Electrical Engineering
      and Computer Sciences

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences


UC Berkeley


Policy on Visiting Scholars

TO: EECS Faculty
FROM: EECS Department Chair
RE: Reminder: EECS Policy on visiting scholars

Each EECS faculty member can expect to host one visitor. We intend to be flexible; additional visitors will be approved based on their essential contribution to the research of their host faculty member or the academic programs of the Department, the nature of any Departmental commitments involving the visitor (such as corporate affiliates memberships and sponsored Visiting Industrial Fellows). The host's creativity in finding space for their visitor(s) also plays a key role. Excessive numbers of visitors cannot be approved; greater restrictions apply to those who do not formally hold the Ph.D.

Visitors seeking to spend one month or more in EECS are processed through the campus's Visiting Scholars & Postdoctoral Appointments program (VSPA) in association with the College of Engineering. Non-paid appointments under VSPA may be made as Visiting Scholar, Visiting Research Fellow, or Visiting Student Researcher titles, as appropriate. Consult Visitor Intake Coordinator, Denis Thalson, for details on titles.

To request a Visiting Scholar or Visiting Student Researcher, please email requests to the appropriate staff person listed below, who will then check all the qualifications and requirements before submitting a request for approval to the department chair. Your request should state:

  1. The name of the visitor you propose to invite.
  2. What is your Visitor's source of financial support? UC requires visitors to have a minimum of $1600/month. Resolve which of your funding sources will pay for the campus visa processing fee, the Visiting Scholar Program "University Services" fee, and the cost of the visitor's computer account, if you will be supporting their having one. Please note the arrangements in your request.
  3. Exact dates for the requested visit. PLEASE NOTE: It takes at least 3 to 4 months from initial request to arrival date for international visitors.
  4. What project will your visitor be involved in?
  5. Where will your visitor sit while they are here? Faculty hosts are required to work out exactly where their visitors will sit before they invite them to Berkeley. Research space should be used first.

DEADLINES: To ensure that your visitor is able to arrive by the start date, you need to begin the application process by April 1 for visits that are to begin on or after September 1 (Fall semester), and by August 1 for visits that are to begin on or after January 1 (during Spring semester).

Submit your request directly to:

  • Denis Thalson (dthalson@eecs, 253 Cory; 3-4976).

J-1 Visas are required for International Visiting Scholars - campus-wide $410 fee.

Most international scholars will need to obtain a J-1 visa to pursue their research in the EECS Department. Visa applications are only processed after the Visiting Scholar application secures Departmental, College of Engineering and campus VSPA approval. The campus approvals can take several weeks to obtain, and visa authorizations take an additional several weeks to process through the Berkeley International Office.

VSPA Benefits & Privileges - on payment of the mandatory campus-wide $400 fee:

  • Remote access to electronic resources licensed by the UC Berkeley Library
  • UC Berkeley Email accounts (i.e., Calmail)
  • Auditing regular Berkeley courses with the professor's permission (but no academic credit). Does not apply to courses offered by Summer Sessions or University Extension.
  • Library borrowing privileges
  • Parking service consideration
  • Health insurance assistance and/or referrals for purchase of required coverage
  • Football ticket discounts
  • Recreational Sports Facility discount
  • Housing Office rental listings (for an additional Housing Office fee).

Required Health Insurance

All international Visiting Scholars who enter the United States with a non-immigrant visa, and who intend to stay for one month or more, are required to have health insurance for themselves and their dependents, or purchase health insurance through the University.

International Visiting Scholars may purchase group health insurance plans through University Health Services. This must be done within 31 days of arriving at UC Berkeley. Insurance coverage may not be effective immediately; waiting periods can be from 3 to 36 days. Scholars are advised to purchase travel insurance to cover this period. They should contact the visiting scholar health advisor at The University Health Services, Tang Center, 2222 Bancroft Way, 3rd Floor, (510) 642-5742.

Domestic Visiting Scholars are not eligible to buy insurance under group health plans; however, referrals for independent coverage are available by calling the number above.