-8171, [email protected].
2. Instructions for completing the DS-2019 request form:
- Forward the form to the visitor to complete page 3 and return to you, with proof of funding and a copy of their passport picture page. When you receive it, review page 2 and be sure all items are complete.
- Indicate the appropriate Exchange Visitor category on page 2; sign the form; obtain the chair’s, dean’s or vice president’s signature; and forward it to Tara Evans. To process the DS-2019 request, the following documents must accompany the DS-2019 request form:
- (1) proof of funding,
- (2) visitor’s passport picture page, and
- (3) Proof of the visitor’s English language proficiency. Acceptable proofs include:
- (1) a recognized English language test (ex: TOEFL, IELTS),
- (2) Signed documentation from an academic institution or English language school (stating completion/certification of a language program),
- (3) A documented interview conducted by the sponsor either in-person or by video conferencing, or by telephone if videoconferencing is not a viable option.
- Proof of funding for self-funded scholars: The scholar must demonstrate that he/she will have sufficient funds to cover living expenses for the duration of the stay. The amount needed is $1,000 per month, with an additional $4,000 per dependent (for one year, or pro-rated for a portion of one year). The documentation may be in the form of a scholarship award letter, personal bank statement, letter from employer stating that salary will continue to be paid, etc. Specific dollar amounts must be indicated, and the documentation must be recent.
Amendment to the DS-2019 Request, Issuance and Delivery Process
The Office of International Student and Scholar Services is working remotely, and therefore has changed the process for requesting, issuing and delivering DS-2019s and related documentation.
The sponsoring department will need to submit the DS-2019 request form by email only. Please send completed DS-2019 request forms to the attention of Tara Evans via [email protected].(subject line: DS-2019 Request Form)
After receiving and reviewing a completed DS-2019 request form, a DS-2019 will be issue from an off-campus work-from-home site with an efficient and secure process
The DS-2019 issued by iSSS was either picked up by or sent directly to the sponsoring department whose responsibility it is to deliver to the scholar overseas. However, under the amended process, DS-2019 forms will be sent by regular or express mail to the sponsoring academic department faculty member at the department's expense. For more information on express mailing, please review the information at this link: https://www.albany.edu/isss/91191.php. If you have any questions, please contact Tara Evans at [email protected].
3. Mail the DS-2019 form to the scholar, along with a letter of invitation and the additional information provided with the DS-2019 form. (Note: Do not sign or write anything on the DS-2019 form!)
4. Delayed arrival? Let Tara Evans know if the scholar’s arrival will be delayed more than 30 days past the proposed start date. If the visitor will be delayed, the preparer will need to defer the start date in SEVIS. Also, inform the preparer if the scholar changes plans and decides not to come at all. The SEVIS record will be cancelled.