Information for Academic Departments or Programs Interested in Hosting a Student in the
Visiting International Student Engaged in Research Program (VISER)
The Visiting International Student Engaged in Research Program (VISER) permits students pursuing degrees at foreign universities to engage for a period between 13 to 24 months in a full-time non-degree academic program of research and learning with a specific educational objective at the University of Washington.
VISER students must either be substantially (at least 51% of the total expenses shown in Part G of the 1025-J VISER Visa Request form) supported by their home government or other non-personal/non-family sources, or be part of a written exchange agreement between the UW and the foreign educational institution, signed by the Vice Provost of Global Affairs.
VISER students are not eligible for employment. Although VISER students cannot receive wages or any type of payment for work, they may receive from the University of Washington a stipend that requires no service expectations or employment relationship. Stipend payments must be paid through job class code 0858. Such payments may not be funded by any externally funded award unless the award sponsor specifically approves payment of a stipend to an international visitor.
Persons on J visas may be subject to bars on repeat participation in J status. This might preclude a VISER participant from returning to the UW for postdoctoral research.
Parties involved in VISER include:
- The international participant (referred to as a “VISER student” or simply “international student”)
- The UW host, an academic department or program supervising the VISER student
- The UW faculty supervisor
- The International Scholars Operations (ISO), responsible for visa compliance
- UW Educational Outreach’s International & English Language Programs (IELP), administrator of the VISER program on behalf of UW
VISER students are required to do the following:
- enroll full-time in an individualized Advanced Research Methods course through UW IELP. The course will consist of student research and student/supervisor meetings, but does not include additional coursework
- engage in a full-time, non-degree academic program at the UW that fulfills the educational objectives of the VISER Placement Plan for a minimum of 13 months
- not stay at the UW beyond the period designated on the DS-2019 form (up to 24 months)
- not accept payment from the UW for their research nor seek campus employment at the UW (However, they may receive a stipend, which is not payment for service expectations or an employment relationship.)
- not seek admission to the University of Washington as an undergraduate, graduate or professional student, or enroll in additional coursework
- return to their home institution to obtain a degree
- purchase LewerMark Plus Copay (LMPC) medical insurance through UW Educational Outreach if they don’t have proof of comparable insurance from home
- pay all required fees
- participate fully in the activities described on the VISER Placement Plan, follow the terms of the J-1 visa and University of Washington polices, or they will be terminated from the program
- Students may not enroll in or audit any UW courses (including ESL courses), or otherwise participate in coursework. Students may, with permission of their supervisor, occasionally and infrequently observe classroom lectures if the topic specifically relates to their research.
The UW department pays a one-time program fee of $1030 at the beginning of the research project, and $160 ISO fee for each DS-2019 created. These fees must be paid with a budget number.
It generally takes 2-3 months from the UW host's first contact with the student until the international student receives his/her DS-2019 immigration paperwork. Please turn in the completed VISER application packet to IELP at least 5 weeks before the start of the activity.