UT Policy on Hiring Foreign Nationals

Policy Statement

In accordance with provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), the University has delegated to International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) sole authority to administer the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program and file H-1B temporary employment and permanent residence petitions in support of the teaching and research mission of the University.


This policy addresses the hiring of foreign nationals in academic and research positions, not the employment of enrolled students.


This policy provides departments with general guidelines for inviting Exchange Visitors and processing petitions for the most common non-immigrant classifications and for permanent residence for foreign nationals employed at the University.

Section I. Compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act

In order to comply with the provisions of the IRCA, the University may not employ individuals who are not authorized to work in the United States. Department of Labor regulations prevent employers from allowing foreign nationals to volunteer in positions that are usually compensated. Foreign nationals who are awaiting the necessary employment authorization or whose work authorization has expired are not allowed to serve as volunteers. Note: Foreign nationals who are financially supported by a source other than the university are not considered volunteers.

Section II. Work Authorizations

Obtaining Work Authorization for Foreign Nationals

It is necessary to obtain work authorization for foreign nationals to work at the university and department head approval is required for all invitations to foreign nationals who will be employed at the University. Department representatives are required to submit to ISSS all requests to obtain work authorization for a foreign national employee and should immediately contact ISSS once a decision has been made to hire a foreign national. Contacting ISSS during the recruitment phase helps assure that the foreign national can begin employment in a timely manner. Policy precludes an attorney from filing petitions on behalf of the university for an employee; therefore no university representative should sign a G-28 (Notice of Appearance) allowing an attorney to represent The University of Texas at Austin.

Routes to Work Authorization

There are several non-immigrant classifications that allow for employment. The primary classifications for teaching and research positions are outlined below:

Source: Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (Act of Nov. 5, 1986, Pub. L. No. 99-603, 1986 U.S.C.C.A.N (99 Stat.)); Title 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations; Title 20 of Code of Federal Regulations section 655.732; New UT Austin Policy