The following information has been compiled by Thomas O'Keefe <firstname.lastname@example.org> as a convienence to visiting students and researchers from South Africa. I will attempt to keep this information accurate and up-to-date, but it is important that you understand that United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) regulations are complicated and subject to change. You are ultimately responsible for verifying the information found here. Contact people are identified below for those requiring specific information, but if you are just starting to plan your trip please work through me. last update 12 Jan 1999 (this will give you an idea of options but you'll need to confirm current visa policies and expenses)
STATUS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Visitors from South Africa may be students, visiting scholars, or visiting scientists. Some individuals may also arrive with family members.
STUDENTS (J1 VISA, possibly F1)
Students will apply as visiting graduate students through the Graduate School. Individuals must have an undergraduate degree and be matriculated at a recognized University--students must be prepared to provide documentation of this. Students need to apply to the graduate school approximately 6 months before their intended date of departure.
The basic procedure is to apply to the graduate school at the University of Washington as a visiting graduate student. Upon acceptance they will issue an IAP66 which you will use to obtain the J1 visa at the U.S. consulate in South Africa.
Our contact person in the graduate school is Mary Fetterly, International Admissions Coordinator and Counselor, Office of Graduate Admissions, 301 Loew Hall, Box 352191, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-2191 , ph. 206-543-7812, fax 206-543-8798, email@example.com
The graduate school policy is that visiting students generally do not stay longer than one year. Students that plan to travel back and forth several times over a period of time spanning more than one calendar year will need to plan carefully with consideration of both graduate school policies and immigration and naturalization service (INS) requirements.
Foreign students must enroll full-time, which for graduate students is 10 credits per quarter. Students may take a "vacation quarter" and remain in the U.S. if they have completed 3 full-time consecutive quarters (i.e. a quarter in which they are not registered for credits with the University). A student who arrives in the winter or spring may take the first summer quarter as a "vacation quarter".
Students must provide evidence of funds to cover these expenses to be in compliance with INS regulations. Funds can be from grants, the home institution, or the students personal financial resources. INS will require documentation of the different funding sources. The 1998 figures for one quarter (3 months) at the University of Washington are as follows:
All students from foreign countries are required to have a health-and-accident insurance policy in force while registered at the University. This may be achieved by purchasing either the student accident and sickness insurance offered through the University or other coverage, proof of which must be furnished to the International Services Office and for which an insurance waiver must be obtained. To avoid cancellation of registration, international students must pay tuition and either pay for the University-sponsored insurance or have a waiver on file by the tuition due date.
VISITING PROFESSOR OR RESEARCH SCHOLAR (J1 VISA)
Under this program, the University sponsors foreign nationals as temporary members of the faculty for teaching, lecturing, observing, conducting research, or activities. Visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their appointment. A bachelor's degree with extensive experience is the minimum educational requirement. Visiting scholar status is reserved for those individuals who have an academic appointment at their home institution (i.e. post-docs, researchers, technicians, instructors, or professors). In most but not all cases, individuals in this category will have a Ph.D. This category does not include students although those with a professional academic appointment who are working to finish an advanced degree may be eligible. You must apply on the grounds that you are arriving as a visiting scholar and not as a visiting student. The key here is the academic appointment--if you are even a part-time student and mention this in your application you could run into trouble. Contact Thomas O'Keefe <firstname.lastname@example.org> with the information below and ask him to submit a visa request form (1035-021 from University Stores) to the International Services Office at the University of Washington. Individuals who wish to visit the university as visiting scholars will need to be prepared to show evidence of a professional appointment and financial support from their home institution or the University of Washington. The prevailing wages for a predoctoral candidate (0.5 FTE) at the University of Washington are $1281 per month (as of 9/98). If funds are received from the University of Washington, however, payment must be a minimum of $2128 per month (as of 1/99) due to labor laws and regulations for foreign scholars on the University payroll.
Please provide the following information for the visa request form:
VISITING SCIENTISTS (J1 VISA)
Visiting scientist status is reserved for individuals that are supported through the University of Washington. These individuals do not necessarily need to have a Ph.D. The University of Washington must provide a minimum of $2128 per month in financial support (as of 1/99).
VISITORS ON BUSINESS (B1 VISA)
Visitors may apply for business status. This category is not intended for students, but for those with an established career who intend to stay for no more than 3 months. A letter of invitation from the University of Washington should include language regarding the ability of the applicant to make a professional contribution to a specific project. When visiting the embassy to apply for this status, the individual should present themselves in a professional manner (i.e. nicely dressed). The invidual would not be funded by the University of Washington.
SPOUSES and CHILDREN
Visas are available for family members, but options for employment are limited. Individuals should be prepared to provide evidence of sufficient financial resources to support their spouse or children (approximately $2000 for a spouse for one quarter--3 months).
INTERNATIONAL SERVICES OFFICE
Katherine Sorensen, counselor, ph. 206-543-0841, fax 206-685-3541, email@example.com
Gary Ausman, director, ph. 206-543-0841, firstname.lastname@example.org
The International Services Office provides assistance to international students, scholars, and faculty in meeting United States Immigration and Naturalization Service regulations dealing with such matters as maintaining lawful status, extensions of stay, transfers of schools/programs, and working authorizations. The Office also provides a formal orientation to the campus and community for new international students and visiting faculty; advice and counsel for educational, financial, and personal problems; and dissemination of important and timely information through newsletters and workshops. The Office is located in 459 Schmitz, (206) 543-0841.
FOUNDATION FOR INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING THROUGH STUDENTS (FIUTS)
The Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS) is a community-based organization on the UW campus whose mission is to provide social support services for non-ESL UW international students and to link them with the greater Puget Sound community. FIUTS coordinates short-term homestays, the international student orientation, trips and tours, educational outreach programs, and cultural workshops.
ROOM AND BOARD
Off-Campus Rental Listing Service, 206-543-8997
University Student Housing, ph. 206-543-4059
There are several options for housing. Rooms in shared housing are the most economical and are generally between $250 and $400 per month (you may contact the fish social email list to inquire if anyone has a room available during the anticipated dates of your visit). Several options are available for year-long stays beginning in September. It can be difficult, but not impossible, to find housing at other times of the year (some options are listed below)
Most places require a deposit and the last months rent. This means that you may need to make a significant cash deposit upon arrival. It is important for you to have cash available for this upon arrival.