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Hiring Int'l Faculty & Staff

Legal Employment Authorization

The International Office contributes to the research and teaching mission of the university by assisting with the process of obtaining legal employment authorization for distinguished international faculty and staff.

Departments should always contact the International Office to help assess the appropriate visa classification to pursue when inviting or hiring international scholars for any position.  Hiring international employees is governed by U.S. immigration law and Texas State policy.

The following questions should be considered when inviting or hiring an international scholar :
  • What is the purpose in bringing the scholar to Texas State?  Is it for a short-term visit?  Is it for grant-funded research?  Is it to hire for a tenure track teaching position?
  • Who will provide financial support for the scholar?  Will the scholar be paid by Texas State?  Will the scholar be self-funded?  If so, will it be their own personal funding or their home institution or government?
  • How soon does the department need the scholar to begin?  Immediately or in the next semester?
  • What is the current location of the prospective scholar?  Are they in the U.S. or abroad?
  • Who in the department will be responsible for helping the international scholar with pre-arrival arrangements such as airport arrival, housing and transportation?

Determining the Right Type of Employment Authorization

There are several types of employment authorization for international employees in the United States. The three most common visa claasifications to invite or hire international scholars at Texas State are J-1 Exchange Visitor, H-1B Temporary Worker, and TN Trade NAFTA Professional.

The International Office will assist in obtaining the proper documents for the scholar’s visa application and entry to the U.S. or for a change of nonimmigrant status if they are already in the U.S.
 
The Office works in collaboration with Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC) to process approval for J-1 visa classification, and with a board certified immigration law firm for H-1B employment authorization.
 
The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is an excellent way for departments to invite international scholars to come to Texas State to teach, study, or conduct research. It is especially useful for positions such as post-doctoral researcher or visiting lecturer and professor. It cannot be used for a tenure-track or tenured faculty position nor for a staff position.
 
Employing an individual with H-1B Employment Authorization requires a case specific submission of a petition to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.   In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor has requirements that must be met before H-1B employment is authorized at Texas State. Neither the international employee nor an immigration attorney acting on behalf of the employee or department can file these petitions for Texas State employment.
 
The TN Trade NAFTA Professional is authorized through the North American Free Trade Agreement and is only available to citizens of Canada and Mexico to work in the U.S.

Most Common Scenarios for Inviting or Hiring an International Scholar

"We're hiring an international scholar for a tenured or tenure-track position”
Should be H-1B; can be on OPT or TN initially but eventually must change to H-1B

"We're hiring an international scholar for a grant-funded post-doc research position”
J-1 or TN strongly recommended; can be H-1B if salary is sufficient

"We're inviting an international scholar for an unpaid position”
Only J-1 can be unpaid

"We're inviting an international scholar to lecture and we’d like to pay an honorarium and/or reimburse their expenses“
B-1/B-2 or Visa Waiver for under 9 days; can be J-1 for longer period of stay

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  • Detailed Visa Explanations

      • Available to visiting scholars, such as visiting professors, visiting researchers, postdoctoral fellows, etc.
         
      • Cannot be used for a tenure-track or tenured faculty position
         
      • Cannot be used for a staff position
         
      • Must obtain a Form DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility) issued by Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC) or outside sponsoring organization, e.g. Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES)
         
      • Must obtain a J-1 visa at US Consulate abroad to enter US (except for Canadian citizens), or obtain approval from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to change status to J-1 from within the US
         
      • J-1 Research Scholar and Professor category is limited to five years
         
      • J-1 Short-term Scholar is limited to a six-month stay
         
      • Note some exchange visitors are subject to the two-year home country residence requirement
         
      • If scholar has held J status (including J Student, Researcher, Professor, Specialist or dependent) in the United States, except as a Short-Term Scholar, for six months or more during the preceding 12 months, he/she is not eligible for the J-1 Research Scholar or Professor category
         
      • Scholars in the J-1 Professor or Research Scholar category become subject to the Two-Year Bar on repeat participation in those particular categories after completing their programs even if the program lasts less than five years.
        • DOS has taken the position that the Two-Year Bar also applies to J-2 dependents of J-1 Professors or Research Scholars if the J-2 subsequently wishes to return as a J-1 Professor or Research Scholar
        • The two-year bar is different from the two- year home country residence requirement.
           
      • May be given honorarium, stipend or salary by the J-1 program sponsor for pre-approved activities related to program objectives (in SEVIS).
      • Prior written authorization from TIEC must be obtained to engage in occasional lectures or consultation
         
      • Dependents of J-1 Exchange Visitors holding J-2 status may apply for employment authorization from USCIS

      Click here for more information on inviting J-1 Exchange Visitors

      • Employment restricted to the petitioning employer under the terms and conditions of the approved H-1B
         
      • Consult the International Office prior to any changes in H-1B employment at Texas State University
         
      • Must meet wage requirements as set by Department of Labor regulations
         
      • Must obtain H-1B visa abroad to enter US (except for Canadian citizens), or obtain approval from USCIS to change status to H-1B from within the US
         
      • H-1B status is initially granted for a maximum period of three years and can be extended for a total of six years (regardless of the number of employers) May be reimbursed for expenses
         
      • May receive honoraria, stipend, or salary only from Texas State for H-1B authorized activities
         
      • H-4 dependents of H-1B temporary workers may not work
    • •     NAFTA is the North American Free Trade Agreement.  It creates special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. 
      •     The TN visa allows citizens of Canada and Mexico to work in the U.S.
      •     The maximum period three years.  Extensions of stay for one year at a time.  There is no limit on the number of years a TN visa holder can stay in the United States.  However, the TN visa status is not for permanent residence.
      •     Profession is on the NAFTA list;
      •     Position in the U.S. requires a NAFTA professional;
      •     Mexican or Canadian applicant is to work in a prearranged full-time or part-time job, for a U.S. employer.  Self employment is not permitted;
      •     Canadian or Mexican citizen has the qualifications of the profession. 
      •     As nonimmigrants, applicants must demonstrate that their stay is a temporary period that does not equate to permanent residence.
       
      • Not for employment of any kind
      • If certain conditions are met, may receive an honorarium
      • Visa must be obtained from US Consulate abroad (except for Canadian citizens) to enter US
         
      • Letter of invitation may be helpful in obtaining visa and/or explaining purpose of trip
      • May enter the US for short periods of time (usually less than three to six months)
      • Should have a nonrefundable round trip ticket
         
      • Should have documentation of funds to support expenses

      Click here for more information on B Visas

    • Same as for B-1/ B-2, except:

      • May enter US for a maximum of 90 days without a visa
         
      • Available only to citizens of certain countries who have registered online in advance through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).  Go to the Department of State’s website at http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/without_1990.html for information.

Need Help?

To assist you in determining the right visa type, please call the International Office at 512-245-7966.