Who is a Visiting Scholar?

A Visiting Scholar appointment is a non-paid, courtesy scholarly appointment at Purdue. See our Definitions page and our expanded ISS Practice page discussion of Visiting Scholar appointments. They do not receive a salary from Purdue but may be given a living stipend. The appointment may include supporting the individual in their pursuit of their research objectives, although often some alignment with Purdue research endeavors also may occur. Visiting Scholar appointments may not be used to engage in research solely or substantively benefiting Purdue. The appointment is intended to facilitate a non-US citizen in completing an objective relating to their academic, research or professional pursuits in their home country. 

Visiting Scholars may be international or US citizens - the appointment is not restricted to a specific citizenship status.  

International Visiting Scholars may include: 

  • J-1 scholars, provided they hold the equivalent of a 4-year college degree
  • J-1 Visiting Undergraduate Students, provided they-
    • are currently enrolled in a qualifying college degree program in their home country
    • do not already otherwise hold a university degree
    • require the activities planned for the Purdue campus in order to complete their degree programs in the home country (in other words, but for the Purdue activities, the student would not receive the degree), and
    • must return home to be conferred the degree. 
  • H-1B employees of Purdue's collaborating institutions and organizations, provided the individual's involvement in Purdue activities is essential for the advancement of the collaborative research endeavor as a whole,
  • J-1 students on Academic Training, provided
    • The visiting appointment at Purdue occurs after completion of their US degree or exchange student program, if they will receive funding from their home government during the appointment
  • F-1 visa holders who have graduated and hold OPT
  • J-1 student visa holders who have graduated and hold academic training
  • J-2 dependents who hold Employment Authorization Documents (EADs)
  • F-1 or J-1 students who are still completing their US degree or program may also qualify for Visiting Scholar appointments in limited circumstances - please have the prospective Host Department reach out to the International Student Services Office to discuss.

Please note that as Visiting Scholars, they would receive an invitation letter, so the process to obtain permission to issue such a letter must be followed. In addition, the invitation letter must require their agreement to follow Purdue's policy regarding intellectual property as required by the Provost's office.


Who cannot be a Visiting Scholar?

International visitors to Purdue University who entered the US in any of the following may not be issued Visiting Appointments-

  • B-1 "Business Visitor" 
  • B-2 "Tourist" 
  • B-1/B-2 
  • "ESTA" 
  • Visa Waiver (which is not the same as being 'visa exempt' - which is what Canadians are)

All of the above terms refer to the same core two visa classifications in US law: tourist status, and business visitor status. Tourist and business visitor status are not compatible with visiting appointments.