Hosting a visiting scholar

visiting scholar

To better understand how to define if you or your guest are a "visiting scholar" we suggest you visit our Visiting Scholar page.

Any University of Waterloo community member wishing to invite and host a Visiting Scholar on campus has a number of required steps to complete prior to the visit being approved.  Please refer to the required steps below in order to proceed with your request to host a visiting scholar.

Notes for prospective hosts

Prospective Waterloo hosts are strongly encouraged to check with their administrative support staff to confirm what, if any, faculty or unit-specific requirements are in place to manage Visiting Scholar invitations and documentation.  The University of Waterloo encourages faculty and staff to invite international scholars to our university that will provide strong value to our students and community in terms of their teaching and research expertise. Hosting prestigious and internationally recognized visitors provides reputational benefits to the host department, faculty and university.  It also leaves a lasting impression on the visitor who becomes an on-going supporter of the University of Waterloo.  Using the checklists and procedures below, in conjunction with the services provided by Legal and Immigration Services, will ensure your visitor has a positive experience during their visit to our institution and our country. As a prospective visiting scholar host, we encourage your thoughtful consideration of these notes.

Foreign visitor checklist

All University of Waterloo hosts are required to complete and submit the Foreign Visitor Checklist to Frances Hannigan. Frances Hannigan, Senior Immigration Specialist, is the lead contact person for all inquiries related to Visiting Scholars.  Fran has established and maintains the procedures for these types of inquiries.

Non-faculty appointment documentation

In addition to the Foreign Visitor Checklist, the prospective Waterloo host must also submit a Non-Faculty Appointment Form along with supporting documentation outlined in the “Inviting/Hiring Foreign Nationals” procedures.  A number of faculties have additional procedural requirements at this stage and oblige the prospective Waterloo host to engage with a designated staff person (typically housed within the Dean’s Office) to complete these procedural steps.

Visitor reference chart

Prospective Waterloo hosts and Visiting Scholars may refer to the Visitor Reference Chart to better understand the permits and paperwork required depending on the nature of the visitor’s affiliation to their home institution and the University of Waterloo as well as the nature of their proposed visit

Letter of appointment

In addition to the Visitor Checklist and the Non-Faculty Appointment Form, the Waterloo host must fill out a Letter of Appointment template to provide details of the nature of the visit and financial arrangements.  These three forms, and supporting documents, are forwarded to Frances Hannigan who will review them and provide a final verification of the appropriate wording of the Letter of Appointment.  The final draft of the Letter of Appointment requires the Dean’s signature and once signed can be forwarded to the prospective Visiting Scholar. 

There are two versions of the letter depending on the duration of stay.  For visits of 6 days or longer, the Letter of Appointment template is required.  For visits of 5 days or less, the Guest Speaker Letter is appropriate. 

Once the above document procedures have been followed, we have created a couple of informal checklists you can use to help prepare your guest on becoming a visiting scholar and know how to best support their visit.