Information for Future Visitors

If you are interested in conducting research at Stony Brook University (SBU), you should either apply for employment or ask for an official invitation to conduct unpaid research.

One of the best ways to ask for an invitation to conduct unpaid research is to determine which Stony Brook University (SBU) researchers are working on projects related to your own area of interest. Our departments receive inquiries about coming to Stony Brook to conduct research and may be helpful in directing your inquiry to a professor or researcher with similar interests. Your inquiry should include an up-to-date curriculum vitae, a formal statement about your own research or research interests, and might include a letter of introduction or good reference from a distinguished researcher from your own university. Your time in the US will be most productive if you seek out the best match for your own research.

Once you have secured an invitation from a researcher, an opportunity must be created for you by the host department. The host department will work with either Human Resources to hire you for a job OR to create an academic “non-salaried appointment". Both processes will take time, ranging from two weeks to several months.

Other prospective visitors may need the University’s assistance to secure an immigration status. While the appointment or job opportunity is being created, the host department or researcher should contact the Visa and Immigration Service (VIS) office to determine what options can be made available for you. Most visiting researchers come in J-1 Exchange Visitor status but some short-term visits might even be appropriate for the Business Tourist (B-1 or WB) status. These options can be appropriate for visitors conducting unpaid research, who do not have intent to immigrate to the U.S.

Employees are also accommodated under J-1 status when possible, but, H-1B, H-1B1, TN-1, TN-2, E-3 and O-1 petitions for temporary State or Research Foundation employment can also be considered. Factors under consideration include the nature of the research plan, proposed length of stay in the U.S., source(s) of funding, person's country of origin, and history of prior stays in the U.S. When more than one nonimmigrant status might be suitable, we are happy to consider your preferences.

Only the VIS office of Stony Brook University is authorized to file employment-based petitions for employment or permanent residence on behalf of the University and Research Foundation employees placed on the Stony Brook campus. DO NOT hire an immigration attorney for this purpose. The University is not compelled to produce documentation or file petitions for any prospective or continuing employee or visitor.

People in the U.S. with valid Employment Authorization Cards appropriate for the employment opportunity offered may be able to begin almost as soon as the position is created, but can only continue employment while the card is valid; they will need to show a new valid card or evidence of a change to an appropriate status to continue work once the card expires.

Good luck in your endeavors!