Host or Hire an International Scholar

Department representatives: If you're interested in hiring or hosting an international scholar, review the table below to determine the appropriate status to meet your needs. After determining the best status option, view more detailed information about inviting a scholar in that status by clicking the links at the top of the table. While there are other non-immigrant status options, the J-1 Exchange Visitor and H-1B Temporary Worker are the two most common for scholars at UNL.

Policy on Hiring Outside Counsel for Immigration Matters

Speak with an ISS Specialist for further clarification.

 J-1 Exchange VisitorH-1B Temporary Worker

For visiting scholars, visiting professors and researchers and short-term visitors. Not for tenured or tenure-track positions.

Employment not required.

For professional employment only. Status ends when employment ends.

Length of Stay

Five-year maximum for research scholar and professor category. Six-month maximum for short-term scholars.

Six-year maximum in most cases.

Funding Requirements

May or may not be on payroll. Can use personal funds.

Must be on payroll and meet U.S. Department of Labor wage requirements. Status ends if employment ends.

Future Visa Status

In some cases, two-year home country physical presence requirement limits future visa options.

No two-year requirement.

Transferability of visa

Can transfer to other J sponsor for similar activity within 5-year limit.

Change of sponsor or position requires new H-status petition, but portability allows new employment to begin before new petition is approved.

Dependent Employment

Dependents in J-2 status can apply to USCIS for employment authorization.

Dependents of H-1B employees are granted H-4 status, and cannot be employed in the United States.

Governing Body

J-status programs are managed by the U.S. Department of State. USCIS is not involved when new J-1 comes from abroad or when extending.

All H-1B petitions must be approved by USCIS.

Difficulty of Attaining Status

Simple. One form needed to obtain status abroad or extend status.

Multi-step petitioning process is more complicated and time-consuming than J-1. Petitioning fees are higher.

Expedited processing

No premium processing option.

Premium processing (additional cost) is available.

Typical Time to Obtain Status

Typically 3–4 months. More time needed if already in U.S. and applying for a change of status.

For new H-1B status, typically 4–6 months (2–3 months expedited)

If transferring or extending current H-1B status, typically 2–3 months.

Additional Requirements

Numerous regulations for J-1s: specific insurance requirements, cross-cultural activity, English language proficiency.

Employer must pay return transportation if employment ends early.

Non-immigrant intent

J-1 visa applicant must have permanent address abroad, demonstrate strong ties to home country and have no plans to immigrate to (become a permanent resident of) the United States.

Dual intent allows H-1B to apply for permanent residency ("green card"). No ties to home country required.

Restrictions on Status

Two-year bar on repeat participation as a Research Scholar or Professor after a stay of six months or longer.

H-1B not an option if individual has two-year home residence requirement due to previous J-1 status.  After 6 years in H-1B status, a scholar must be outside the U.S. for one year before returning in new H-status.

Associated Costs

Fees include $220 SEVIS fee, visa fees and, in some cases, $370 change of status fee.

Fees include $460 filing fee, $500 antifraud fee (for new filings), and optional $2500 expedited processing fee.