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

There are many visa types in which a foreign national can come to Drexel to work, do research, participate in a seminar, or speak at a lecture. The majority of Drexel foreign nationals are hired on an H1-B or J-1 visa. Drexel policy requires that the hiring department consult ISSS to determine the appropriate visa category for each case. You can choose each visa type below for more detailed information on each immigration category.

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 visas are 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, or lecture, consult or observe in a variety of settings in education and research.

O1 Extraordinary Ability

The O1 Extraordinary Ability visa category is reserved for those individuals who have risen to the very top of their fields of endeavor and can provide documentary evidence to substantiate this claim. This visa grants the bearer permission to work in the United States.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

The Optional Practical Training (OPT) category is for F1 Students after graduation. 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 for Business: B-1, WB, and GB

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 is required to be written. ISSS will assist departments in writing the appropriate support letter. Reimbursement for travel expense and or an honorarium may be possible under this category only when pre-approved by ISSS.

Temporary Visitors for Pleasure: B-2 and WT

B-2 and WT visas or waver programs are used to vacation in the U.S. The bearer may participate in social events at Drexel, but not be paid for services rendered. These visas are not sponsored by the university. However, a letter of invitation is required to be written. ISSS will assist departments in writing the appropriate support letter.

TN Professionals

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