Faculty / Researcher Services
Research Appointments & Visa Information
Information for Faculty and Staff
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All researchers must have funding for the entire duration of his/her visit. A J-1 researcher can be funded by Northwestern or be sponsored by another institution (fellowship, scholarship, salary, sabbatical). Funding can be supplemented with personal funds. The following per-month minimum funding requirements apply to all J-1 requests: $1765 for individual; $525 for spouse; $442 per child. All proof of funding documents must be translated into English. H-1B researchers must be fully funded by Northwestern. The salary will be subject to US Department of Labor (DOL) requirements.

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Health Insurance

All research staff and visitors must have health insurance coverage for the entire length of the appointment. There are three options for meeting these requirements:

  • Northwestern University Benefits: if the research scholar is eligible for employee benefits, he/she must enroll within 31 days of the start date.
  • Visiting Scholar Plan (VSP): research scholars not eligible for benefits will be enrolled in VSP. For more information on about VSP, please visit the Risk Management website.
  • 3rd Party Insurance Coverage: 3rd party insurance coverage is only considered if the researcher has coverage that meets Risk Management's requirements to waive VSP. Individuals should send any outside insurance plans to us prior to purchase to ensure that all requirements are met. To have the 3rd party insurance coverage considered for approval, please email us a full copy of the policy in English. For additional details on 3rd party plan requirements, please see Risk Management's policy.

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Position Titles & Descriptions

Research Staff and Visitors

Most scholars fit into the research staff and visitor categories listed on Northwestern's Office for Research website. If not, we are happy to work with you to find a solution.

Research Faculty

For research faculty positions, please review the McCormick Research Faculty Appointments Guidelines and Policy on Funding Sources and Terms.

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Preliminary Invitation Letter

The researcher may need a preliminary invitation letter to submit to his/her sponsoring institution or to apply for a scholarship or fellowship. Request a Preliminary Invitation Letter.

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If the researcher is not a United States citizen, resident, or currently authorized to work for Northwestern University, he/she cannot come to Northwestern to provide services without obtaining the appropriate visa work authorization document. Our office will assist with the corresponding visa process.

Please visit the visa types and processing page for more information regarding visa types and their processing times.

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Processing Fees

  • International Office: Please see below for a detailed breakdown of visa fees. Note the PI (Principal Investigator) is responsible for paying these fees; the researcher cannot reimburse for any visa fees. All visa fees must be paid on non-sponsored chartstrings, as per ASRSP policy.
  • Visiting Scholar Plan: $53/week for individual; $168/week for family. The researcher can reimburse the department for VSP costs. Please note that the cost for this coverage must be charged to a non-sponsored chartstring and fees are charged by the fiscal year.
  • FedEx (for international scholars): ~$50. Please provide a non-sponsored chartstring.

Visa Fees by Category

J-1 New or Extension

  • International Office Fee: $230
  • International Office Rush Fee: $200

J-1 (Dependent)

  • International Office Fee: $0


  • International Office Fee: $1,100
  • USCIS Filing Fee: $460
  • USCIS Fraud Fee: $500 (for all H-1B requests except Extensions)
  • USCIS Rush Fee* (reduces USCIS processing time to 15 calendar days): $1410

H-4 (Dependent)

  • USCIS Fee*: $370

It is University policy that the PI or department pay for all International Office visa fees except for the USCIS Rush fee (which can be paid by the PI/department, scholar or both) and USCIS Dependent fee. International Office rush fees cannot be requested, but are charged when applicable.

*These fees can be paid by the scholar.

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