Hiring Foreign Nationals

When hiring foreign nationals, hiring units should contact International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) as early in the hiring process as possible.

Be ready to answer ISSS's questions about the following:

  • Type of position you wish to offer
  • Expected starting date of appointment, and length
  • Whether the person is to receive compensation of any sort from the University

Different visas allow a foreign national to work, do research, participate in a seminar, or give a lecture at Drexel University. University policy requires that the hiring department consult ISSS to determine the appropriate visa category for the foreign national. An overview of common visas is listed below.

H-1B Specialty Workers

An H-1B Specialty Workers classification applies to an alien who is coming temporarily to the United States to perform services in a specialty occupation that meets the requirements of that position and who will be paid the appropriate wage of that position.

J-1 Visiting Scholars

J-1 Visiting Scholars visa is for visiting professors, research scholars and short-term scholars. These visas are sponsored by the University and common uses include participants who will collaborate on special research projects, teach a semester at a college or university, lecture, or consult or observe in a variety of settings in education and research.

O1 Extraordinary Ability

The O1 Extraordinary Ability visa category is reserved for individuals who have risen to the very top of their fields and can provide documentation that substantiates their extraordinary ability. This visa grants the bearer permission to work in the United States.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Optional Practical Training (OPT) is a work authorization benefit of the F-1 visa that allows F-1 students to work in their major field of study. It is limited to one year after degree completion. An extension is available for majors within STEM fields.

Permanent Residency

Permanent Residency, also called a "green card," is appropriate for tenure-track faculty and certain research positions who already have another legal status (visa, etc.) in the U.S.

Temporary Visitors: B-1/B-2 and WB/WT

B-1, WB, and GB visas or waiver programs are used for cases such as traveling for an educational convention, a conference, or negotiating a contract. These visas are not sponsored by the university. However, a letter of invitation from the hosting Drexel department should be provided. 

TN Professionals

The TN visa is an employment visa for Canadian and Mexican citizens in certain fields.

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