UWM is delighted to welcome many internationally-established academic visiting scholars every year for a variety of academic and cultural purposes.

Visiting Scholars typically stay at UWM anywhere between 3 days and 5 years. International advisors at CIE can assist academic departments in determining the appropriate visa category to use for international colleagues visiting the campus to collaborate on research or teach.

J-1 Exchange Visitor

Many international visitors are sponsored by UWM for J-1 Exchange Visitor status. The J-1 is a nonimmigrant visa that allows for between 3 weeks and 5 years of temporary stay in the U.S. for coherent programs that facilitate academic and cultural exchange. UWM hosts over 200 J-1 Exchange Visitors per year.

B-1/B-2/Visa Waiver Visitors

International visitors to UWM who are making very brief professional or personal stays, for example, to attend a conference or meet a colleague, often enter the U.S. on temporary U.S. Visitor visas.

B-1/B-2 Visitors

Visitors staying less than 9 days who may be paid an honorarium or reimbursed for expenses may apply for the B-1 or B-2 visa.

Visa Waiver Visitors

The U.S. does not require citizens of some countries to apply for a visa to enter the U.S. These countries are included in the Visa Waiver Program and someone entering the U.S. on the Visa Waiver Program receives the status of W/T or W/B (Waiver for Tourism or Waiver for Business). The same rules for honorarium and reimbursement for expenses for B-1 visitors apply to W/B visitors.

Visitor Visas Comparison (PDF) – Information on the nuances of the temporary U.S. visitor visas.

Visitor Visa Invitation (PDF) – Sample visa invitation letter for UWM-related temporary visitors.


Jennifer Gruenewald
Director, International Student & Scholar Services