Visitor Policy

Definition and Purpose

Each year, Cornell University’s 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. Whereas any faculty or staff may invite on an informal basis (departmental processing only) any visitor to her office or lab, there are specific situations (listed below) when the visit should be considered formal:

The following guidelines therefore are aimed at minimizing confusion and creating efficiencies for hosting visitors.  This document serves to summarize the types of visitors that the CVM hosts, the visit planning and approval process, and the related services that the College will provide to the host and to the visitor. Casual short term (less three months and no CVM appointment or CU resources needed) are processed solely by each department. The Office for International Affairs &  Professional Programs can guide and assist if there are questions concerning departmental casual visits. The need for a visa or CVM appointment will trigger OIAPP processing.

For detailed Clinical Visits & Clinical Categories - Refer to CUHA policy

Types of Visitors and Status at Cornell

There are two types of visitors to the CVM: those involved in clinical patient/animal contact (exclusive of the DVM clinical internship and residency program); and those involved with laboratory based research. All formal visitors to the CVM, as defined above, must fall into one of the following six categories:

Clinical Visitors

(excluding DVM clinical internship & residency program)

Externs: Individuals who are in the clinical training portion of their DVM or foreign equivalent veterinary degree and are performing a clinical rotation at CVM/CUHA. Visitors may apply to be a part of a CVM service, and visits can be from two weeks to three months following clinical rotation schedules. Externs must be matriculated clinical year veterinary students. Willing to cover the costs of the rotation (page 4) if not part of a reciprocal (US/Canada) externship program. Pharmacy student Externs included.
Visiting Veterinarians: Individuals who have completed their DVM or foreign equivalent veterinary degree and are looking for further clinical experience. Visitors may apply to be a part of a CVM service, and visits can be from one week to three months. Visiting Veterinarians must hold a DVM or foreign veterinarian degree and be willing to cover the costs of the rotation (page 4).
Sponsored Interns/Residents: Individuals with a DVM or foreign equivalent veterinary degree who are pursuing special training in a service area. Interns/Residents that come to the CVM via the ‘match’ are not included here. However, each year, specific units at the CVM may allow residents to apply for self-funded placements. In this case, they are appointed for up to the duration of the clinical experience: one-year Internships, and/or two-to-three-year
residency programs. Sponsored Interns/Residents must hold a DVM or foreign veterinarian degree and be willing to cover the costs of the service (page 4).
Volunteers - structured programs with adherence to CU Policy 6.5: Individuals accepted as volunteers are not there for clinical training.
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, and be willing to cover the costs related to campus access (page 4).

‘Lab’ Interns: Veterinary and Post-graduate research students who have a desire to be mentored and learn in a lab. Interns may stay at Cornell for up to 12 months.

‘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 (page 4).

**There are no volunteers in CVM laboratories. Volunteers & Voluntary activities will be reviewed for structured programs & adherence to CU Policy 6.5. Visitors will be placed in the correct title for visit purposes**

Initiating, Requesting and Finalizing Visits

In all cases, visitors must be sponsored by a faculty member and submit three documents: 1. A Visitor Request Form (including department chair’s approval, and all required documentation) and submitted to the Office of International Affairs & Professional Programs (OIAPP) ideally three months before the visit. The Visitor Request Form collects standard information required to process a visitor, and documents commitment of the faculty member and the department as well as clarifying the best category/status for each visitor.
2. A CV that describes relevant education and research experience.
3. CVM Visitor Form (from a OIAPP template)  learning or collaboration objectives, and acknowledges the expectations made of the visitor (including costs) and benefits provided by Cornell, must also be submitted. Due to the time required and associated costs, processing will not commence without the Visitor Request Form, CV, and Letter of Intent.

Once the documents are submitted to OIAPP, OIAPP will coordinate directly with the proposed visitor to gather all other documentation required in order to process the application. The faculty sponsor will be kept informed.

