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

Visiting Scholars typically stay at UWM anywhere between three days and five 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 three weeks and five years of temporary stay in the United States 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 nine 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 (Waiver for Tourism) or W/B (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