Visiting Scholars


Creighton University has been designated the sponsor of an Exchange Visitor Program in accordance with the administrative regulations issued under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, as amended.  The primary purpose of the program is to enhance understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges.

Campus Program Administration

The Global Engagement Office (GEO) administers Creighton University's Exchange Visitor Program.  Only the Responsible Officer (RO) and the Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) may sign the Form DS-2019, and are responsible to safeguard all forms issued to the sponsor by the Department of State.  All matters pertaining to the Program must be brought to the attention of the Global Engagement Office (GEO).  Contact the Global Engagement Office (GEO) by phone at(402) 280-2221.

Definition of "Visiting Scholar"

An exchange visitor is "an alien having a residence in a foreign country which he/she has no intention of abandoning, who is a bona fide student, teacher, professor, research scholar, specialist, or leader in a field of specialized knowledge or skill who is coming temporarily as a participant in a designated Exchange Program."  The U.S. Department of State has authorized Creighton

"to provide courses of study, lecturing and research opportunities in the various fields of instruction and research conducted by Creighton University for qualified foreign students, professors, research scholars, short-term scholars and specialists, and to promote the general interest of international educational and cultural exchange." 

Description of Exchange Visitor Categories

Professor: "an individual primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting ...a professor may also conduct research unless disallowed by the sponsor."
Research Scholar: "an individual primarily conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project... may also teach or lecture unless disallowed by the sponsor."
Short-term Scholar: "a professor, research scholar, specialist, or a person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the U.S. on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training or demonstrating special skills."
Specialist: "an individual who is an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill coming to the U.S. for observing, consulting, or demonstrating special skills."

Educational Objectives

  • The exchange visitor status is limited to pre-established educational objectives, as defined on the DS-2019 form.
  • Incidental lectures or short-term consultations are permitted with the approval of the responsible officer so long as they are directly related to the objectives of the participant?s program and do not delay its completion date.  To request permission, present to the Global Engagement Office (GEO)(1) a letter of offer setting forth the terms and conditions of the offer to lecture, amount of compensation, and description of the activity; and (2) a letter from the J-1 scholars department chair at Creighton recommending such activity and explaining how it would enhance the exchange visitor's program. 


  • A J-1 visa holder may be salaried by Creighton, supported by an outside agency or by his or her own government.
  • The exchange visitor must be in the correct status and on Creighton's sponsorship before he or she can commence employment and receive any remuneration.
  • An exchange visitor may not change departments within the University without first obtaining Global Engagement Office (GEO) approval.
  • The exchange visitor program cannot be used for the employment of persons in non-academic staff positions or tenure-track or tenured faculty appointments.

Duration of the Appointment

The minimum duration of the J-1 researcher and professor status is three weeks and the maximum is five years, including time spent in other exchange visitor programs in the U.S. prior to coming to Creighton.  Specialists have a maximum stay of one year; short-term scholars are permitted a maximum stay of six months.

The 12 month bar on repeat participation

Individuals who have spent six months or more in the U.S. in any J status must wait 12 months from the end of their program (as indicated in their DS2019) before beginning a new program as professors or research scholars.  The 12-month bar does not apply to short-term scholars.

24 month
There is a 24 month bar on Exchange Visitors in the Professor and Research Scholar category upon complete of a J-1 program.  These exchange visitors will not be eligible to begin a new J-1 Program for 2 years.  The exchange visitor can return home or stay in the U.S. in another visa status before be eligible to begin a new program.


Exchange visitors in the Research Scholar and Professor categories may extend their program within the 5 year period.   An extension cannot be granted if a waiver of the two-year home residency requirement has been received.  The request for an extension must be made to the Global Engagement Office (GEO) one to two months before the expiry date on the current DS-2019.

Home country physical presence requirement
Upon completion of the J-1 program, many exchange visitors are required to return to their home country for at least two years before they become eligible to apply for an H visa or to permanent residence.  Individuals may be subject to this requirement if

  • They have received direct funding from their government or the U.S. government
  • Their skills are deemed to be in short supply by the home country (i.e. on the "skills list")

In some cases, this requirement may be waived upon recommendation of the home government, or on other grounds.  The final authority to grant the waiver lies with the U.S. Department of State.  The Global Engagement Office (GEO) cannot assist participants who seek waivers to this requirement.   Information about waivers can be found on the Department of State website.

Health Insurance requirement

Federal law requires that J-1 exchange visitors and their J-2 dependents carry health insurance throughout their program with the following minimum benefits:  At least $50,000 per illness; repatriation of remains (in case of death) of at least $7,500; payment for medical evacuation to home country in the amount of $10,000; a deductible not to exceed $500 per illness or accident.  If proof of such coverage cannot be provided, the appointee or the sponsoring department will be required to enroll in Creighton?s international health insurance plan.  If the appointee fails to maintain insurance coverage as described above or misrepresents such coverage, he/she will be in violation of U.S. government regulations and may have her/his program terminated.

Obtaining J-1 Status

In order to obtain a J-1 exchange visa, the participant must present the form DS-2019 to a U.S. consulate or embassy.  The hiring/sponsoring department must submit a properly and fully completed Request for a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status (Form DS2019) to the Global Engagement Office (GEO).  The Global Engagement Office (GEO) will send the form DS-2019 to the contact person in the inviting department who will express mail it to the exchange visitor.

Transfer of J-1 programs

Exchange visitors may transfer from one program sponsor to another if the purpose of the transfer is to complete the objective for which he or she was admitted to exchange visitor status and if the exchange visitor remains within the same participant category.  Before beginning the transfer process, an exchange visitor should discuss his or her plans with the RO/AROs of both programs.  Clearance to transfer from one J-1 sponsor to another must be given by the original sponsor.  The participant may not take up the new position until the transfer process is successfully completed.  Time spent in a previous program(s) prior to a transfer is counted toward the five-year maximum program participation (professors and research scholars).  The transfer of J-1 program sponsor must be completed prior to the individual's termination from the previous J-1 program and before the current DS-2019 form expires.


The spouse and unmarried children under 21 of J-1 exchange visitors can enter the U.S. in J-2 status.  Persons holding J-2 status may seek work authorization from the USCIS provided they can demonstrate that the employment is intended to cover the expenses of the J-2 visa holders.  Instructions on how to obtain J-2 work authorization are available at the Global Engagement Office (GEO).

Early Departure or Failure to Appear

Any time an exchange visitor fails to appear or once on campus, he/she completes the program more than 30 day prior to the completion date on the DS-2019, the Global Engagement Office (GEO) must be notified.

Change of Address

Any time an exchange visitor changes his/her address, the Global Engagement Office (GEO) must be notified, within 10 days of the change.