The information below is provided for University administrators who work with international non-degree visiting students. Most of the links below will place you in the relevant section of this page, but we also encourage you to read the information that follows here it its entirety, particularly if you are new to this role. In case of questions, please contact Jen Nafziger.
- Eligibility & Funding - Graduate-level NDVS
- Eligibility & Funding - Undergraduate NDVS
- English Language Requirement for NDVS
- Immigration Status Options for NDVS
- Health Insurance Requirements for NDVS
- Health Insurance for J Status Holders
- OIA Procedures
- Departmental Responsibilities
- 5-point Letter
- NDVS Request Approvers
- Forestalling / Shortening Background Checks at Consular Posts
- Request Form
- Request for Extension
Eligibility: Graduate Non-Degree Visitors are advanced graduate students pursuing a graduate level degree at another academic institution, who are at the research or writing stage, and who temporarily work on their research project with a faculty member at the University of Chicago. Graduate non-degree visiting students are:
- Considered to be in a full-time student status;
- Charged the Non-Degree Visitor fee per quarter as well as other mandatory fees;
- Eligible to participate in laboratory-based research;
- Not eligible to enroll in courses at the University (thus exempt from the immunization requirements);
- Not allowed to take on a teaching position with the University; and
- Given student privileges such as access to the libraries, student housing, athletic facilities, and electronic networks
Graduate non-degree visiting students must comply with all University rules and regulations and are subject to student disciplinary systems. This status is available for no more than four consecutive quarters, including the summer quarter. This status may be extended by up to four consecutive quarters upon recommendation of the faculty sponsor and the area Dean of Students and with the approval of the Executive Vice Provost. (Student Manual)
For additional options for coming to the University of Chicago in a non-degree seeking capacity, please see the Student Manual, particularly the section on Graduate Students at Large under Visiting Students. Please also see the information provided by the Graham School.
Required Funding for International Graduate-Level NDVS
NDVS will be charged for tuition and fees and will have to show funding for cost of living, insurance, and related expenses, such as additional cost for dependents accompanying them to the U.S. (The additional cost per dependent per quarter is $1,000.) These costs differ slightly across the University and your department will inform you of the specific amounts.
Funding can come from multiple sources, such as stipends provided by the program, personal or family funds of the NDVS, grants or stipends from the home institution or home government, etc. Please note that for an NDVS to qualify for J-1 status, at least 51% of the funding must come from institutional third-party sources.
Please note that full tuition and fees are incurred even if an NDVS is at the University for only part of a quarter, so we recommend paying close attention to quarterly start and end dates. The cost of living can be adjusted to the time the NDVS is actually at the University.
Eligibility: Undergraduate Non-Degree Visitors are advanced undergraduate students pursuing a degree at another institution who would benefit from undertaking research at the University of Chicago. Undergraduate non-degree visiting students are:
- Allowed in summer quarter only;
- Considered to be in full-time student status;
- Registered through the appropriate area Dean of Students or the Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies;
- Charged a Non-Degree Visitor fee as well as other mandatory fees;
- Required to have health insurance;
- Eligible to participate in laboratory-based research;
- Not eligible to enroll in courses at the University (thus exempt from the immunization requirements); and
- Given student privileges such as access to the libraries, student housing, athletic facilities, and electronic networks.
Undergraduate non-degree visiting students must comply with all University rules and regulations and are subject to student disciplinary systems. This status is available for the summer term only and will not be extended. Summer term is understood to extend from the first day after the end of the spring quarter to the last day before the beginning of the autumn quarter; this is meant to accommodate differences in the academic calendars of institutions world-wide. (Student Manual)
A student who has been offered and has accepted admission to a graduate program at the University of Chicago may join the University as a non-degree visiting student for the summer immediately preceding the beginning of graduate studies with the University. Summer term is understood to extend from the first day after the end of the spring quarter to the last day before the beginning of the autumn quarter.
Required Funding for International NDVS - Undergraduate
Please note that international undergraduate NDVS can come to the University for the summer, i.e. at maximum from the day after spring quarter ends until the day before autumn quarter begins. However, not all areas accept undergraduate NDVS. Those that do host undergraduate NDVS are listed below.
