Applying to be a Visiting Scholar or Researcher

Application Guidelines

Selection Criteria

CLAS accepts Visiting Scholars who are pursuing a research project related to Latin America in any discipline. We welcome applications from academic researchers and university faculty members as well as from individuals with experience in government, business, or other professional fields who are likely to benefit from interactions with research scholars. Current Ph.D. students may apply for affiliation as a Visiting Student Researcher. 

Application Review

CLAS reviews Visiting Scholar and Visiting Student Researcher applications three times a year. 

  • For arrival during the fall semester (August 15–December)
    DEADLINE: April 30 
  • For arrival during the spring semester (January–May 15 )
    DEADLINE: September 30 
  • For arrival during the summer (May 15–August 15)
    DEADLINE: January 30

The application process, from acceptance as a Visiting Scholar or Visiting Student Researcher to arrival in the United States, usually takes at least three months and can take up to six months to complete due to visa regulations. Scholars and Student Researchers should plan their arrival date accordingly.

Privileges and Responsibilities of a Visiting Scholar

Visiting Scholars and Visiting Student Researchers are independent researchers while in residence at Berkeley. They enjoy full access to UC Berkeley’s libraries and electronic resources and receive an e-mail account for use during their stay. They may be invited to present or otherwise take part in seminars or conferences organized by CLAS, and they are welcome to attend all public events on campus. Classroom participation as an auditor is subject to the approval of individual faculty members. All Visiting Scholars and Visiting Student Researchers are required to submit a final report on the outcome of their research affiliation. CLAS appreciates copies of publications or papers completed during a visitor’s affiliation with UC Berkeley.

Please note that CLAS cannot guarantee office space to its Visiting Scholars and Visiting Student Researchers, nor does it provide individual computer equipment or phone lines. Visitors should plan to bring their own laptops.

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Application Procedures

STEP 1

A complete application consists of:

    • A cover letter/letter of introduction (in English)
    • A research proposal that includes the following:
      • Title of proposed project
      • Description of research project and plan of research
      • Research goals during period of affiliation
      • Brief statement on how CLAS affiliation will help accomplish these goals or further career development
      • Proposed arrival date and length of stay
      • One letter of recommendation from scholars who are familiar with your work
    • Letter of academic sponsorship and contact information of UC Berkeley faculty member (For STUDENT researchers ONLY)
    • Curriculum vitae (in English)
    • Proof of funding:
      • CLAS does not provide funding for the Visiting Scholars/Visiting Student Researchers it agrees to host. Applicants must submit documentation verifying and detailing funding for the entire period of their desired affiliation.
      • Note that the minimum funding requirements for issuance of a United States visa are as follows:
        • Minimum $1,600 per month for scholar;
        • Plus $500 per month for spouse; and
        • $200 per month per dependent child.
      • Funding may come from any of the following sources or a combination of them:
        • Scholar’s home institution
          • Requires a letter of support detailing the amount of funding, use of funds, and date to which funding is guaranteed
        • A fellowship awarded by the applicant’s home government or a recognized international organization
          • Requires letter of support detailing the amount of funding, use of funds, and date to which funding is guaranteed
        • Personal funds
          • Requires a bank statement or letter detailing the total amount in savings available
    • Copy of passport information page for scholar and any accompanying dependents

Complete applications may be e-mailed directly to Julia Byrd (julia.byrd@berkeley.edu)

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STEP 2

Completed applications are then reviewed by CLAS. Applicants will be notified of the Center’s decision in writing within a reasonable period of time.

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STEP 3

Successful applicants will be asked to submit additional application forms and to pay the required non-refundable fees listed below:

Visiting Student Researchers
Fee Six months or longer; visa extensions allowed Six months or less; no visa extensions allowed

J-1 Visa Processing Fee
(Non-U.S. residents only)

$500 $500
Campus Service Fee $1000 for 1 year
$2000 for 2 years
$1000
CLAS Affiliation Fee $1,000

$650

 

Visiting Scholars with a teaching appointment at another university
Fee Six months or longer; visa extensions allowed Six months or less; no visa extensions allowed

J-1 Visa Processing Fee
(Non-U.S. residents only)

$500 $500
Campus Service Fee $750 for 1 year; $1500 for 2 years $750
CLAS Affiliation Fee $2,000 $1,300

 

Non- Academic Visiting Scholars 
(i.e., journalists, government officials, researchers at private institutions)
Fee Six months or longer; visa extensions allowed Six months or less; no visa extensions allowed

J-1 Visa Processing Fee
(Non-U.S. residents only)

$500 $500
Campus Service Fee $750 for 1 year; $1500 for 2 years $750
CLAS Affiliation Fee $4,000 $2,600

Fees must be paid in U.S. dollars and can be in the form of an international money order, cashier’s check, or personal check payable to “UC Regents.”

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STEP 4

Once all fees have been paid and secondary application materials have been received, CLAS will process the applicant’s DS-2019, which allows him/her to go to the nearest U.S. Consulate or Embassy to apply for the J-1 (Visiting Scholar) visa.

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STEP 5

After receipt of the DS-2019 and related materials, applicants are required to pay a one-time U.S. government Homeland Security processing fee (SEVIS) of $180 online: http://www.fmjfee.com. Once this fee has been paid, applicants will then contact their local Consulate or Embassy to apply for the J-1 visa. To find the address, phone number and business hours of the nearest Consulate or Embassy, please visit the following website: http://www.usembassy.gov/. Usually an interview is required to secure the J-1 visa. For more information on the visa and estimated processing times, please click on the following link: http://internationaloffice.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/shared/docs/invite_%20j1ev.pdf 

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STEP 6

Once a Visiting Scholar/Visiting Student Researcher has the visa in hand and travel plans scheduled, she/he should inform CLAS of her/his arrival dates and schedule an appointment to complete the arrival forms required by the U.S. government.

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