International Programs

Inviting A Foreign Scholar

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke welcomes expressions of interest by UNCP faculty who wish to sponsor international scholars for short term study or research visits and collaborations with UNCP faculty and departmentsWe also welcome requests for “sponsorship” by international scholars. 

Such collaborations can be enriching for both the “visiting scholar” and the UNCP partner(s).  Needless to say, scholarly productivity and/or professional development are the purpose of such endeavors.  This policy statement is designed to instruct both the visiting international scholar and the host unit. 

(Note to UNCP academic units: Inviting a foreign scholar or visitor includes many of the same requirements followed for hiring adjunct professors. Click here for more detail on procedure.)

The steps outlined herein must be implemented as specified. These steps are based on three basic premises.

  1. All “visiting scholar” programs or activities are departmental or unit driven.  The Office of International Programs neither designs nor implements such programs.  It is our function to facilitate and enable the efforts of the collaborating parties who wish to initiate such collaborations.
  2. The initiation of and the design of all visiting scholar activities must be the product of relationships developed between the host department or unit and the interested international scholar.
  3. Once agreements to collaborate have been reached by the host department or unit and the international scholar, in accordance with the procedures described herein, the Office of International Programs will provide whatever specialized assistance (Immigration, for example) may be appropriate to implement the agreement.

Please note: Sponsoring UNCP departmental units (etc.) are solely responsible for assembling, completing and providing International Programs with any and all supporting documents required for immigration purposes by the United States Department of States.

  • Only upon receipt of the completed document package may International Programs begin the visa process.

Similarly, sponsoring units are solely responsible for arranging airport transfers and housing.

  • International Programs is readily available to provide any assistance and expertise that might be required, but - as hosts - it is up to the sponsoring unit(s) to make, pay for, and carry-out arrangements.
  • Should airport transfer coincide with already-scheduled, routine, services on the part of International Programs, visiting scholars are very welcome - and encouraged - to avail themselves of the convenience of those services.


1. Request

Any UNCP faculty member who wishes to promote a project for a “visiting scholar” may do so.  Likewise any interested “international scholar” who wishes to request “sponsorship” for such a program may do so.  In either case, the request must be made to the UNCP Department Chair or head of the academic unit in which the visiting scholar will be sponsored. The “Request for Sponsoring an Exchange Visitor” form should be completed and presented to the Chair or unit head (copy to Director of International Programs).  These forms and check lists useful for acquiring the necessary information required for foreign visitors may be obtained from the Office for International Programs.
Link to Request Form.

2. Planning

The UNCP Academic Department Chair or unit head, assuming they approve the initial request, will direct the planning process.  Either the Chair or unit head, or an assigned member of the department, will coordinate with the proposed “visiting scholar” to design a specific program of action.  This must include specification of the scholarly product to be produced and/or the study or professional development activity to be implemented.  It must also include specific details as to time of the “visit” and the daily schedule of activities.  Finally, the plan must identify a departmental or unit colleague responsible for coordination and supervision of the implementation of the plan.

3. Approval

The completed plan must be approved by the Academic Department Chair or unit head. Once this approval has been secured, the plan must be approved by the appropriate Academic Dean. The Dean will present this approval (and the plan) to the Provost for final approval.  A copy of each approval must be provided to the Center for International Programs.

4. Implementation

Following all approvals, the sponsoring department/unit and the visiting scholar will coordinate with International Programs, to insure that all appropriate work is completed for visa applications, and any other specialized arrangements and support services necessary to facilitate the visit.  With the assistance of International Programs, the host department/unit will be responsible for all academic, cultural and other substantive elements of the visit, including housing and airport transfer, and any associated costs.

  • Should airport transfer coincide with already-scheduled, routine, services on the part of International Programs, visiting scholars are very welcome - and encouraged - to avail themselves of the convenience of those services.

Host academic units are encouraged to include and implement cultural/social activities of various sorts - both on and off-campus - that will benefit the scholar(s) while at UNCP.

Note: The visiting scholar is responsible for all travel and personal expenses.  UNCP may provide housing as a part of the program, depending upon the agreement.   

Only after formal and final approval of the visiting scholar’s plan may the Center for International Programs provide the full array of service and assistance necessary to implement the agreement. 

Prior to approval, the Office for International Programs will offer general information about these policies and procedures and will direct all inquiries to the appropriate parties. 

  • The burden for creating the proposal and designing and implementing the program resides exclusively with the sponsoring department or unit and the proposed visiting scholar.      
  • The UNCP academic department is responsible for arranging airport transfers.
    • Visiting scholars arriving in coordination with scheduled transfers to or from the Raleigh-Durham (RDU) airport are welcome to avail themselves of those complimentary transfer services. Information about the scheduled transfers is available from the International Programs office.                            

Overview: The Exchange Visitor Visa

Any citizen of a foreign country, who wishes to enter the United States, generally must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. The type of visa you must have is defined by immigration law, and relates to the purpose of your travel.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides the exchange visitor (J) nonimmigrant visa category for persons who are approved to participate in exchange visitor programs in the United States.

  • Before you can apply at an American Embassy or Consulate for a J visa you must apply, meet the requirements, and be accepted for one of the Exchange Visitor Program categories through a designated sponsoring organization.
  • If you are accepted as a participant in an exchange program, the sponsor will provide you with information and documents necessary to apply for the J visa to enter the United States.

NOTE: UNCP Visiting Scholars Program may support J-2 dependents. The supporting academic unit should approve this measure.

Changes introduced shortly after September 11, 2001 involve extensive and ongoing review of visa issuing practices as they relate to our national security.

  • Visa applications are now subject to a greater degree of scrutiny than in the past.
  • Applicants affected by these procedures are informed of the need for additional screening at the time they submit their applications.
  • It is important to apply for your visa well in advance of your travel departure date.
  • IMPORTANT: All visiting scholars are ultimately - and solely - responsible for being in compliance with U.S. immigration regulations at all times

NOTE: A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to the United States port-of entry, and request permission from the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. immigration inspector to enter the United States.

  • A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States.

For complete information: U.S. Department of State, J Visas.