Departments at Northeastern Illinois University can invite visiting scholars, research professionals or specialists from outside the country to advance research, curricular and pedagogical agendas. The terms of such invitations are solely up to the needs and desires of the hosting department.

The request can come either from the department or directly from the visiting scholar. If a department wishes to host a scholar, please contact the Office of International Programs (OIP) very early in the process.  

If OIP receives the request from the visiting scholar, we will reach out to the appropriate department. We recommend applying three to five months in advance of arrival to allow time to process the visa. 

Visiting Scholars Documentation Process

Before a visiting scholar can be in residence at Northeastern, both the department and the scholar must complete the following procedures:

The visiting scholars must provide the following information to be considered: 

  • Curriculum vitae (CV)

  • Copy of passport. If no passport, the visiting scholar should obtain one before requesting a visa. The passport must be valid for at least six months after the date of leaving the United States.  

  • Letter requesting an appointment which includes:

    • Why they wish to be in residence at NEIU (e.g., pursue research, attend classes, use the library, teach a class, etc).

    • The department they wish to be affiliated with

    • Dates of the stay 

  • Complete a Background Check Permission Form. (Note: It is Illinois state law that all staff and faculty must undergo a background check. The purpose is to maintain student safety. It is conducted by an outside firm, and is only a check of records – no persons are interviewed. Only one person in NEIU’s Office of Human Resources sees the report, and only history related to student safety is reported, thus a bounced check or traffic accident is immaterial.) 

  • Financial Form. Visiting scholars must demonstrate they have the financial resources to support themselves during their whole stay in the U.S. If your home university will sponsor you, please supply an official letter to that effect. It should include how much the sponsor will provide and for what length of time. See more information below in the section on DS-2019. 

  • Note, visiting scholars who are not associated with one of NEIU’s partner institutions are expect to pay a residence fee of $3,000 per semester upon arrival. This should be paid to the Office of International Programs at the beginning of the semester for utilizing University resources.

The hosting department must provide the following documentation:

  • Letter of invitation from the department chair indicating  

  • The parameters of the stay in regard to the department’s level of involvement (e.g., providing office space and/or a computer; allowing the scholar to lecture or teach, patriciate in department meetings, perform research or audit courses, etc.). The department is under no obligation to provide an office or a computer for the visiting scholar; the degree to which a department might want the visitor to participate is entirely up to them.

  • Who the scholar will work with directly. Please indicate the staff/faculty member that will orient the scholar and provide the hospitality to make them a part of the NEIU community.

  • If the scholar wants to audit a class or two.  

  • The dates of the scholar’s participation.  

Courtesy Appointment Nomination Form 

Once all documents are received, OIP will send the request for approval for a visiting scholar appointment to the provost and president. The provost will issue an official letter of invitation to the scholar, and with that OIP can begin the process of preparing the Form DS-2019 or "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status.” (See below.)


OIP will ask the inviting department and the visiting scholar to complete the following documentation. This form will allow the visiting scholar to apply and obtain a J-1 visa at the U.S. Consulate/Embassy.  

Visiting Scholar Application 

Visiting scholars are required to fill the application completely and submit to the OIP.

Visiting Scholar Financial Form 

  • If the scholar is self-financing, they must show enough funds to cover all expenses they will incur while in the U.S. (e.g., housing, food, transport, health care, University fees, etc.) OIP will provide a suggested amount at the time this is needed. 

  • Sometimes there is a funding agency (e.g., home university, Fulbright, the scholar’s government, etc.). In such cases the sponsor should provide a promissory letter indicating their intention of financing the scholar in part or in whole. A copy should be sufficient for the preparation of the DS-2019 (i.e., the “Certificate of Eligibility” which the U.S. government requires OIP to generate), but the scholar will need to show an original to apply for the visa, and they should bring the original to OIP upon their arrival.   


Northeastern is not obligated to help a scholar find housing. Visitors are welcome to apply to reside in The Nest, Northeastern's student housing. There are other options such as local apartments and hotels. The Turkish-American Cultural Society has limited, short-term housing available and is especially good if the scholar is coming from a Muslim country, although it's quite a distance from the University. 

Health Insurance

All visiting scholars must demonstrate proof of health insurance coverage for the duration of their stay. You may purchase this specifically for the U.S. if your existing policy is not adequate. Ask OIP for information. The criteria required by the U.S. Department of State are:  

Program participants and their dependents are required to have medical insurance coverage with the following minimum benefits: 

  • Medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness. 

  • Repatriation of remains in the amount of $25,000. 

  • Expenses associated with the medical evacuation of the exchange visitor to his or her home country in the amount of $50,000. 

  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness. 


Visiting scholars can bring their spouse and/or children. They will need to provide additional funding to cover them and submit the following documentation to OIP to obtain the Dependent DS-2019 form. 

  • Copy of the spouse/child(s) passport copy 

  • Marriage certificate and/or child birth certificate 

  • Proof of funding demonstrating support for spouse/children 

  • Health insurance copy for each dependent 


Upon arriving at Northeastern Illinois University, visiting scholars must report to the Office of International Programs to validate their participation. We will request the following information from the visiting scholar:

  • Address of your residence in the U.S.

  • U.S. phone number and email address

  • Visa copy with entry stamp

  • Original financial documentation

  • Proof of health insurance  

  • Receipt of payment of NEIU visiting scholar fee.

  • I-94 copy