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

Clinical Visitor Lab/Academic Visitor
Requirement Extern

Visiting Vet

Sponsored Vet Intern/Resident Volunteer Academic 'Lab' Inten
Visitor Request Form Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Letter of Intent Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Faculty Mentor Commitment Yes Yes Yes
Chair Approval Section Chief Section Chief Section Chief + CUHA Director Yes Yes
Financial Support Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Proof of English Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Learning Objectives Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Proof of matriculation Yes Yes (if student)
Health Insurance Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Liability Insurance Yes Yes By CVM
Liability Waiver Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Parental approval If a minor

Approval Process for Visitors

All formal visitors that come to the CVM are registered with and processed by the OIAPP on the appropriate CVM or CU systems. Because we do not charge tuition to any visitor, we have no visitors with a student status.

The following sequence is used by OHR to process a visitor:

Step Process Ideal Timeframe *
Visitor Request Form
+ CV & Letter of intent from visitor
  • Completed by Faculty Sponsor, Visitor or administrator
  • Submitted to OIAPP
  • Reviewed by OIAPP
  • Sent to Dept. Administrator for Dept. Chair approval
At least three-to-six months before visit
Visitor Application Processed
  • Screening by OIAPP
  • Collection of documentation by OIAPP
  • Completion of visitor file by OIAPP
  • Approval of visitor and timeline proposed by Department Chair
At least three months before visit
Visitor Application Accepted
  • Where applicable, visa application processed by OIAPP
  • Visitor classification agreed-upon (visitor, employee, volunteer)
Visitor Form
  • Completed by OIAPP with visit detail and costs
  • Signed off by visitor and OIAPP representative
Upon approval of visit
Visit Preparation Resources shared by OIAPP:
  • Accommodation
  • Transportation
  • Banking
  • Family services
  • On-campus resources (English language, library, internet, etc.)
  • CVM specific travel advice (vaccines required, specialized clothing or equipment needed)
Two months before visit
Visitor Orientation Welcome orientation provided by OIAPP, including:
  • Collection of docs for Onboarding/CU/NetID finalized by OHR
  • Review of policy and procedures
  • Tour of buildings
  • Request and grant building or software specific access
Day of arrival
Routine Check-in
  • Be point of contact for any questions or concerns while here
Exit Interview Close-out by OIAPP or host dept., including:
  • Collecting CU/NetID
  • Collection of building Keys
  • Inactivate software and building access
Last day

Visitor Costs

All visitors will be subject to a standard fee schedule. The fees are defined each year. Visitor-related costs are used to support staff time related to visitor processing, visitor support, visitor tracking systems, as well as to supplement department and faculty-related costs incurred by training and mentoring visitors. Visitor-related costs are also used to cover costs for specific services that are granted upon OHR appointment; such as TCAT transportation, library services, web access, and space usage.

Visitors may be exempt from paying some of the defined fees, at the discretion of the faculty sponsor or department. However, in the interest of standardizing processes across the CVM, an exemption should only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

CVM-provided Resources and Benefits for Visitors

The following table lists the specific Cornell benefits provided to the different typed of visitors:

Benefit “Visitor” (Extern, visiting vet, visiting academic, ‘lab’ intern) “Employee” (Self-funded vet Interns/Residents) “Volunteer”
Visa Sponsorship
  • Support to complete and process application (see notes below)
(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.
CU ID **
  • Provides access to select buildings, TCAT transportation, and library material check out.
(if > 3 months or requested)
(transport can also be purchased separately)
X (with approval)
Net ID
  • Provides access to Cornell email, library services, and software.
(if > 3 months or requested) X (with approval)
Housing Assistance
  • List of pre-screened on-campus & 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.

**’Lab’ Intern (unpaid / allowance payment) HR title will grant TCAT**

**All visitors will be responsible for a $150 non-refundable application and processing fee. Volunteer programs not included.**

If you have any questions regarding visiting the College of Veterinary Medicine please contact:

Pilar A. Thompson
Director of International Affairs
& Professional Services
College of Veterinary Medicine
Cornell University
607-253-3477 office