In many countries, particularly those with Fulbright commissions, scholars are expected to submit evidence that they have identified a host affiliation in the United States as part of the application process, well before an actual grant is awarded. Scholars usually include a letter of invitation from the host institution in their application materials.
In other instances, often in countries where the competition is conducted by the public affairs section of the U.S. embassy, scholars apply for awards and identify their specializations. This information is used to determine placement at U.S. host institutions. For these grantees, affiliations will be confirmed or placements arranged based upon the scholar’s interests and needs.
Testing requirements vary by country and program. Therefore, candidates should consult the individual country pages for application and contact information. The local U.S. Embassy or Fulbright Commission may be able to suggest testing centers. Information on testing can also be found at EducationUSA advising centers.
In general, there are two types of tests that may be required:
- Language Tests
Fulbright candidates must meet the language requirements necessary for their proposed study, research or teaching assignment and adjustment to life in the host country. Fulbright candidates to the U.S. may be required to submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores with their application. U.S. student and scholar candidates may be required to submit a report completed by a language expert or instructor to verify their language skills.
- Admissions Tests
Candidates must meet the requirements of and be acceptable to the host institution. Fulbright candidates to the U.S. may be required to submit the results of tests, including GRE scores for graduate programs and GMAT scores for business programs, for admission to programs at U.S. colleges and universities.
Your passport allows you to exit and enter your country of citizenship. A visa is a stamp in your passport that allows you to visit a specific country for a certain purpose and period of time. Grantees are responsible for obtaining a passport from their country of citizenship and any visas required by the host country or countries through which grantees will travel.
Applicants and grantees should contact the cooperating agency, the Fulbright Commission or the U.S. Embassy that administers their grant to inquire about visa requirements and applications. Grantees from the U.S. should also inquire about separate research clearances, which are required for some countries. As these processes can be lengthy, application should be made as soon as possible.
Fulbright grants do not provide for expenses related to any passport or visa fees.
Program Eligibility Details
In the 49 countries with a Fulbright Commission, applicants must meet citizenship requirements as defined by the binational agreement. In countries where the program is administered by the U.S. Embassy, applicants must be a citizen, national, or permanent resident qualified to hold a valid passport issued by that country.
Applicants cannot hold citizenship in a partner country and U.S. citizenship/permanent residency.
See contact information on the participating country pages for specific eligibility requirements and limits on numbers of awards.
Fulbright candidates must meet the language requirements necessary for their proposed study, research or teaching assignment and adjustment to life in the host country. Fulbright candidates to the U.S. may be required to submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores with their application.
Program Application Details
Application details and grant terms for the Fulbright Program vary by country of citizenship and program. Potential applicants should consult individual country pages for program availability and contact information or see a list of current programs.
The Fulbright Program’s application process is lengthy and rigorous, and prospective applicants are encouraged to consider carefully their intentions, goals, future plans and prospective projects before applying for a Fulbright grant. The competition for Fulbright Program grants is merit-based. Candidates are selected based on a variety of factors, that may include (but are not limited to):
- academic qualifications,
- project feasibility,
- personal leadership ability,
- available grant funds.
Fulbright operates on a yearly application cycle, which generally (but not in all cases) opens approximately 15 months before the anticipated start of the grant with a deadline approximately 11 or 12 months before the grant’s start date.