VGR Hiring Process

Once the ATO office has determined that the student is eligible to be brought into UCLA on a  J-1 visa non student category under the VGR title. In addition, you will be given an appointment start date. There are two parts to this process which includes the ATO Visiting Graduate Researcher (VGR) Hiring and Visa request. 

Once the ATO receive the New Hire Packet and visa application packet, we will initiate the VGR application officially in the Graduate Division system. Please note that both the PI and the potential applicant will be prompted via email to complete their portion of the application. The visa packet will only be forwarded once we receive the provisional approval from Graduate Division. Please keep in mind  the visa office will not move forward and process a DS-2019 request unless Graduate Division issues the provisional approval.



Applicable to VGR, VGR-Stipend or VGR-Salary

 To initiate the hiring process you will first need to fill out our Academic Trainee Appointment form (note: this form will need to be printed out on a lavender paper). See link below

Please include the following:

-Curriculum vitae

-Statement of objective

-Unofficial Transcripts: Students will be prompted to submit originals by Graduate Division.

-J-1 DS-2019 visa application request packet (Applicable to UCLA sponsored applicants )

 Once a completed packet is received by the Academic Trainee office, it is then submitted to your fund manager for approval. Once it is approved, the applicant will receive an email invitation; from the ATO to apply for the VGR position.

 The applicant will need to complete the application via online. Non-refundable fees are required at initial application. Please see link below.

 If the applicant is paying for any application fees, he or she will receive an email requesting credit card payment through the CASHNet system. If the hiring center elects to cover any fees; a recharge ID must be provided on the Academic Trainee Office Graduate Student Appointment form. Whether the applicant or the hiring center pays fees is at the discretion of the center. Please note that there are additional fees that the department will not be able to cover via recharge ID. VGR’s will be charged directly.

International Visitors:  

 J-1 Non-Degree Student Visa: To participate in research activities under the supervision of a UCLA faculty. However may not hold a Clinical title. Maximum 3 years, with 2 year extension for a total of 5 years. Includes time spent at another institution on a J-1 visa.

 Special notes:

If the VGR’s appointment overlaps with another QTR; full fees will be charged. VGR fees are not prorated. Please make sure to check the academic schedule so that you can avoid any OTR overlap.  

Academic Calendar

VGR Fees

 VGRs may receive stipends and or wages from hiring departments (VGR-Salary, VGR-Stipend)

 VGR- Salary appointments are allowed wages for the maximum of 20 hours weekly (50% time on a non-academic appointment). Once the appointment has been provisionally approved by Graduate Division; the ATO will notify the hiring department for the next steps to complete the process. 

 VGR-Stipend appointments are allowed to receive stipends to support their research. Please complete the appropriate field on the Academic Trainee Office Graduate Student Appointment form.  

 For more information/policies regarding Visiting Graduate Appointments, visit the Graduate Division website .


DS-2019 Request Process

 Visa: Initial J-1 DS-2019 visa application:

  • Important: Proof of funding support: The visa office requires proof of funding during the duration of the J-1 at the minimum of $2,247.33. At least 51% of their funding must come from a source other than personal or family funds.

 On this page you will a list of everything that you will need to complete the application: (see notes below)

DS-2019 Request Form - Dept. Section Note the DS-2019 request form is required to be completed by the hiring center.
DS-2019 Request Form - Employee Section (original signature)
Certificate of Medical Insurance for Postdoctoral Scholars (N\A)
Alien Physician Attachment (N\A)
Supporting Documents Checklist Foreign National to provide


-  A memo from the faculty supervisor, addressed to Judith Rothman, Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance, Medical Sciences.  Include the exchange visitor’s name, title of UCLA appointment, and a detailed description of activities the EV will undertake, including breakdown of percentages of duties/activities, i.e., teaching, research, observation, attending conferences, the site where the research will take place, etc. (original signature)

-Most up-to-date C.V.

-Mandatory Health Insurance Compliance Form signed by the exchange visitor.  Please note that this form is not a policy, only a confirmation the exchange visitor will secure a policy. (original required)

-Supporting funding documents, if necessary.  If amount is in foreign currency, conversion to U.S. dollar amount and exchange rate are required.  If the funding document is in foreign language, a translation in English is required.  For personal funds, original documentation, such as a bank letter signed by a bank official on the company letterhead, combined with a bank statement (no more than 60 days old) are required and originals.

-A copy of passport ID page of the exchange visitor or dependents, if necessary.

Visa Payment:

P39 for Sevis($40.00) Student will receive an email that will prompt you to pay via credit card online.
P39 for Visa and Licensing Unit($300)  Student will receive an email that will prompt you to pay via credit card online.
Certification of English Language Proficiency Submit an original certificate.

Onceyou submit a complete the DS-2019 request form and the supporting documents, I will review and forward you a final draft for your review and for the sponsoring PI’s original signature.

·  Please let me know if you have any questions. Once you have the packet completed; please submit to me for review. If the packet is correct and complete, I will then forward it to the Chair for approval. After we receive it back from the Chair, it will be hand delivered to Julie Z. for processing. Julie’s current processing time is 20 days from the date she receives a correct and complete packet. Once the Visa office has produced the DS-2019, my office will send out the document via FED EX on your behalf to the VGR. We will contact your office regarding the FedEx account information and in addition a follow up email will be sent to the VGR with further instructions.


Please allow sufficient time for processing from the anticipated hire date.  It is highly recommended that hiring departments consult the ATO before proceeding to offer a VGR position. My office ask for at least 4 months prior to the start date when submitting a DS-2019 Request.

For more information/policies regarding Visiting Graduate Appointments, visit the Graduate Division website . In addition, if you wish to meet with me to go over the process, I would be happy to walk you through the process. Please let me know. 

Thank you!