Visa Types for Foreign National

Which Visa Type is the Most Appropriate for Hiring a Foreign National?

If you or your department would like to hire a foreign national to work at UNT, the below information will assist you in determining what visa type may be the most appropriate. 

Please contact the International Student and Scholar Services office to speak with an immigration advisor for detailed assistance with your specific circumstances.

1. Hiring a foreign national for a non-tenured teaching/research position:

Visa Type

Type of Activities Permitted

J-1 Scholar/Researcher

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.

H-1B

Employees in certain non-tenured faculty titles and researchers (depending on the position) 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.

TN

Certain individuals from Canada and Mexico can work based on a TN visa.

2. Hiring a foreign national for a tenure-track/tenured position:

Visa Type

Type of Activities Permitted

H-1B

Tenure-track faculty members and permanent researchers (depending on the specific position) should primarily be brought into the U.S. on H-1B visas. H-1B petitions require approximately six to eight months to process.

O-1

Certain outstanding employees that have received and sustained national and international acclaim may qualify for an O-1 visa.

TN

Certain individuals from Canada and Mexico can work based on a TN visa.

3. Paying an honorarium to a foreign national invited to give a lecture, and/or reimbursing* expenses for a visit:

Visa Type

Type of Activities Permitted

J-1 Short-term Scholar

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.

B-1 or Visa Waiver

Honorarium; stay is limited and individual must have an SSN/ITIN.

*(Reimbursements do not require SSN or ITIN.)

4. Hiring an international student who is graduating from an American institution:

Visa Type

Type of Activities Permitted

F-1 Optional Practical Training*

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 UNT may employ F-1 OPT students for a period of time within the validity of the EAD.

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 UNT 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 the immigration advising office of the institution from which he/she has recently graduated.