Visa for International Employees
All persons who are not U. S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (“green card holders,” “resident aliens”) must have permission from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to remain and work in the United States. This permission comes in various forms of visa classifications. It is mandatory that all noncitizens and nonimmigrant's maintain a valid visa status for employment. Below are some of the most commonly used visa classifications for noncitizens and nonimmigrants at East Carolina University.
Contact for any visa except J-1: Brian Meyerhoeffer, Immigration Specialist
Visitor Visa Classes: B-1 or B-2
This visa is for visitors coming to the United States to conduct trade or business, which is not employment. Examples: attending a meeting including presenting or lecturing at the meeting; observing or consulting; reviewing or signing contracts; scouting locations for future business sites; and so on. A B-1 visa holder can accept an honorarium or reimbursement for travel expenses if (a) the duration of the activity is nine days or less (b) and the visitor has not been paid or reimbursed by more than five other U.S. institutions or organizations during the past six months.
This also applies to the B-2 (Visitor for Tourist).
HONORARIUM AND/OR REIMBURSEMENT PAYMENT FOR SHORT TERM VISITORS
Temporary Worker Visa Class: H-1B:
This visa permits the activities normally associated with the title or appointment. This visa is available to professionals with at least a Bachelors degree who will engage in the practice of the profession for which he or she was trained and which requires at least a bachelors degree. This visa is valid for a maximum stay of six years. Unlike the F-1 and J-1 classes where the institution controls the issuance of visa documents, the H-1B requires an approved Labor Condition Application from the Department of Labor (DOL), an approved visa petition from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS), and the payment of a processing fee to the CIS. Additional documentation is required for this visa class. H-4s, dependents of H-1s, are not permitted to work.
H-1B VISA DEFINITION and APPLICATION PROCESS
INSTRUCTIONS FOR REQUESTING AN H1B VISA
Exchange Visitor Program: J-1
J-1: The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program allows East Carolina University to bring foreign professors, researchers, short-term scholars, specialists, and students to the United States. The University has been approved by the State Department (formerly USIA) to serve as the visa sponsor for these individuals. Federal regulations govern the Exchange Visitor and the sponsor. The intent of the program is exchange of knowledge; the assumption is that the foreign national is coming temporarily to the United States and expects to return home. The J-1 exchange visitor classisfication is appropriate for most research scholars and for faculty who do not hold tenured or tenure-track positions. To apply for a J-1 visa, scholars are issued a Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status, commonly referred to as DS-2019. The spouse and children of a J-1visa holder, hold J-2 status and may apply to the CIS for permission to work in the United States.
The following J-1 Exchange Visitor Categories are authorized by the Department of State for East Carolina University:
Student – An individual who is:
1. Studying in the United States: ·
- Pursuing a full course of study at a secondary accredited institution; ·
- Pursing a full course of study leading to or culminating in the award of a U.S. degree from a post-secondary accredited educational institution; or ·
- Engaged full-time in a prescribed course of study of up to 24 months duration conducted by:
-A post-secondary accredited education institution; or
-an institute approved by or acceptable to the post-secondary accredited educational institution where the student is to be enrolled upon completion of the non-degree program;
2. Engaged in academic training as permitted in § 62.23(f); or
3. Engaged in English language training at:
(i) A post-secondary accredited educational institution, or
(ii) An institute approved by or acceptable to the post-secondary accredited educational institution where the college or university student is to be enrolled upon completion of the language training.
Professor – An individual who is:
- primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting at post-secondary accredited educational institutions, museums, libraries, or similar types of institutions. A professor may also conduct research, unless disallowed by the sponsor.
Research Scholar – An individual who is: ·
- primarily conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project at research institutions, corporate research facilities, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions. The research scholar may also teach or lecture unless disallowed by the sponsor.
Short-Term Scholar – An individual who is: ·
- A professor, research scholar, specialist, or a person with similar education or accomplishments coming to the United States on a short-term visit for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills at research institutions, museums, libraries, post-secondary accredited educational institutions, or similar types of institutions.
Specialist – An individual who is: ·
- an expert in a field of specialized knowledge or skill coming to the United States for observing, consulting, or demonstrating special skills.
(Source: NASFA Manual)
J-1 EXCHANGE VISITOR PROCESS
INTENT TO TRANSFER
HONORARIUM REIMBURSEMENT PAYMENT DOCUMENT
Academic Training: J-1
Students who enter the United States as exchange students or degree seeking J-1 visa students are eligible to accept employment under certain conditions aftercompletion of study or program.
International students on J-1 visas are eligible for up to 18 months of Academic Training.
Post-doctoral students are permitted three years of Academic Training. (Some J-1 program participants are also allowed to work part-time during the academic program.)
Academic Training is granted in the form of a letter by the Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO). Students should consult with the Responsible Officer or Alternate Responsible Officer at the Office of International Affairs.
Academic training is off-Campus work authorization for J-1 students to supplement their academic program in the United States before or after completion of their degree. Academic training involves "paid employment."
Students are allowed to work up to 18 months after their degree completion. If the student completed a doctorate degree, they may qualify for up to 36 months of academic training. (Academic Training is only granted for 18 months at the time). Part-time employment for Academic training counts against the 18 to 36 month limit, the same as full-time Employment. Earning more than one degree does not increase the amount of academic training time.
- One semester of study qualifies for four months of academic training.
- One year of study qualifies for nine months of academic training.
The J-1 student must obtain and present a written offer of appropriate employment to the RO prior to the end of his/her program.
Your primary purpose in the U.S. must be to study rather than to participate in Academic Training.
- You must be in good academic standing at the school named on the DS-2019.
- The proposed employment must be directly related to your major field of study.
- Throughout your academic training, you must maintain your ability to stay in the U.S.
- You must maintain health insurance coverage for yourself and any J-2 dependents throughout your academic training.
HONORARIUM AND/OR REIMBURSEMENT PAYMENT FOR SHORT TERM J-1 VISITORS
J-1 ACADEMIC TRAINING
APPLICATION PROCEDURE FOR J-1 ACADEMIC TRAINING
Trade NAFTA Visa Class: TNTN:
The TN visa permits the activities normally associated with the title or appointment of Canadian citizens in the professions listed in the U.S. Canadian Free Trade Agreement. Examples of such professions are: Registered Nurses, Faculty, Research Associates and certain Allied Health Professions. These visas are issued one year at a time and though there is not a limit on how long one can work in the U.S. under the TN visa, the alien's intent must be temporary. Like the H-1B visa class, the institution does not control the issuance of visa documents, the TN requires a petition to the Immigration and Naturalization Service and payment of a processing fee to same. However, unlike the H-1B, the TN may be acquired at the port of entry to the U.S. if the proper documentation is presented to the Immigration Officer. Additional documentation is required for this visa class. TN dependents are admitted to the U.S. as TD, and are permitted to remain in the U.S. with the TN but are not permitted to work.
Optional Practical Training: F-1
F-1: Practical training is a legal means by which F-1 students can obtain employment in areas related to their academic field of study. Students, in general, must have completed one academic year (approximately nine months) in F-1 status and must maintain their F-1 status to be eligible for practical training. Optional Practical Training (OPT) must be authorized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) based on a recommendation from the designated school official (DSO) at the school which issued the form I-20, a government document which verifies the student's admission to that institution. The term "optional" means that students can opt to use all or part of their total practical training allotment of a maximum of 12 months. Students who have received OPT permission will be issued an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) by the CIS. Their name, photo and valid dates of employment are printed on the EAD. Employers should note that the average processing time for CIS to issue the EAD is two or three months, and students may begin employment only after they receive the EAD which will indicate the starting and ending dates of employment.