Visiting International UG Researchers

(updated as of May 23, 2023)

Visiting international undergraduate level (research-only) students are current undergraduate students attending international universities who come to Rice University to engage in experiential research-only learning for less than 1 year. This often occurs in the summer months. Visiting International Undergraduate Researchers do not yet have a Bachelor's degree, or Bachelor's degree equivalent, and are not pursuing an undergraduate degree at Rice.

These students are processed as Visiting Undergraduate Researchers on a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa. They will be required to enroll in a prescribed course of study with a focus on experiential research-only learning. Below you will find the required documents and procedures. International students already here in the U.S. should go through the Visitor Management System (VMS) for approval.

J-1 Visa Document Checklist

Step 1

Verify that the Visiting International UG Researcher is a current undergraduate students attending an international university who is coming to Rice University to engage in experiential research-only learning for less than 1 year.

Step 2

Complete the J-1 Request Form process in Adobe Sign. There are two forms, which must be completed in order.
1) J-1 Request Part 1: Scholar Form – This form is initiated by the academic department and then sent to the J-1 scholar for completion.
2) J-1 Request Part 2: Department Form – This form is initiated by the academic department after they receive the completed J-1 Request Scholar Form.
Please see for detailed instructions on how to complete both forms.

When completing the J-1 Request Forms, the following documents will be required from either the scholar or the department (see for more information):

  • Copy of the passport identification page
  • Proof of financial support, minimum of $2300/month
  • Original offer letter provided by Dean's Office
  • CV
  • Proof of paid $300 J-1 EV Rice central administrative fee. To make payments, visit or submit an IDT to 10.00100.100.000000.5952.100.9999.9999.999.999 (if electronic, please select Crystal Davis or Flor Garcia as approver)
  • Official college transcript from all colleges or universities attended
  • Dean of Students Recommendation Form
  • Proof of Meningococcal Vaccination Record or Waiver (if under 22 years old)
  • If scholar is bringing dependents: Copy of passport identification page for each dependent
  • If scholar is bringing dependents: Copy of marriage certificate / birth certificate

Step 3

After reviewing the submissions and following up with OISS on any questions, guide the Visiting International UG Researcher to submit the online application, along with a non-refundable application fee of $100. For questions on the application or application fee, please reach out to the Office of the Registrar.


Please note that in addition to the standard 90-day lead time required for immigration processing, Academic Department must plan for the appropriate term of enrollment based on the Office of the Registrar's standard registration deadlines. For more information, contact the Office of the Registrar.


Rice's Visiting International Undergraduate Researcher program supports the Vision for the Second Century, Second Decade (V2C2), through encouraging meaningful academic and research exchange collaborations with partner institutions. An evaluation for the Visiting UG Researchers is needed at the completion of their program. Please complete this requirement by replying to the notification email.

Graduate School at Rice University

To maximize recruitment efforts for Rice's graduate programs, you are encouraged to connect Visiting International Undergraduate Researchers with academic departments of their interest.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Q: Do we use RiceBox for Visiting International Undergraduate Researchers coming in on a J-1 visa?
    A: No, the J-1 visa process goes through the AdobeSign forms.
  2. Q: Do Academic Departments need to upload the Dean's Offer Letter as well as other required documents to RiceBox?
    A: No, all required documents are collected as part of the J-1 process in AdobeSign.
  3. Q: Do Academic Departments need to send OISS hard copies of the documents?
    A: No, OISS will receive all required paperwork through the AdobeSign forms for J-1 visas.
  4. Q: Do Academic Departments need to do anything else after submitting the AdobeSign form?
    A: Yes. Guide student to contact OISS in order to complete their mandatory Immigration Check-in.
  5. Q: Do the Visiting International Undergraduate Researchers need to visit HR on their first day if they are being paid by Rice?
    A: Yes, all Visiting International Undergraduate Researchers that are being paid by Rice must go to HR before or on their first day to complete the Form I-9.
  6. Q: Does the J-1 Visiting International Undergraduate Researcher need to have health insurance?
    A: Yes, all J-1s (and their dependents) are required to have health insurance for the full duration of their program at Rice. Please check the Scholar Health Insurance website for additional health insurance information.
  7. Q: What is the process for registering the Visiting International Undergraduate Researcher for a 0-credit course?
    A: Please contact the Office of the Registrar for directions.