Program Details

As a student in the VISER program, you’ll engage in a full-time, supervised research project at the University of Washington that fulfills the educational objectives of the VISER Placement Plan. The project must last at least 13 months. It may begin and end at any time, and it does not need to follow the UW academic calendar.

Program Requirements

As a VISER student, you must: 

  • Not remain at the UW longer than 24 months
  • Not seek admission to the UW as an undergraduate, graduate or professional student
  • Not enroll, audit or unofficially audit UW courses
  • Return to your home institution to obtain your degree
  • Pay all required fees
  • Participate fully in the research and cultural activities described in the VISER J-Visa Request and follow the terms of the J-1 visa and all UW policies

Failure to comply with all of these conditions will result in your termination from the VISER program.

Although VISER students cannot enroll in or audit UW classes, you may (with permission from their supervisor and the VISER office) occasionally and infrequently observe classroom lectures, if the topic specifically relates to your research. With permission from your supervisor, you may also participate in an English language course, but only if the course does not interfere with your research activities.

VISER students are not eligible for employment. Although you cannot receive wages or any type of payment for work, you may receive a stipend from the UW that requires no service expectations or employment relationship. Stipends are at the discretion of the UW department or program. Please note that taxes will be withheld from your stipend paychecks, which can be at a rate of 30 percent. For more information, please review the UW’s Federal Withholding Tax for Foreign Nationals.