Prospective Scholars

Slater is pleased that you are joining the Wellesley community!

Once you have been invited or hired to be a visiting scholar or faculty member, you must do some advanced planning to ensure your smooth and timely entry to the U.S. in the appropriate immigration status.

If you are currently in the U.S. in a non-immigrant visa status you may need to extend or change your status to come to Wellesley College.  In general, visiting researchers and lecturers will be offered J-1 status and tenure track faculty members will be offered H-1B status and Permanent Residency.  Please review the different visa status options here.


Once the College has determined the best visa status for you, you will be asked to complete some forms and provide the information required to prepare the immigration documents for your particular visa status.  If you are outside of the U.S. you will need to apply for a visa.  If you are currently in the U.S. in non-immigrant status you may be eligible to apply for a change of status in the U.S.

NOTE:  Immigration regulations are complicated and change frequently.  The information posted on this site is a limited overview and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult with the Slater International Center and you will be referred to the appropriate resources for the most up to date and accurate information.

Applying for a Visa

A visa is issued by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. A visa entitles the holder to travel to the United States and apply for admission; it does not guarantee entry.  An immigration inspector at the port of entry determines the visa holder's eligibility for admission into the United States. Below is a brief overview of the visa application process.

With limited exceptions, nonimmigrant visa applicants aged 14 to 79 are required to schedule an appointment for an interview with a U.S. consular officer. Embassies do not accept walk-in applications. Applicants under the age of 14 or those aged 80 or over are generally not required to appear in person and in some instances, may use the services of the Embassy approved courier service to submit their application.  

The average processing time for successful applicants is normally five (5) business days but processing times vary by each Embassy. Please check the Department of State website to verify up-to-date processing times.

Nonimmigrant visa applicants are required to pay a visa fee. The visa fee is non-refundable and non-transferable. Please note that visa application fees can change at any time. It's important to review the Embassy's website for an updated list of fees before making arrangements for payment.

Nationals of certain countries are required to pay an issuance fee in order for an approved visa to be issued. Fees are based on reciprocity and reflect the charges levied by the applicant's government to the U.S. For more information regarding reciprocity fees, please check the Department of State's website here.

For more information regarding the visa application process, please read 10 Points to Remember When Applying for a Visa.

Entry into the U.S.

Foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States are subject to strict security procedures at U.S. Consulates, embassies, and ports of entry.

  • Expect complex and sometimes lengthy visa application procedures at the U.S. Consulates and embassies, including biometrics collection procedures.
  • Expect comprehensive questioning by immigration officials when re-entering the U.S.
  • Foreign nationals subject to US-VISIT will have their fingerprints captured with an inkless scanner and a digital photograph taken.
  • Foreign students and exchange visitors must make sure that their enrollment or program information has been entered into the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and that required SEVIS registration fee has been paid.
  • In general, your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the expiration of your period of admission to the United States. 
  • Upon entry to the United States, the visa stamp in your passport must reflect your current nonimmigrant visa status, the visa must be unexpired, and, if the visa has a limited number of entries, it must have a remaining valid entry available on the intended date of re-entry to the United States.
  • You should receive a stamp in your passport indicating your port of entry, date of entry, visa status and length of your stay.