A Visiting Graduate Researcher (VGR) is an individual, domestic or international, who is: (1) enrolled as degree-seeking graduate student at his or her home institution and maintaining satisfactory advancement towards the completion of his or her academic degree, and (2) invited to conduct short-term doctoral research or participate in a "prescribed course of study" such as a mentored or independent research project or master’s research collaborations with a faculty member at UCLA. Departments must contact UCLA Graduate Division for information regarding fees, application procedures and supporting documents. Complete application instructions are available online.

Once the department receives VGR approval notification from Graduate Division, the department can submit the DS-2019 request to DCISS through the online International Scholar Dossier (ISD) application. Only academic department personnel have the ability to initiate the DS-2019 request through ISD. Academic department personnel can contact dcissj1unit@saonet.ucla.edu to request access to ISD.

International Scholar Dossier (ISD)

DCISS needs at least 15 working days to process the DS-2019 form. Requests should be submitted at least 3 months prior to start date of program to give VGR enough time to apply for the J-1 visa at the U.S. Embassy and make travel arrangements. Documents required to be uploaded to ISD are listed below.

Also note the following guidelines when requesting a DS-2019 for student researchers:

  • Student researchers will only be eligible for J-1 Short-Term Scholar or J-1 Research Scholar category.
  • Programs must be for a minimum 22 days.

Item 1: DS-2019 Department Approval Form

Completed DS-2019 Department Approval Form . Requires signatures from:

  • Faculty Advisor
  • Chairperson of the department

Item 2: Copy of the Picture Page of Passports

Copy of the picture page of the passport for scholar and accompanying dependents if applicable.

Item 3: Evidence of Financial Support

Include documentary evidence of financial support in English. If supported by UCLA no additional documents are necessary. Acceptable financial documents include:

  • Personal funds: A recent bank statement no older than 6 months verifying the required amount of money. ATM receipts are not acceptable documents.
  • Family funds from abroad: Bank statements, sponsorship letter, and/or bank letters verifying that EV will receive the required amount of money from their family during the term.
  • Government or other sponsoring agency: A signed copy of the scholarship or award letter on official letterhead which states the amount and duration of the award.
  • Home country institution/employer: Copy of signed letter from employer on official letterhead indicating the amount and continuation of salary payments during program participation.

Minimum required financial support is provided below:

  • Scholar : $30,300 per year / $2525 per month
  • Spouse : $6,000 per year / $500 per month
  • Each Child : $2,667 per year / $222 per month

Item 4: Resume/CV of the Applicant

Resume/CV of the VGR outlining academic background and professional experience.

Item 5: Appointment Letter

Memo from the faculty supervisor, addressed to UCLA Exchange Visitor Program. Include the following in the letter:

  • the exchange visitor’s name, title of UCLA appointment
  • a detailed description of activities the EV will undertake, including breakdown of percentages of duties/activities, i.e., teaching, research, observation, training, attending conferences,
  • the site where the research will take place, etc.

Item 6: Certification of English Language Proficiency

Department sponsors need to determine English proficiency for J-1 Scholars in one of 5 ways:

  • A UCLA recognized English language test;
  • Certification by home academic institution where English is used;
  • Certification by English Language School where English training was completed within the past 2 years;
  • Copy of signed diploma or signed transcript from U.S. universities or universities in countries where English is the native language; or
  • A documented interview conducted by the UCLA faculty advisor either in-person or by videoconferencing, or by telephone if videoconferencing is not a viable option.

The Certification of English Language Proficiency form must be included with all NEW and TRANSFER DS-2019 Requests. English Certification is not required for EXTENSION requests. An applicant whose first language is English and is a citizen of a country in which English is the primary spoken language of daily life (e.g., Australia, Barbados, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, United Kingdom) is exempt from this requirement.

Item 7: Graduate Division Appointment Approval

Attach the provisional VGR approval email from the Graduate Division. This email will include the approved program dates. The dates should match the dates on the DS-2019 form.

Item 8: jPATH Orientation Fee

jPATH Orientation Fee: $59; only required for new DS-2019 requests and for programs that are more than 3 months long. Must be paid through departmental recharge.

Item 9: J-2 Dependent Fee

J-2 Dependent Fees: $40.00 processing fee per year of appointment. Can be paid either through departmental recharge by the department or through the DCISS website by the scholar.

See FEE section.

Item 10: Copy of Previous DS-2019 Forms

Copies of scholar's previous DS-2019 forms are required if they have participated in a J-1 program within the past 2 years.