Tuition for international undergraduate NDVS differs across the University. The information below is listed by academic area and may change.
|Chicago Booth School of Business|
|Student Health Fee||$295|
|Cost of Living||$5,490|
|Institute for Molecular Engineering|
|Student Health Fee||$295|
|Cost of Living||$5,490|
|Division of the Physical Sciences|
|Student Health Fee||$295|
|Cost of Living||$5,490|
English Language Requirement for NDVS
NDVS can meet the English language requirement in several ways:
- TOEFL spoken score of 18 or better
- IELTS spoken score of 6 or better (academic test)
- PTE spoken score of 50 or better
- AEPA of "Basic" or better*
- Having attended a U.S. higher education institution full-time for at least one academic year within the past 5 years
*Proficiency levels of the AEPA exam are
Individuals who are natives of or have studied full-time for at least one academic year in one of the following countries are exempt from the requirement: Australia, the English-speaking provinces of Canada, the U.K., New Zealand, and South Africa. Individuals who have received instruction in English in a country where English is not the predominant language are not exempt from the requirement.
If an NDVS you are inviting has met the English language requirement by other means than those listed above, please contact OIA before submitting a request.
Each international Non-Degree Visiting Student will be sponsored in the status that is most appropriate. This will usually be F-1 status unless the student receives funding from an entiry requiring J-1 status (such as the China Scholarship Council) or will be accompanied by a spouse who hopes to obtain employment authorization in J-2 status. If an NDVS comes to the University in J-1 status, the J category applied will be "student, non-degree" which is limited to a total of 2 calendar years by federal regulations. To be eligible for J-1 status, the majority of a student's funding must come from sources other than the student or the students family or friends. The funding submitted with the DS-2019 application must be the funding that makes them eligible for J-1 status (e.g. the scholarship letter) For a comparison of F and J student status, please see https://internationalaffairs.uchicago.edu/page/choosing-between-f-1-and-j-1-status.
Important: Individuals in B status or under the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA) are not eligible to be an NDVS at the University. If someone is currently in the U.S. in either category, the only way to become an NDVS with the University of Chicago is to leave the U.S. and re-enter in the appropriate status. If a prospective NDVS is in F-1 or J-1 status with another institution in the U.S. or if a prospective NDVS is in another non-immigrant status in the U.S., please consult with OIA on appropriate steps.
For NDVS who come to the University of Chicago in F status: All non-degree Visiting Students are eligible for the insurance policy provided through the University. This insurance meets the minimum requirements of the University. There is no federal health insurance requirement for F-1 students or their F-2 dependents, but the University's student health insurance requirement applies. You will be billed for this insurance automatically. It is possible to opt out of (waive) the insurance provided through the University. However, you must actively do so. If you do nothing, you will be enrolled in and billed for the University's insurance for students. More information on the waiver process can be found at Student Health Services. NDVS who wish to opt out of (waive) the University's Student Health Insurance Plan should consult the Comparable Coverage Checklist for details on required features. An element often missed by international students is highlighted in the document.
For NDVS who come to the University of Chicago in J status: Federal regulations make health insurance a condition of Exchange Visitor (J) status in the United States and specify the types and levels of coverage. The requirement applies to all J-1 Exchange Visitors and their J-2 dependents for their entire stay in the US. Please see the list below for a complete overview of the insurance requirements.
If you fail to carry the required insurance for yourself or your J-2 dependents, the University must terminate your participation in its J Exchange Visitor program and report that termination in SEVIS. This termination would end your lawful presence in the U.S. and therefore your affiliation with the University. Compliance with the insurance requirement is your responsibility.
All Non-Degree Visiting Students are eligible for the insurance policy provided through the University. This insurance meets the minimum requirements of both the University of Chicago and federal regulations. You will be billed for this insurance automatically. It is possible to opt out of (waive) the insurance provided through the University. However, you must actively do so. If you do nothing, you will be enrolled in and billed for the University's insurance for students. More information on the waiver process can be found at Student Health Services.
