Before You Arrive

*Important Update*: Due to limited space and high demand, the university no longer offers family housing to visiting scholars. Housing in the San Francisco Bay Area takes considerable time and resources to acquire, and CKS is not responsible for visiting scholars' housing search. Please take this into consideration when applying to the visiting scholar program.

Please review the categories below:


When CKS and the other UC Berkeley visiting scholar offices have completed processing your file, you will receive a DS-2019 form. Take this form with you to the U.S. Embassy to receive visas for yourself and any dependents.

Visiting Scholars receive a J-1 visa and their dependents receive J-2 visas. The only family members who can receive J-2 visas as your dependents are your spouse and children under 21 years of age. Any other family members who wish to come with you must get their own visas (such as tourism or student visas), and CKS unfortunately cannot help you with this process.

For more information about the J-series visas, visit the website of the U.S. Embassy in Seoul: English and Korean


UC Berkeley requires that all persons holding Visiting Scholar status reside within the San Francisco Bay Area for the entirety of their period of affiliation, with the exception of travel periods of reasonable duration. Center affiliates may not claim Visiting Scholar status while carrying out normal academic duties in Korea.

In order to provide verification of Visiting Scholar status to the U.S. State Department so that the scholar can maintain a clean immigration record, the dates of affiliation on the DS-2019 form must match the dates of residency in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visiting Scholars may arrive up to 30 days prior to the start of their affiliation without penalty, but they are still required to stay until the end date listed on their DS-2019 from. The scholar and all family members must arrange to leave the United States by the time the scholar's visa expires. Information on requesting either an extension or early departure can be found on the During Your Visit page.


CKS does not provide assistance with housing, schools for dependent children, or any other personal arrangements. Housing in the San Francisco Bay Area takes considerable time and resources to acquire. Please be aware that due to limited space and high demand the university no longer offers family housing to Visiting Scholars, and CKS is not responsible for Visiting Scholars' housing search. However, scholars encouraged to use the resources provided by the Berkeley International Office for Finding Housing.


The rules for funding and bringing family members with you are set by the U.S. government. CKS and UC Berkeley have no control over this policy.

The US government requires that you show that you have $2,000 per month available for yourself, plus $600 per month if you are accompanied by your spouse, plus $400 per month per accompanying child. (For example, if you are bringing a spouse and two children, you would need at least $3,400 per month, or $40,800 per year.) Visit the Berkeley International Office's Financial Requirements page for acceptable documentation to provide proof of funding.


All domestic and international scholars are required to show proof of medical insurance that meets specified minimum levels of coverage. If you are an international Visiting Scholar and have dependents accompanying you to the U.S. (i.e. spouse, domestic partner, child(ren), you must also purchase insurance that meets the U.S. State Department requirements for your dependents.

If you have insurance from your home country or have purchased insurance that meets the requirements, you may submit a waiver request to opt out of the UCB Visiting Scholar Benefit Plan. To check the requirements and/or request a waiver, follow the instructions on the Garnett Powers website for Waiving Out of the Visiting Scholar Benefit Plan.