Hiring Foreign Nationals Guidelines

F-1 Student and J-1 Exchange Student Visas

B-1 Visitor for Business/B-2 Visitor for Pleasure (Tourist) Visas

WB/WT Visa Waiver Visitor for Business/Tourist

J-1 Visiting Scholar

H-1B Temporary Worker

TN NAFTA Professional


These guidelines have been developed to assist Southeastern Louisiana University hiring departments in determining which immigration status is most appropriate.

There are several things to consider:

-- Whether the person is to receive compensation of any sort from Southeastern
-- The length of the person's stay in the United States
-- The future plans of both the individual and the hiring department

Departments are urged to contact the ISO before any process to hire a foreign national begins. Below are a few common non-immigrant classifications used by foreign nationals at Southeastern.

F-1 Student Visa and J-1 Exchange Student Visa

The F-1 student visa and J-1 exchange student visa categories are the most common non-immigrant classifications that can be found among foreign nationals at Southeastern. Both categories of students are allowed to work on campus. Off-campus work must be authorized by the ISO and the students must meet certain eligibility requirements and application processes.

If a department wishes to hire an international student as a student worker, both categories of students are considered to be state, not federal, employees. F-1 and J-1 students are required to follow all procedures as outlined by the Work Study Office to apply for an on campus position which includes obtaining a work permit from the ISO.

F-1 and J-1 students are only allowed to work part-time during the Fall and Spring semesters but may work full-time during official school breaks and holidays.

Social Security Numbers are only available to non-immigrants who are eligible to work in the United States. F-1 and J-1 students must have a job offer and have been in the U.S. for a minimum of 10 days before they may apply for an SSN. Departments who hire a student who needs to apply for a SSN are required to write a letter addressed to the Social Security Administration Office in Hammond that contains the following information:


-- Student's full name
-- Confirmation that they have been hired by your department or office and name of    department and supervisor along with contact information-- Start date of employment


Students should then bring this letter to the ISO for further instructions. Further information on the Social Security Number application process for international students can be found here.

Back to Top

B-1 Visitor for Business or B-2 Visitor for Pleasure (Tourist)

The B visa category is not for employment of any kind. However, B-1 visitors may be reimbursed for travel expenses and B-2 visitors may receive reimbursements for travel expenses only if incidental with an honorarium. Certain conditions must first be met before a B category can be considered for an honorarium.

The visa must be obtained from a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad (except for Canadian citizens) to enter the United States. A letter of invitation may be helpful in obtaining the visa and explaining the purpose of the trip.

An individual on the B-1/2 visa is able to enter the U.S. for short periods of time which usually last less than three to six months. Documentation and records that typically help the reimbursement or entry process should include a non-refundable roundtrip ticket and documentation that shows funds to support expenses.

WB Visa Waiver Visitor for Business or WT Visa Waiver for Pleasure (Tourist)

This visa type is a visa waiver for individuals of certain countries who have registered online in advance through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). More information can be obtained form the Department of State's website at http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/without_1990.html.

The same regulations as the B-1/B-2 visa apply for the WB/WT visa waivers except that the WB/WT may enter the US for a maximum of 90 days without a visa.


J-1 Visiting Scholar

This status is available to visiting scholars such as professors, researchers, postdoctoral fellows, etc. who are foreign nationals. However, it cannot be used for a tenure track or staff position.

To apply for the J-1 visa, a scholar must first obtain a Form DS-2019 from the ISO. Departments must submit the J-1 Instruction and Form packet directly to the ISO. The visitor can then apply for the visa at the US consulate or embassy abroad to enter the United States (except for Canadian citizens) or they can obtain permission from USCIS to change their status to J-1 from within the U.S. if they are already present.

A person in the J-1 Research Scholar and Professor category is limited to five years. A J-1 Short-term Scholar is limited to a six-month stay. Additionally, some exchange visitors may be subject to the two-year home residency requirement.

Please also note, if a scholar has held J status (including J Student, Researcher, Professor, Specialist, or Dependent) in the U.S., except as a Short-term Scholar, for six months or more during the preceding 12 months, he/she is not eligible for the J-1 Research Scholar or Professor category.

They may also be given an honorarium, stipend, or salary by the J-1 sponsor, Southeastern department, for pre-approved activities related to the program objectives (this is noted in SEVIS).

Prior written authorization from the ISO must be obtained to engage in occasional lectures or consultation. Dependents of the J-1 Exchange Visitors holding J-2 status may apply to USCIS for employment authorization.

Detailed information for potential exchange visitors can also be found at http://j1visa.state.gov.

Back to Top

H-1B Temporary Worker 

Employment in this category is restricted to the petitioning employer under the terms and conditions of the approved H-1B. The ISO should be contacted prior to any changes in H-1B employment at Southeastern.

To be eligible for the H-1B, the position must meet wage requirements set forth by Department of Labor regulations. H-1B status is initially granted for maximum period of three years and can be extended for a total of six years. They may also receive honoraria, stipends, or salary only from Southeastern Louisiana University authorized activities.

Dependents of H-1B holders who are on the H-4 are not allowed to work in the U.S.

TN NAFTA Professional

This status is only available to Canadian and Mexican citizens who are employees of Southeastern. It applies only to certain professions, mostly teaching and research positions.

Mexican citizens must obtain the TN visa abroad to enter the United States. Canadian citizens must show a letter of job offer and education credentials to obtain status at the port of entry or border crossing. The visa may be requested in increments up to three years, with unlimited extensions.

Back to Top