How to Hire a Foreign National

General Employment Positions

These positions have a bias that they are permanent in nature, which gives the employee immigrant intent. Departments that are planning to hire a tenure/tenure-track faculty should reach out directly to Immigration Employment Coordinator, Keeli Nelson. Keeli works in Human Resources.

For those employees that are in F-1 status, they do not need any additional permission to work on campus. They are limited to 20 hours per week and during semester breaks they may work additional hours.

For students in J-1 student status, they do need written authorization from the program sponsor. For example Fulbright students will get permission from Fulbright.

The training aspect of the postdoctoral researcher position gives us a lot of options.

Postdocs Inside the US when Hired

We generally see an F-1 student graduate from a US university and start a postdoc position. In this case they would generally use F-1 Optional Practical Training for 12 months. If they are eligible for STEM extension they should use STEM OPT. If they are not eligible for STEM OPT then we usually transition to the H-1b visa because the hiring department can pay an expedite service fee to the United States government so the change of status from F-1 to H-1b will be adjudicated within 15 business days. Please contact Keeli Nelson in Human Resources.

Postdoc Outside the US when Hired

If the employee is outside the United States we generally use the J-1 research scholar visa category.

Current Immigration Status

If the employee is currently in the United States, we will try to use the employee's current immigration status if possible. There are are few issues that are very important that will influence if the employee is able to use their current visa sponsorship or if the employee has to change to a new immigration status. The change of status process can be very significant for specific visa types and this timeline will influence the choice of visa sponsorship. It may also be the case that their current immigration status does not allow any type of employment.

Related Content

Contact us about hiring a Foreign National

H-1b and Permanent Residency Processes

common visa categories we use at KU
Visa TypeWork authorization documentationPosition TitleFTENotes
F-1 studentnone neededon campus student hourly, graduate assistant,20 hours per week, full-time during vacation period 
F-1 OPTEAD card from USCISany position that is directly related to degree programany FTE is acceptableEAD card process will take 3-5 months
F-1 STEM OPTEAD card from USCIS (2nd one for extension)any position that is directly related to degree programmust work more than 20 hours per weeksecond EAD will take 3-5 months but employee can work with receipt notice for 180 days
H-1bI-797 for specific employermust be specialty occupation.only full-timeeach H-1b is specific to employer and position, any change in employment, title, duties, salary requires new H-1b
J-1 studentletter from sponsor (ISS if KU is sponsor)on campus student hourly, graduate assistant20 hours per week, full-time during vacation period 
J-1 scholaremployment at KU is part of KU DS-2019 formPostdoctoral Researcher, Visiting Assistant Professor, Lecturerany FTE is acceptable 
J-2EAD card from USCISany positionany FTEJ-2 can only apply for EAD after arrival in the US. Extension can only be filed with USCIS after J-1 DS-2019 form extended