Application Information and Procedures
Application and Visa Process
Step 1 — Please complete this step at least 6 months before your desired start date.
Please secure a CJS Core or Affiliate Faculty member as your sponsor before contacting CJS. They must be either professor, associate professor, assistant professor, or emeritus professor (click here to see a list of our faculty). When emailing prospective faculty sponsors, please include the following documents and information:
a) a current English-language curriculum vitae and list of publications
b) a one-page English-language research proposal which details the human and material resources you to make use of at Berkeley, and includes specific dates you wish to be in residence
c) For Visiting Student Researchers only: a letter of recommendation from your faculty advisor at your home institution
Once you confirm the faculty member's support of your application, please send their name and the above documents to firstname.lastname@example.org, where it will then be forwarded to the CJS Visiting Scholar Committee for further approval.
Step 2 — The CJS Visiting Scholar Committee will review your application. If your research proposal, length of stay, and academic background are compatible with the Center's academic mission, we will notify you of your preliminary acceptance by e-mail. After you received preliminary approval, please complete all the following documents.
Fees may be sent by mail to: Center for Japanese Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1995 University Avenue, Suite 520G, Berkeley, CA 94704-2318.
All other documents should be sent electronically to email@example.com. Do not send your documents more than 6 months before your intended start date.
a) Application Fee ($100) and J-1 Processing Fee ($600)* (nonrefundable) – to be paid via wire transfer or check drawn on a U.S. bank made payable to "U.C. Regents" - in the total amount of $700. Your application will not be processed until receipt of these fees.
Instructions on Wiring Fees
Please make sure that the following information is provided in your bank wire:
Beneficiary: University of California Regents
Beneficiary Information: Center for Japanese Studies Visiting Scholar Fees
Please note: As of December 31, 2019, Japan Post Bank (Yu-cho Bank – ＪＰゆうちょ銀行) will no longer issue International Postal Money Orders to addresses in the United States. For more information, please click here: https://www.jp-bank.japanpost.jp/news/2019/news_id001426.html
c) Proof of online payment for the $750/1000 University Services Fee**
d) DS-2019 Request form.* Applicants intending to become a visiting scholar for six months or less need to decide which J-1 visitor category to apply for: Short-Term Scholar or Research Scholar. For more information, see 24-Month Bar for J-1 visitors.
e) A financial statement* verifying that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents while you are a visiting scholar at Berkeley (required amount: minimum $1,800/month for scholar, plus $500/month for spouse and $300/month for each dependent child.) The document can be a Letter from Department Chair or Dean on university letterhead stating approved sabbatical leave verifying and detailing funding for entire period of desired affiliation (see Sample Letter of Financial Proof), or a financial statement from your bank showing a sufficient balance. The letter must be dated within the past six months.
f) Photocopy of the biographical page of your passport.* If family members will accompany you, please include photocopies of their passports.
g) Proof of English Proficiency.* Per Department of State federal regulations, scholars must have “sufficient proficiency in the English language, as determined by an objective measurement of English language proficiency, successfully to participate in his or her program and to function on a day-to-day bases [22 CFR 62.10(a)(2)]. Please submit one of the following documents with your application. Please note that the following recommendations are not intended to guarantee a visa approval at the embassy:
- An objective, recognized English language test. The following scores are acceptable to fulfill the English proficiency requirement. Host departments may choose to require different scores and validity dates of scores specific to their programs.
» International English Language Testing System (IELTS) — a score of 6.5 or higher on the academic
» Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) — a score of 80 or higher on the iBT; or 550 or higher
on the paper-based exam (PBT); or 213 or higher on computer-based.
- Signed documentation from the scholar's academic institution or English language school. To satisfy the U.S. Department of State criteria, the certification by an academic institution or English language school must include the following on school letterhead stationery. Use the recommended template letter.
h) All previous DS-2019 copies. This applies only to scholars who have entered the U.S. on J-1 visas before.
* Not required for U.S. permanent residents and citizens.
** The Visiting Scholar and Postdoc Affairs (VSPA) Office will not approve any Visiting Scholar/Visiting Student Researcher application prior to receipt of the University Services Fee ($750 for Scholars, $1000 for Student Researchers). We recommend paying this fee online, and including a printed screenshot of your payment along with your application materials. If you prefer to pay this fee by check or money order after your arrival, please check the appropriate box on the application form in line b). Please note that the University Services Fee is refundable to scholars before arrival only if paid by credit card. Do NOT send your University Services fee by check or money order before your arrival, as CJS is unable to refund these types of payments to scholars/student researchers once they've been deposited.
Step 3 — After receipt of the completed forms and appropriate fees, CJS will submit your application to the VSPA office for approval. The VSPA office approval will grant you visiting scholar status at the UC Berkeley campus once they've received your University Services Fee. This process usually takes about one week. For non-US residents, CJS will then submit to the Berkeley International Office an application for a DS-2019 form, which will allow you to apply for a J-1 (Visiting Scholar) visa. The Berkeley International Office will issue the DS-2019 form two weeks after receipt of application. Once you receive your DS-2019, please email a copy to CJS. This is necessary to begin your onboarding process.
Step 4 — After receipt of the DS-2019, you must pay a one-time Homeland Security processing fee, which can be done online. Once this fee has been paid, you may take your (and accompanying family members') DS-2019 and passport to a local U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your country to apply for your visa. You MUST bring your DS-2019 form with you when traveling to the United States. For more information, see Understanding Your DS-2019.