Visitor Policy

Definition and Purpose

This page contains abridged information regarding our visitor policy.

Each year, the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) receives hundreds of requests to visit our facilities, to meet with and learn from faculty, or to just spend time at CVM.

Casual short-term visits, with no appointment in Workday and no international visa handling, are processed solely by each department. The Office of Human Resources and the Office of International Affairs and Professional Services (OIAPS) will guide and assist if there are questions concerning departmental casual visits.

The need for an appointment in Workday or visa handling will trigger formal processing.

Types of Visitors and Status at Cornell

There are various types of visitors to CVM and any formal visitors as defined above will be processed into one of the following categories.

Research/ Academic Visitors

Visiting academics

Researchers or scientists from other institutions who have academic credentials. This may include faculty on sabbatical or visiting as a part of a collaboration. Visiting faculty may be at the CVM for up to one year.

Visiting academics must hold a research or faculty position at another institution.

Sabbatical academics in collaborative relationships/projects will incur no fees.

‘Lab’ interns

Postgraduate research students who have a desire to be mentored and learn in a lab. Intern visits for up to 12 months with proof of student status and funding from home institution or government (stipend/fellowship).*

‘Lab’ interns must:

  • Describe individual benefits from the learning/experience gained through the internship
  • NOT displace regular employees; work under the close observation of a regular employee
  • Understand that they are not entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period
  • Understand that the individual is not entitled to wages
  • Be willing to cover the costs related to mentoring and campus access

*Funding minimums will be evaluated and matched yearly to the Tompkins County Livable Wage.

Initiating, Requesting and Finalizing Visits

All visitors must be sponsored by a faculty member and faculty members must submit documents to the department chair for approval between four and six months prior to the visit. These documents include:

  1. A Visitor Request Form. This collects information required to process visitor documents, commitment of the faculty member and department, and clarifies the best category and/or status for each visitor.
  2. A CV. This describes relevant education and research experience.
  3. Letter of Intent. This summarizes the academic and research goals of the visitor, and is provided by the visitor.

Processing will not commence without these documents and signed approval from the department chair. They will then be submitted to OIAPS, which will coordinate directly with the proposed visitor and keep the faculty sponsor informed.

OIAPS will then provide a Visitor Agreement Form, signed by the faculty member and department chair.

The following table lists the specific documentation required for each visitor:

Requirement Visiting academic 'Lab' intern
Visitor Request Form Yes Yes
Letter of Intent Yes Yes
Faculty Mentor Commitment Yes Yes
Chair Approval Yes Yes
Financial Support Yes Yes
Proof of English Yes Yes
Learning Objectives Yes Yes
Proof of Matriculation Yes (if student)
Health Insurance Yes Yes
Liability Insurance
Liability Waiver Yes Yes
Parental Approval

Approval Process for Visitors

As CVM does not charge tuition to any visitor, we have no visitors with a student status and academic transcripts.

The following sequence is used to process a visitor.

Step Process Ideal Timeframe*
Visitor Request Form, CV, Letter of Intent from from visitor
  • Completed by faculty member
  • Submitted to department administrator for chair approval
  • Sent to OIAPS for review
At least four-to-six months before visit
Visitor Application Processed
  • Collection of documentation and completion of visitor file by OIAPS
  • Screening and approval of visitor and timeline proposed by department chair
At least three months before visit
Visitor Application Accepted
  • Where needed, visa application processed by OIAPS
  • Visitor classification
Visitor Agreement Form
  • Completed by OIAPS with visit detail and costs
  • Signed off by visitor and OIAPS representative and provided to HR
Upon approval of visit
Visit Preparation Resources shared by OIAPS:
  • Accommodation
  • Transportation
  • Banking
  • Family services
  • On-campus resources (English language, library, internet, etc.)
  • CVM specific travel advice (vaccines required, specialized clothing or equipment needed)
  • Collection of documents for onboarding 
Two months before visit
  • OIAPS shares travel itinerary with department administrator
  • Review up-to-date university and college public health protocols
One month before visit
Visitor Arrival Welcome orientation provided by OIAPS, including:
  • Confirm immigration status/arrival for check in
  • Review of policies and procedures
  • Request and grant building or software-specific access
  • Add visitor to Daily Check
Day of arrival
Routine Check-in
  • Be point of contact for any questions or concerns while here
Exit Interview Close-out by host department, including:
  • Collecting CU/NetID
  • Collection of building keys
  • Deactivate software and building access
Last day

Visitor Costs

Visit fees can be evaluated on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the academic department director or chair. An exception shall only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

All visits will incur fees, which are defined each year. The fees can be paid by the host faculty, department, section, or visitor. Visitor-related costs are used to cover fees for specific services that are granted upon Workday appointment, such as TCAT transportation, library services, web access, and space usage.

CVM-Provided Resources and Benefits for Visitors

The following table lists the specific Cornell benefits provided to the different types of visitors.

Please note that the ’lab’ intern (unpaid/allowance payment) HR title will grant TCAT access.

Benefit “Visitor” (Extern, visiting vet, visiting academic, ‘lab’ intern) “Employee” (Self-funded vet Interns/Residents) “Volunteer”
Visa Sponsorship
  • Support to complete and process application
(if > 3 months or requested) X N/A
Orientation & Welcome Pack
  • Contains information on CVM key contacts, directions, and parking.
In-person Orientation
  • Information on specific service/lab rules and regulations; Wi-Fi registration.
  • Provides access to select buildings, TCAT transportation, and library material check out.
(if > 3 months or requested)
(transport can also be purchased separately)
  • Provides access to Cornell email, library services, and software.
(if > 3 months or requested) X N/A
Housing Assistance
  • List of pre-screened on-campus and off-campus options provided, local hotels close to CVM, Ithaca contact information for housing posts. Coordination with campus housing managers for direct billing possible.
State/Federal Withholding
  • Taxes withheld per U.S./state laws.
(with allowance)
CVM Software and Data Access
  • Temporary access offered.
English Language Support
  • Professional English and Conversation classes can be organized and sponsored at extra cost.