Visa Guidelines

Teaching and learning are enriched by the diverse experiences of individuals who join the College community.

Bates encourages faculty members to invite international speakers, artists, and performers to the campus to participate in courses and/or to present their work to the College community and the public. These individuals are almost always compensated for their work at the College, and therefore must be eligible to work in the United States and possess to proper visa to do so.

If you plan to invite a foreign visitor to the campus, you must contact the Office of the Dean of the Faculty immediately. The dean’s office can help assess the visitor’s visa options and describe the process for securing a visa. In most cases, the dean’s office actually files a visa petition on behalf of the foreign national, prepares paperwork, and arranges required insurance.

Inviting scholars, experts, and practitioners from abroad involves considerable time and effort by the College and by the visitor. When applying for support for scholars and others from abroad, faculty members must consider the amount of time required to secure an appropriate visa, usually a J-1 visa:

~ 3-6 months may be required to process a J-1 visa form most countries.

~9 months or more may be required to secure a visa for a visitor from a country that the U.S. government regards with suspicion.  Securing visas for Cuban nationals may also be complicated by restrictions imposed by the Cuban government.

Airline tickets should not be purchased for the foreign visitor until he or she has the visa in hand.

Assistant Dean of the Faculty Jason Scheideman (753-6982) is the contact person for visas for scholars, artists, and other non-student exchange visitors.

Questions we will ask a foreign exchange visitor in order to process a visa application:

To apply for a visa to the United States on behalf of the visitor, the College needs the following information from the visiting scholar or practitioner:

  1. a) What is your mailing address?
    b)  Which mail service should Bates College use to express mail papers to you?
    c)  What is your telephone number?
  2. Do you have any intention of coming to the U.S. as an immigrant or seeking long-term employment in the U.S.?
  3. Are you going to pursue activities or employment at a place other than at Bates College while you are in the U.S.?
  4. Please list all locations of your employment or other activities while in the U.S.
  5. Do you have a passport? (It is not possible to get a visa without one.)
  6. Are you in possession of your passport? (You need to be in possession of your passport to receive a visa.)
  7. Is your passport valid for the entire length of your stay in the U.S.? If not, how do you plan to renew your passport from the U.S.?
  8. Do you have a U.S. Social Security card?  To take advantage of any tax treaties, the Bates Payroll Office must have certain information on the visitor’s work history in the U.S. Consequently, it is necessary to bring your visitor to payroll soon after arrival.
  9. Do you have dependents who will be coming to the U.S. with you? Please list each dependent’s sex, name, age, and relationship to you. Dependents are defined as spouses, sons, and daughters under 21 years of age. Non-married partners are not eligible for a J-2 visa. Other relatives and sons and daughters over 21 are not eligible for J-2 dependent visa. Both the scholar/practitioner and all dependents listed on the visa must go to the U.S. consulate when the visitor is applying for his or her visa. Please understand that dependents of any age cannot use your J-1 visa for employment in the U.S. Note:  Visa and SEVIS fees must be paid to the U.S. Consulate for every family member seeking a J visa.
  10. To be employed by the College, scholars and other visitors must have medical insurance that meets certain U.S. government requirements. Bates College can secure this for the visitor. Again, Assistant Dean of the Faculty Jason Scheideman, 753-6982, is the contact person for medical insurance for visiting scholars and practitioners at the College who are citizens of other countries.

Information is required of the foreign visitor and all dependents.
Visa Application Questions:

  • Your family/surname.
  • Your first/given name.
  • Your middle name.
  • Your date of birth.
  • Your city of birth.
  • Your country of birth.
  • Your country of citizenship.
  • Your country of permanent residency.
  • Your position in that country (job title and place of employment).
  • Your level of education completed (high school diploma, undergraduate degree, masters degree, doctorate).
  • Your area of scholarly expertise.
  • Your arrival date in US.
  • Your departure date from US.

The answers to these questions should be submitted to Jason Scheideman ( for visa application processing.

See also:

Traveling with Family Members

International Visitors