Visiting Scholars Visiting Scholars Admissions & Application

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Please allow extra time for visa paperwork processing and travel logistics related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The law school receives many more applications than there are places available. Most successful applicants are current law faculty, public legal officials or experienced attorneys who already hold an LL.M. or Ph.D. in law. Applicants who are enrolled in a graduate degree program outside the U.S. are not eligible for the Visiting Scholars program.

Application Requirements

Admission to the Visiting Scholars Program is highly competitive. An appointment as a Visiting Scholar requires a formal director approval and is not automatic.

  1. Our application process is completely online. We need to receive the documents listed in step 2 and a $200 application fee before we can review your submission.

    Pay the Visiting Scholars Application Fee
    Please note that we will not be able to process your application without this payment.
  2. Send the following documents to
    • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
    • Research Proposal. The research proposal should be between 3-5 pages long and outline the area on which you intend to focus your research during the Program. The proposal should include the following sections – Working Title, Background, Project Statement and Plan, and Bibliography.
    • Two Letters of Recommendation. Two (2) letters of recommendation are required. They should come from law faculty or other professionals in law who can best evaluate your capacity for research in the United States. You may have the letters mailed/e-mailed directly by the referee or send them with your supporting documents.
    • Visiting Scholars Program Intake Form
    • Letter of Financial Support From Your Sponsor.

      In order to process J Visa Requests for the issuing of DS2019 documents, applicants must supply a letter from an external funding source, which is typically one’s employer or a government-affiliated scholarship. Personal funds may supplement but not substitute sponsored funding as UW does not provide visa sponsorship to Visitors funded solely by personal or family funds. The letter of financial support should guarantee at least $2100 per month for the scholar to meet the J Visa regulations. For accompanying family members, please factor in additional funding of $1200 per month for spouse and $600 per child.

      Funding letters must be on your sponsor’s letterhead and list the monthly funding amount in USD (U.S. dollars) and provide the exact program dates (month, day and year) for your research period with UW School of Law.

      Please avoid using the word “about,” “approximate” or “up to” before the monetary award. The funding sponsor can guarantee a minimum funding amount in USD. It is fine if the sponsor ends up providing a higher funding amount.

    • Photocopy of Highest Academic Degree. A proof of highest degree is required to process visa requests.
    • Photocopy of Passport Page. (For You And Any Accompanying Family Members)
    • Proof of English Language Proficiency. Applicants to our program must submit the results of a recognized English language test score, preferably TOEIC or IELTS. If TOEIC or IELTS are not accessible, Duolingo proficiency exam scores may also be accepted. For TOEIC, we prefer a score of 700 or higher. For IELTS, we prefer a score of 6.5 or higher. If the test administered was not TOEIC or IELTS, then please provide an interpretation of the test score.


Although we have an open enrollment policy, we strongly encourage scholars to start the program in fall (August - September) or winter (January).

In light of prolonged U.S. immigration procedures, all Visiting Scholar applicants are strongly encouraged to submit the application at least 5-6 months prior to the applicant’s anticipated arrival in the United States.

Assessment of applications takes about 4 weeks from the date of receipt, and may take longer if the application is incomplete. Upon approval and issuance of an invitation to the Visiting Scholar, UW processing time of immigration documents may take between 4-6 weeks from the receipt of the J-1/DS-2019 request and supporting documents.


  • Non-Refundable Application Fee $200.
  • Deposit $800. Once you are accepted by the program, $800 deposit (nonrefundable) must be paid to secure your slot in the program. We will not be able to process DS2019 document(s) to obtain a J1 visa without this deposit payment.
  • Visiting Scholars Program Fee $1000 a month (or $10,000 for one calendar year). This fee will cover the costs of their visit, access to Law School and library facilities and resources, and other Visiting Scholars Program scholarly and social activities. Note: As of Dec. 1, 2021, application fee and deposit no longer go toward the Visiting Scholars Program Fee.
    We accept and prefer payment by credit card. If you wish to pay by money order (exact amount) or personal check, please coordinate in advance of your orientation. We do not accept cash.
  • UW DS2019 Form Fee $562 (per person effective July 14, 2023). This “Certificate of Eligibility” to get a visa is issued through the UW International Scholars Operations (ISO) office.
    Reissued DS2019s cost $105 (per person effective July 14, 2023)
  • SEVIS Database Fee (Approximately $220). Once you receive your DS2019 certificate, you must go to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement web site and pay the SEVIS fee. This is required by federal law, prior to your visit to the U.S. consulate/embassy for the visa interview. The payment instruction will be provided to you by the UW International Scholars Operations (ISO) office.
  • VISA Fee (Approximately $185). To obtain a J1 visa, you must pay approximately $185 US dollars to apply for a J1 visa.