If you are interested in coming to the University of Minnesota for the purpose of collaborating with our faculty in research, teaching, observation, and/or training, you will typically be invited to the U.S. on a J-1 visa. You must have at minimum a bachelor’s degree or an international equivalent.
Difference between student and scholar
When we use the term student, we are referring to individuals who are enrolled in courses at the UMN. We use the term scholar for individuals who are involved in academic work (research, teaching, etc.), but are not taking courses here at the UMN.
I want to do research at the UMN. Do I need a J-1 visa or can I use a B-1/B-2 visa?
How to begin the J-1 DS-2019 request process
To apply for a J-1 visa, you must have a DS-2019 document issued to you. ISSS issues these documents to UMN scholars. (Note that sometimes a different entity will issue you a DS-2019 if they will be sponsoring you during your time at the UMN, such as Fulbright. Make sure you communicate this with your UMN hosting department so duplicate documents are not issued).
A UMN department must request a DS-2019 on your behalf. Therefore, you must first contact the UMN department with which you are interested in collaborating. You are to then identify a specific faculty member who will be collaborating with and mentoring (or supervising) you during your stay here. Once you and the faculty have agreed upon your prospective teaching or research goals/project(s), this hosting department initiates the process with ISSS by following the steps of Inviting a J-1 Scholar.