It is important to realize that any insurance that you will receive through the University of Chicago will only cover you during your official time with the University. You will also need the appropriate insurance while you are in the U.S. in your grace period before the start date of your program and after the end date of your program on your Form DS-2019. You must provide your own insurance that meets the minimum requirements as outlined below.
Federally Required Levels of Health Insurance for J Status Holders
Minimum coverage for J-1/J-2 status holders shall provide:
An insurance policy secured to fulfill the requirements of this section:
Any policy, plan, or contract secured to fulfill the above requirements must, at a minimum, be:
If you have questions regarding student health insurance at the University of Chicago, please feel free to contact Student Health Services at http://healthcare.uchicago.edu/.
The following describes procedures for obtaining a Form I-20 "Certificate of Eligibility for Non-Immigrant Student Status" or Form DS-2019 "Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status" (EV, J-1) from the Office of International Affairs for a foreign national who has been admitted as a Non-Degree Visiting Student (NDVS) at the University of Chicago.
A complete NDVS Request consists of the following:
- Completed and properly authorized Request Form (MUST contain the UChicago student ID number)
- Copy of the passport identifying page
- Copies of passport pages of accompanying family members, if applicable
- Copies of financial documents for all funding provided by an entity other than the University of Chicago, such as grant or scholarship letters or bank statements, if applicable, and currency conversions for any amounts shown in foreign currencies
- Proof that English language requirement has been met
- Five-point Letter, if the prospective Non-Degree Visiting Student is an MD
Only when all documents have been received with complete information can OIA begin processing the request. If OIA receives an incomplete NDVS Request, OIA will contact the administrator who submitted the request to obtain the missing information. However, this will delay the processing of your request.
Complete requests will usually be processed within one week. OIA will do its best to accommodate rush requests but cannot guarantee earlier service. To provide both OIA and the prospective student with sufficient time, please submit your request at least 45 days prior to the requested start date.
OIA offers several ways to get the I-20 or DS-2019 to the NDVS:
- E-mail to the contact person listed in the Request Form, so the unit can pick up the I-20 or DS-2019 and send it to the NDVS
- Sending the I-20 or DS-2019 via express carrier through eShipGlobal, where the NDVS or the unit has created the shipment; the order number must be included in the request
- Sending the I-20 or DS-2019 via airmail to the address listed in the Request Form. This can take significant time and is not recommended for some countries
- Inform OIA of any changes in arrival date if the NDVS will not arrive on campus within two weeks of the "start date" listed on the Form I-20 or DS-2019
- Advise newly arrived F-1 and J-1 NDVS to check in electronically or in person with OIA within 3 business days of arrival with all relevant immigration documents (Form I-20 or DS-2019, passport, and visa). This includes the documents of spouses or children in F-2 or J-2 status
- Properly register the NDVS in AIS every quarter present, including summer
- Inform OIA of early departure of an NDVS who leaves the program before the indicated "end date" on Form I-20 or DS-2019
- Update OIA regarding any changes in funding or other material changes from what was originally indicated on the Request Form
5-Point Letter for J-1 or F-1 NDVS Holding a Medical Degree
To comply with immigration law, foreign physicians coming to the U.S. to conduct non-clinical research in J-1 status must present -in addition to other documents- a document from the University of Chicago specifying from which activities they are restricted. When submitting an NDVS request for a foreign physician to OIA, please include the 5-point letter, signed and dated by the faculty supervisor. The NDVS will be required to sign and date the relevant section of the document before applying for a visa to come to the University.
Requests for immigration documents for international NDVS must be approved by the Office of the Dean of Students. Please note that we can only accept a request if it has been signed by the individual listed for your academic unit below:
- BSD: Michael Watson
- Booth: Amity James
- Div School: Teresa Hord Owens
- Harris: Cobina Gibson
- Humanities: Michael Beetley
- IME: Hayley Huffman
- PSD: Emily Easton
- SSA: Christina Gros
- SSD: Cathy Mican
Without the required signature, OIA cannot process your request.
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