Overview of J-1, H-1B and Other Immigration Classifications
Boston University proudly hosts over 1000 foreign nationals from
91 countries to conduct research, teach and work in a variety of
capacities throughout the institution. Our international scholar
population varies from short-term visitors who conduct research
on unpaid appointments to permanent, tenure-track professors. The
ISSO is responsible for all of the immigration and employment processing
to assist the university and our diverse scholar population in achieving
its academic goals.
The ISSO maintains a high level of expertise in United States immigration
and employment regulations to invite, advise and employ international
scholars. There are a number of United States immigration classifications
that enable our international scholars to perform research, teach
or work at Boston University. Staff members at the ISSO are trained
to evaluate each department request and establish which immigration
classification is most appropriate to facilitate the plans of the
department and the needs of the prospective scholar. The staff member
at the ISSO will evaluate the needs of the academic department and
then consider a variety of factors such as the nationality, educational
achievements and United States immigration history of the prospective
scholar to determine which immigration category will be most appropriate.
The ISSO will then work with the department to gather the necessary
information and prepare immigration documents to enable to prospective
scholar to obtain the immigration classification to commence his/her
academic activity. Most scholar processing is completed by staff
members at the ISSO as a service to the Boston University community.
The ISSO is also responsible
for completing the federal USCIS Form I-9 “Employment Eligibility
Verification Form” for all international employees at Boston
University. Department faculty and administrators wishing to employ
international employees are reminded that federal regulations require
that the Form I-9 be completed by the scholar and the ISSO prior
to the end of the third day of employment. These are completed for
employees in J-1 Exchange Visitor status during New
J-1 Scholar Orientation. Employees in other nonimmigrant status
are welcome to come to the ISSO during one of our designated I-9
Boston University is designated by the US Department of State
as a J-1 Exchange Visitor Program to sponsor Research Scholars,
Professors, Short-Term Scholars and Specialists to conduct
academic activities at Boston University. Department faculty
and administrators who wish to invite and/or employ an
international scholar in J-1 classification should click
on 'Administrators' above to learn about BU sponsorship
policies and how to request J-1 visa related documentation.
J-1 Exchange Visitors visit the university for as little
as one week to a maximum of 5 years in paid or unpaid appointments.
The ISSO will then evaluate all of the forms and supporting
documentation and issue necessary forms to assist the prospective
scholar in obtaining the necessary visa and approvals to
enable to scholar to commence teaching and/or research
at Boston University. Due to the intricacies of J-1 immigration
processing, the ISSO recommends that departments submit
completed forms to the ISSO at least 60 days prior to the
proposed start date of the academic activity to enable
sufficient time for processing.
Other Scholar Classifications
Boston University employs H-1B “Temporary Workers in a Specialty
Occupation” in a variety of paid teaching and research positions.
Department faculty and administrators who wish to employ an international
scholar in H-1B classification should click on 'Administrators'
above to learn about BU sponsorship policies and H-1 processing."
The H-1B requires substantial documentation as it involves obtaining
employer attestations and approvals from varying federal and local
government agencies. The proposed employment must meet the US Citizenship
and Immigration Services definition of a specialty occupation and
the proposed employee must meet the minimum qualifications for the
position. Due to the intricacies of H-1B immigration processing
and the processing times at the federal and local government agencies,
the ISSO recommends that departments request H-1B sponsorship only
for employment situations for at least one year in duration. Departments
must submit completed forms to the ISSO at least 6 months prior
to the proposed start date of the academic activity to enable sufficient
time for processing. In some cases, the process may be expedited
based on the current immigration status of the prospective scholar
or if the department is willing to pay a fee for Premium Processing
to the Department of Homeland Security.
Boston University employs scholars in other immigration classifications
such as Trade Nafta (TN), Persons of Extraordinary Ability (O-1) as
well as in variety of immigration classifications with specific USCIS
employment authorization. Department faculty and administrators who
wish to employ an international scholar in one of these classifications
should contact the ISSO to initiate