Determining the Right Immigration Status
Departments who would like to invite international visiting professors, researchers, or certain classified staff to UT may request work authorization documents for the visitor’s visa application and entry to the U.S. or for an in-country change of status.
The University of Texas at Austin uses these visa classifications to legally employ professors, researchers, librarians, and other international employees. Importing personnel in one of these temporary employment classifications usually requires a case specific submission of a petition to USCIS. The hiring department must initiate the H-1B and O-1 petitions. Neither the international employee nor an immigration attorney acting on behalf of the alien or department can file these petitions for UT employment. Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Labor has requirements that need to be met before work at The University of Texas at Austin is authorized.
International Student and Scholar Services advisors are available to assist you in determining the right visa for the international employee you plan to invite to The University of Texas at Austin.
Paying an Honorarium and/or Reimbursing Expenses for a Guest Lecturer
(Reimbursements do not require SSN or ITIN)
J-1 Short-Term Scholar
The majority of temporary visiting researchers and scholars come to lecture or conduct research as J-1 Exchange Visitors. Information on how to invite individuals to the US in this status can be found on the J-1 Exchange Visitor website. Short-Term scholars are allowed to remain in the U.S. up to six months.
B-1/B-2 or Visa Waiver
Short-term business visitors, who will not be engaging in collaborative research, may enter the United States on a B-1 business visa or a WB visa waiver. If the visitor will receive any payment for services, including an honorarium, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) restricts the length of the stay at the university to a maximum of nine days. The individual must have an SSN/ITIN to receive payment. Refer to Financial and Administrative Services for further information.
Hiring an International Graduate from an American Institution
An international student in F-1 status may apply for temporary employment authorization called Optional Practical Training (OPT) to be used during a degree program or after the completion of course requirements. Once the authorization has been approved by USCIS, an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is issued. Departments at The University of Texas at Austin may employ F-1 OPT students for a period of time within the validity of the EAD.
An international student in F-1 status, who is currently on F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) and who also graduated within a STEM field major, is eligible to apply for a 24 month STEM OPT extension up to 120 days prior to their current OPT end date. The F-1 student must be working for an E-Verify employer to be eligible for the STEM extension. Once the authorization has been approved by USCIS, the student will receive a new Employment Authorization Document (EAD) reflecting the approved STEM OPT dates. The student can continue working up to 180 days past the current OPT end date, IF the STEM OPT application is timely filed (the student should have the USCIS receipt notice as proof of timely filing).
J-1 Academic Training
An international student in J-1 status may apply for a temporary employment authorization known as Academic Training (A/T) to be used during a degree program or after the completion of course requirements. Once the authorization has been approved by the student’s J program sponsor, the J-1 receives a Letter of Authorization and extended DS-2019. Departments at The University of Texas at Austin may employ J-1 A/T students for a period of time within the 18-36 month validity of the Letter of Authorization.
*Student should apply for authorization through International Office of the institution from which he/she has recently graduated.
Hiring an International Person for a Non-Tenured Teaching or Research Position
The majority of temporary visiting researchers and scholars come to lecture or conduct research as J-1 Exchange Visitors. Short-Term scholars are allowed to remain in the U.S. up to six months. Scholar/Researchers can be extended to up to five years.
Employees in non-tenured faculty titles and researchers can be brought into the U.S. on H-1B visas, if the J-1 visa is not an appropriate fit. H-1B petitions require approximately six to eight months to process. It is important to consult the Provost’s Policy on Hiring International Employees to determine if the position is eligible for this status.
Certain individuals from Canada and Mexico can work based on a TN visa.