Determining the Right Visa Type

Categories Sponsored by Syracuse University

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
  • Minimal cost (individual pays $180 SEVIS Fee plus visa application fees)
  • Requires no immigration pre-approval, so the process is relatively quick
  • University can sponsor Research Scholars/Professors who are self-funded or funded by outside agencies, funding can also be split between department and outside agency
  • Allows for J-2 dependant employment and study
  • Usually used 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
  • Minimal cost (individual pays $180 SEVIS Fee plus visa application fees)
  • Requires no immigration pre-approval, so the process is relatively quick
  • University can sponsor Research Scholars/Professors who are self-funded or funded by outside agencies, funding can also be split between department and outside agency
  • Allows for J-2 dependant employment and study
  • Usually used 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
  • Minimal cost (individual pays $180 SEVIS Fee plus visa application fees)
  • Requires no immigration pre-approval, so the process is relatively quick
  • Allows for J-2 dependant employment and study
  • Usually used for specialty occupations such as Coach or Athletic Trainer


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: $325 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
  • Usually used 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 including University teachers and researchers in many fields of study
  • TN Applicants can either obtain TN status abroad with minimal cost ($56 fee at port of entry) 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: $325 I-129 Fee and an optional $1225 Premium Processing Fee
  • Usually used 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, no maximum time limit
  • Department pays filing fees: $325 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
  • Usually used for vary senior, well-established scholars. 


Permanent Residency (Green Card)

  • Must hold a permanent position or be a candidate for tenure
  • Department pays only the I-140 filing fee of $580; all other fees are the responsibility of the employee
  • May require extensive paperwork and documentation from the department and applicant
  • Usually used for permanent or tenure-track positions


Categories that are Self-Petitioned


B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa or WB/WT Visa Waiver

  • Cannot hold any position with Syracuse University
  • 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
  • To pay an honorarium to an individual, must be processed with Payroll and the Slutzker Center
  • Usually used for a guest lecturer or consultant coming to the University for less than 9 total days


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 and obtain approval from immigration (can take up to 90 days)
  • F-1 student must have the employment authorization card before beginning work
  • Department pays no immigration filing fees
  • Usually used 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
  • Usually used 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; does not require immigration approval so the process is relatively quick
  • J-1 student must have Academic Training approval on his/her DS-2019 before beginning work
  • Department pays no immigration filing fees
  • Allows for J-2 dependentnt employment and study
  • Usually used as a transition work authorization, some J-1 Academic Training holders can change status to O-1 or H-1B