Researcher, Faculty, and Staff Employment

As a scholar at BU, you may have opportunities to collaborate on research or teach courses outside of the parameters of your BU appointment or affiliation. Whether you can take part in such opportunities will depend on many factors, so it’s important to discuss these opportunities with your ISSO advisor prior to commencing any outside activities. Participation in an outside activity without prior permission may affect your legal status in the U.S.

If You Are a BU-Sponsored J-1

Changes to Your Appointment at BU

Depending on your BU appointment, you may be paid by BU, an outside funding source, or through personal funds to perform your academic activities. Employment at Boston University and acceptance of non-salary payment from Boston University or departments (such as stipends, honoraria, per diem, or other types of remuneration) is only permitted if your Form DS-2019 indicates that you are receiving funding from the “Current Program Sponsor.”

If your DS-2019 does not indicate funding from the “Current Program Sponsor”, you may qualify to receive compensation from BU only if the ISSO amends your DS-2019 to reflect a financial update. Your hiring department at BU must inform the ISSO, in writing, of the proposed change in employment status and the ISSO must reissue the DS-2019 prior to the proposed start date of the paid employment.

Employment for U.S. Institutions other than Boston University

As a J-1 scholar, you are not permitted to engage in employment for any employer other than BU unless authorization is granted, in writing, by the ISSO. Such permission is employer-, location-, and date-specific, and is limited to short-term lectures and consultations related to the objective and area of specialization indicated on the scholar’s DS-2019.

Occasional Lectures and Short-Term Consultations

If your J sponsorship is in either the Professor, Research Scholar, or Short-Term Scholar category, you may engage in occasional lectures and short-term consultations for institutions other than BU, provided that you receive prior approval from the ISSO. When approved by the ISSO, federal immigration regulations also permit you to receive payment for the activity. The activity must support—and not interfere with—your original program activity, and may not delay completion of your J program.

If You Are a BU-Sponsored H-1B

Changes to Your Appointment at BU

The H petition that BU submitted on your behalf was specific to the department, position title, duties, salary, hours, and location of work to be performed. If you expect any aspect of your job to change, you and/or your hiring department must contact the ISSO before allowing those changes to go into effect. It may be necessary for the ISSO to submit an amended H-1B petition to the USCIS prior to affecting the changes. While the ISSO expects your hiring department to notify us of these changes, we strongly recommend that you also contact the ISSO to be sure the necessary documentation has been submitted.

Working for and Receiving Payment from Another Employer

Your H-1B status permits you to work only for BU and only for the job specified in the original petition. You may not accept employment from any other employer unless that employer submits a “concurrent” H-1B petition. BU scholars are often invited to give lectures or seminars at other institutions; you may accept such invitations, but you may not accept compensation (pay) for them. The host may pay your expenses (i.e., transportation to the lecture, hotel, food, etc.), but may not pay you, for example, an honorarium. To accept this type of compensation is a violation of your immigration status.

If You Are on F-1 Optional Practical Training

If working on an approved period of F-1 OPT, so long as your opportunity is in your field of study, you should be able to work. If you are currently employed in an approved period of your 17-month STEM OPT extension, an additional restriction is that you must be working for an E-Verify employer. Please review the necessary guidelines and restrictions listed under Maintaining F-1 Status During OPT.

BU F-1 Students on OPT also working at BU

If you are a Boston University F-1 student on Optional Practical Training (OPT) and are also hired at BU as a researcher, faculty member or employee, you become an ISSO Dual Client – both our “student” and our “scholar.” Because you have two affiliations with the ISSO, you will work with both ISSO advising teams – F-1 student processing will still happen with your ISSO International Student Advisor, but your employment-based processing and long-term immigration advising will be handled by your ISSO International Scholar Advisor. Read more about being a ISSO Dual Client for questions about the steps you will need to take with each ISSO team.