Determining the Right Visa Type

PROVOST’S VISITING SCHOLAR REQUEST FORM & HR NEW FACULTY/STAFF SETUP FORM
If a Visiting Scholar will not be paid by the sponsoring department, departments must separately complete the 
Visiting Scholar Request Form and submit it to Carolyn Boshell, cmboshel@aalan.ua.edu, in Academic Affairs for Approval. Paid employees will be entered in the UA payroll system as they would for any other new hire, and the Visiting Scholar Request Form is not required.

Additionally, in order to give an unpaid Visiting Scholar access to Email, WiFi, UA Libraries and other campus facilities, the sponsoring department must complete a “New Faculty/Staff Setup” Form and submit it to Human Resources Payroll Input (payrollinput@fa.ua.edu or Box 870128) for processing into the Banner system.

CATEGORIES SPONSORED BY THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA

J-1 Research Scholar/Professor
• Cannot be a candidate for tenure
• Limited to 5-years of maximum stay
• Requires a minimum stay of 3 weeks
• Department pays no immigration filing fees
• University can sponsor Scholar/Professors who are self-funded or funded by outside agencies, funding can also be split between department and outside agency
• Perfect for temporary instructor positions or for research positions and for visiting professors on sabbatical

J-1 Short-Term Scholar
• Cannot hold a permanent position or be a candidate for tenure
• Limited to 6-months of maximum stay
• Department pays no immigration filing fees
• University can sponsor Scholar/Professors who are self-funded or funded by outside agencies, funding can also be split between department and outside agency
• Perfect for very short research projects or for visiting lecturers

J-1 Specialist
• Cannot hold a permanent position or be a candidate for tenure
• Limited to 12-months of maximum stay
• Department pays no immigration filing fees
• Perfect for specialty occupations such as Coach or Athletic Trainer

J-1 Physician
• Limited to a maximum stay of 7 years of progressive training
• Physician Trainee applicants to The University of Alabama Family Medicine Residency – Tuscaloosa must apply following the steps here: https://fmr.ua.edu/applicants/
• Sponsored only by The Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) – www.ecfmg.org
• UA’s ECFMG Training Program Liaison (TPL) is Alison Adams at aradams@ua.edu or 205-348-1370
• NOTE: Under no circumstances should a person pursuing medical training apply to come to UA under the J-1 Research Scholar/Professor categories.

J-1 Student Intern
• Limited to a maximum stay of 12 months
• J-1 Student Intern category is meant to host international students who are currently enrolled and pursuing a degree at a postsecondary academic institution outside the United States.
• J-1 Student Intern may not fill a permanent or long-term position of employment in the U.S.
• 12-month bar applies to J-1 Student Interns who wish to return in J-1 Professor/Research Scholar category

H-1B Worker
• Can hold a permanent position and be a candidate for tenure
• Limited to 6-years of maximum stay
• Department pays filing fees: $460 I-129 Fee, $500 New Application Anti-Fraud Fee, and an optional $1225 Premium Processing Fee
• Department agrees to employ the international employee for the entire period requested on the H-1B application; early termination requires the department to pay the return flight costs for the employee
• Requires approval from US Citizenship and Immigration Services which can take several months unless Premium Processing is used
• Perfect for any permanent position or tenure-track position

TN – Trade NAFTA
• Cannot hold a permanent position or be a candidate for tenure
• Limited to 3-years of stay per TN period, no maximum for TN
• Only available to citizens of Canada and Mexico in certain areas of employment
• TN Applicants can either obtain TN status abroad with no cost to the University or obtain or extend status from within the United States.
• In the case when filing for TN status from within the US, the Department pays filing fees: $460 I-129 Fee and an optional $1225 Premium Processing Fee
• Perfect for temporary and non-tenure instructor positions or for research positions

O-1 Aliens of Extraordinary Ability
• Can hold a permanent position and be a candidate for tenure
• Limited to 3-years of initial stay, with 1-year extensions
• Department pays filing fees: $460 I-129 Fee and an optional $1225 Premium Processing Fee
• Department agrees to employ the international employee for the entire period requested on the O-1 application; early termination requires the department to pay the return flight costs for the employee
• Requires a lot of paperwork and documentation from the department and applicant
• H-1B is often much easier to file and to renew
• Primary use is for those who are ineligible for H-1B-status because of a two year home residency requirement which cannot be waived or for those who have used the full six years of H-1B eligibility

CATEGORIES THAT ARE SELF-PETITIONED

B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa or WB/WT Visa Waiver
• Cannot hold any position with The University of Alabama
• Department pays no immigration filing fees
• Stay is limited (6 months for B-1/B-2 and 90 days for WB/WT)
• Can receive honorarium and reimbursement for travel expenses only in limited circumstances – any service beyond 9 days eliminates all possibility for honorarium payment.
• Perfect for a guest lecturer or consultant coming to the University for less than 9 total days
• To pay an honorarium to an individual, must be processed with the Tax Office

a. First process an Independent Contractor Request Contact Michelle L’Etang, Tax Manager/Independent Contractors, (205) 348-2963, mletang@fa.ua.edu, Rose Administration Building Room 369 with questions
b. Second, complete a Non-Resident Alien Information Form with Casey Jones at cvjones@fa.ua.edu, (205) 348–8865, Rose Administration Building Room 365-A.

F-1 Student on Optional Practical Training
• Can hold a permanent position and be a candidate for tenure
• Limited to 1-year of authorization, work must be in a field related to the student’s major
• Primarily used by recent college graduates
• F-1 student must file for the OPT with his/her College or University
• F-1 student must have the employment authorization card before beginning work
• Department pays no immigration filing fees
• Perfect as a transition work authorization, F-1 OPT holders can change status to J-1, O-1, or H-1B

F-1 Student on Curricular Practical Training
• Should not hold a permanent position or be a candidate for tenure
• Limited to 1-year of authorization at a time, work must be in a field related to the student’s major
• Primarily used by students to fulfill practicum or internship requirements
• F-1 student must file for CPT Authorization with his/her College or University
• F-1 student must have the CPT Authorization on his/her I-20 before beginning work
• Department pays no immigration filing fees
• Perfect for internships and short-term research

J-1 Student Academic Training
• Can hold a permanent position and be a candidate for tenure
• Limited to 18-months of authorization (36-months for doctoral graduate), and work must be in a field related to the student’s major
• Primarily used by recent college graduates, can also be used by students to fulfill practicum or internship requirements
• J-1 student must file for the Academic Training with his/her College or University
• J-1 student must have Academic Training approval on his/her DS-2019 before beginning work
• Department pays no immigration filing fees
• Perfect as a transition work authorization, some J-1 Academic Training holders can change status to O-1 or H-1B