Cal Poly

Information for Departments Hosting International Visitors

If you are interested in a temporary research or teaching appointment at Cal Poly, please contact the academic department at Cal Poly associated with your field. The department will initiate the invitation process through the appropriate Dean's office.

Inviting International Visitors to Cal Poly

Which visa is best?

The first step in the process is determining the recommended visa type for the visitor. Cal Poly International Center can assist in determining the best visa type for international visitors to Cal Poly. To do this, we ask that the Cal Poly sponsor or contact for the visitor complete the International Visitor Form (docx) .

Social Security Card

If the visitor is to be paid, Academic Personnel will need to approve the appointment by seeing the offer letter. The visitor should come to the International Center prior to going to the Social Security office to apply for the SSN and card. Also, the visitor will need to provide to Cal Poly payroll a receipt for applying for a Social Security Card no later than 3 days after the start of work. The visitor should arrive early to apply for the card in order to be paid. It can take about two weeks to receive the card.

The J-1 Visa Process

After reviewing the International Visitor Form (docx) the International Center will notify the department or Dean's office contact that the J-1 visa is the appropriate visa for the visitor and the steps below are followed. The department indicates on the International Visitor Form, which faculty or staff member will serve as the Exchange Visitor Mentor or Student Intern Supervisor. If the Student Intern Category of the J-1 visa is recommended, follow the instructions for Inviting Student Interns.

  • The Dean's Office from your college must write two original copies of an invitation letter (see samples below) specifying the terms of the arrangement. A scanned copy of the letter with the Dean's signature is emailed to Cal Poly International Center. If the appointment needs approval by Academic Personnel (a paid academic assignment for instance), please send a copy of the approved appointment to Cal Poly International Center.
  • The visiting scholar will need to complete a Cal Poly DS-2019 Request Form (online) and send it to Cal Poly International Center along with a copy of the passport, résumé, and proof of funding. The scholar will indicate the Cal Poly faculty mentor who will be sent an email to complete the Exchange Visitor Mentor Agreement.
  • International Center creates DS-2019 and instruction sheet and notifies Dean's or Department office it is ready to send to visitor along with invitation letters (and V-1 Form if volunteer).
  • Visitor signs both copies of invitation letter and returns one copy to Dean's office along with V-1 Form if applicable. Email scans should be sent to Dean's office before putting paper copies in the post.
  • Department or Dean's office emails scanned signed copy of the invitation letter and V-1 (if volunteer) to Academic Personnel (Chris Blackburn) to create PeopleSoft record for the visitor.
  • Academic Personnel (AP) will provide Empl ID when record is created.
  • If the visitor is a volunteer, the Department Admin will get Empl ID from AP and submit an Affiliated Account Request to Information Services. See instructions.

A master's student coming to do research can come in a scholar category. A bachelor's student coming to do an internship at Cal Poly must use the Student Intern category and the department must follow the process for the J-1 Student Intern (see below).

Proof of Funding

All visiting scholars and interns must show they have funds to support themselves and any accompanying spouse or children during their stay. The amount they must show to be issued a DS-2019 is estimated as follows: $1,700 per month for a student or intern, $2000 per month for a researcher or professor, $500 per month for an accompanying spouse, and $250 per month for each child. The sources of funding can vary and documentation of the funds will be submitted to the International Center along with the online forms. Tax returns and long term investment accounts are not acceptable financial documents.

Forms and Sample Letters for J-1 Visiting Scholars

The B-1 Visa Process

For short stays up to 90 days, a scholar (not a student) may try to come on a B-1 visitor visa for business. Many U.S. Embassies will insist on the J-1 visa so it is best to only try for entry in the B-1 visa category using ESTA Visa Waiver. See the list of countries online whose citizens qualify for the Visa Waiver Program. If it is determined that the visitor will come on a B-1 visa the process is much simpler.

  • The Deans office will issue an invitation letter (see samples below)
  • Department sends signed copy of offer letter and V-1 (if volunteer) to Academic Personnel to create a PeopleSoft entry for the visitor.
  • Department Admin will get Empl ID from AP and submit an Affiliated Account Request to Information Services. See instructions.

Forms and Sample Letters for B-1 Visitors

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Inviting Student Interns

Departments offering internships to undergraduate students on campus can do so with the Student Intern category of the Exchange Visitor Program. The faculty member working with the student should read the Instructions for Inviting Student Interns (PDF) which provides details on the entire process, supervisor requirements, and complete instructions on completing the required Form DS-7002.

  • The Dean's Office from your college must write an appointment letter (see sample below) specifying the terms of the arrangement. A copy of that letter is sent to Cal Poly International Center. If the appointment needs approval by Academic Personnel, please send a copy of the approved appointment to Cal Poly International Center.
  • The intern will need to complete the J-1 Student Intern Request (online) and send it to Cal Poly International Center along with a copy of the passport, résumé, and proof of funding. The intern will indicate the Cal Poly faculty supervisor who will be sent an email to complete the J-1 Student Intern Supervisor Agreement.
  • Cal Poly cannot sponsor visiting students to do internships off-campus unless they are exchange students qualifying for academic training after completing full-time coursework.

Forms and Sample Letters for International Student Interns

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We are here to help!

Please contact Susan Tripp at 805-756-7535 or Judy Mitchell at 805-756-5837 as soon as you know that you would like to sponsor an international visitor or intern so we can assist you with the process.

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© 2015 California Polytechnic State University Cal Poly International Center
Building 52, Room E32
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
Phone: (805) 756-1477
Fax: (805) 756-5484
international@calpoly.edu