What is the status of the visiting scholar program?

Existing Visiting Scholars

Those Visiting Scholars whose applications have been approved and have a visa stamp may come to Penn State as planned. Those who have not yet obtained a visa stamp are asked to reschedule their arrival until July 1, 2021. This guidance will be revisited monthly and revised as State Department and other public health guidance evolves.

New Applications

Based on the U.S. Department of State Global Health Advisory and suspension or limitation of visa services in many countries, Penn State will begin processing new domestic and international Visiting Scholar applications on March 1, 2021 for arrival on or after July 1, 2021. Applications currently in the system will not be approved until March and prospective Visiting Scholars should be contacted and their arrival rescheduled until on or after July 1, 2021. Requests for exceptions may be made to vpfa@psu.edu by the college or campus executive. If circumstances change due to COVID, the March 1 date may be revisited.

Extensions for Current Visiting Scholars

Visiting Scholar extension requests will continue to be reviewed. If a Visiting Scholar is scheduled to depart but wants to stay at Penn State due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an extension request must be submitted in DocFinity. Please work with the staff in the academic unit who submit Visiting Scholar requests. Questions from units regarding extensions and required documentation should be directed the dean or chancellor designee in each unit. If assistance is needed from the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, contact Mindy Kowalski at msk22@psu.edu.

Paid J-1 Scholars

DISSA will work with new post-doc foreign nationals to determine a realistic start date, taking into consideration: U.S. embassy services limitations, current travel restrictions, and the needs of the department. Unit executives should send exception requests to vpfa@psu.edu and include a description of why the appointment is essential. This guidance will be revisited monthly and revised as State Department and other public health guidance evolves.