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The Office of International Students & Scholars (OISS) advises university departments and units on procedures related to the hiring of foreign national employees and the hosting of international visitors on campus. OISS files petitions with the Department of Labor, Department of State and U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services to sponsor international faculty, staff and visitors for J-1, H-1 and lawful permanent resident status.

When considering hiring or hosting a foreign national, departments should contact Jennifer Fernandez-Villa, Director of The Office of International Students & Scholars, as early as possible to discuss visa options and procedures.

Visa Type B-1 or VW J Scholar (Short-Term Scholar, Professor, Researcher) H-1B Lawful Permanent Resident
Purpose Visitor Short term research, consultation, lecturing, observation Worker in a specialty occupation To allow individuals to reside in the U.S. on a permanent basis
May Receive U.S. Income? Honorarium and reimbursement of expenses only Yes Yes Yes
Eligibility Criteria Must have official invitation letter from hosting department Professor, research scholar, graduate student or person with similar education or accomplishments visiting the U.S. to lecture, observe, consult, train, demonstrate special skills Per UNCW policy, H-1B sponsorship is reserved for full-time EPA teaching and non-teaching positions Per UNCW policy, sponsorship is reserved for tenure-track, EPA teaching positions
Maximum Stay 90 days for VW; up to 6 months for B-1 Maximum stay up to 60 months, depending on J Scholar category 6 years, longer if LPR filed N/A
Advantages No forms, no SEVIS fee, may be used for multiple visits to U.S. Less paperwork and faster processing times than H1-B Not subject to 2 year home residence requirement International travel easier; no employment restrictions; some grants may be easier to obtain
Disadvantages No wage allowed; honorarium only for 9 days. Cannot be extended beyond 60 months. May become subject to 2 year home residence requirement Filing fees; spouse cannot work. Not possible if subject to previous 2 year home residence requirement; extensive paperwork and long processing times Filing fees and long processing times
Processing Times Short if B visa needed; none if VW DS-2019 issuance + visa processing time 3-9 months for I-129 approval + visa processing time 1-many years depending on country of citizenship