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Visa Statuses

F-1 Status

F-1 status can be attained by an individual residing in a foreign country which he/she has no intention of abandoning, who is a bona fide student qualified to pursue a full course of study and who seeks to enter the United States temporarily and solely for the purpose of pursuing such a course of study at an established college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other learning institution.

F-1 students are foreign students who have been granted admission to the United States to pursue a full course of study at an academic or language institution. They are granted admission to the United States temporarily for the sole purpose of study and must have a permanent residence in a foreign country that he/she has no intention of abandoning.

J-1 Status

J-1 status can be attained by an individual having residence in a foreign country which he/she has no intention of abandoning, who is a bona fide student, scholar, trainee, teacher, professor, research assistant, specialist, or leader in a field of specialized knowledge or skill, or other person of a similar description, who is coming temporarily to the United States as a participant in a program designated by the Director of the Department of State, for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, or receiving training.

The purpose of the Exchange Visitor program at the University of Cincinnati is to provide courses of study, lecturing, and research opportunities in the various fields of instruction and research conducted by the University of Cincinnati for qualified foreign students, professors, research scholars, and specialists to promote the general interest of international educational and cultural exchange. The activities for your particular exchange visitor program will be indicated on the Form DS2019 as well as the category most appropriate for those activities. It is your responsibility to make sure you engage in only those activities specified on the form DS2019. Click here for more information about J-1 Exchange Visitors.

H-1B Status

Temporary employment status is available to individuals coming to the United States temporarily to perform services in a specialty occupation (one which requires at least a bachelor's degree). Employment can be requested for increments up to three years with a total maximum stay of six years.

H-1B specialty workers are international visitors who have skills and experience of a special nature that require at least a bachelor’s degree. At U.S. colleges and universities, H-1B specialty workers are employed in many positions, including professors (tenure track or adjuncts), post doctoral research assistants, medical residents, and many other positions.

The application process for hiring an international visitor on an H-1B visa status is a cooperative effort between the hiring department, the UC International Services and the H-1B beneficiary. General instructions on the process for all colleges are included in this guide . The most important thing to keep in mind about the H-1B process is that it is time consuming. Normal processing time is 60-90 days if everything goes smoothly. We recommend that you start the process, whether a new hire or an extension, five to six months ahead of time. This will ensure that the international visitor will begin employment as anticipated. Click here for more information about H-1B Specialty Workers.

TN Status

Temporary employment status available to Canadian and Mexican Nationals whose employment falls under the approved "list of professions" created by the NAFTA Free Trade Agreement. Employment can be granted for intervals up to three years. Click here for more information about TN status.

O-1 Status

Temporary employment status available to individuals who have extraordinary ability in the sciences, business, athletics, education (although O-1 status is also available to persons of extraordinary ability in or the arts, however, the standards are different), which has been demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim or, with regard to motion picture and television productions a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement, and whose achievements have been recognized in the field through extensive documentation, and seeks to enter the United States to continue work in the area of extraordinary ability.

O-1 status is an excellent option for some persons subject to the J-1 two year foreign residence requirement who are not eligible for H-1B (specialty worker) or L-1 (intra-company transferee) nonimmigrant visas or permanent resident status unless a waiver is obtained or they return home for two years. O-1 status is also sometimes a viable alternative to H-1B status where the employer is unwilling to comply with the H-1B requirement that the employer must post a public notice containing the wage to be paid an H-1B worker. Similarly, the O-1 option should be considered when an H-1B or L-1 visa holder is ineligible for further extensions and does not desire or cannot obtain permanent resident. As in the case of an H-1B visa application, an "extraordinary ability" O-1 visa applicant does not need to prove to the Department of Homeland Security(DHS) or to a U.S. Consul that he or she is not an intending immigrant and that he or she maintains a residence abroad. Qualifying for O-1 status is not particularly difficult for those who, according to their peers, have made outstanding contributions to their field such that they satisfy the DHS definition of extraordinary: one of the small percentage of persons who has risen to the very top of their field of endeavor such that they enjoy sustained national or international acclaim. Click here for more information about O-1 status.

Guest Speakers/Independent Contractors

An international visitor can qualify for the B visa category if he/she has no intention of abandoning his/her residence in a foreign country and is visiting the U.S. temporarily for business or tourism. International visitors visiting temporarily for business have a visa classification of B-1 and those visiting temporarily for tourism have a visa classification of B-2. Click here for more information about guest speakers and independent contractors.

B-1 Visitor for Business

International visitors holding a B-1 visa status can receive the following:

  • Honoraria payments (no limit) provided the stay does not exceed 9 days and the international visitor does not receive more than 6 payments within a six month period.
  • Reimbursement of expenses for properly documented accommodations, meals, and travel in accordance with University travel policies (regardless of time of the stay). Payments also may be made directly to the provider of the service.
  • Scholarship or fellowship grants where the international visitor is enrolled in a course of study and renders no services. International visitors holding B-1 visa status may not be employed.

B-2 Visitor for Tourism

International visitors holding B-2 visa status can receive honoraria payments and reimbursement for expenses provided the stay does not exceed 9 days and the international visitor does not receive such payments from more than 6 institutions in a 6 month period. International visitors holding B-2 visa status may not be employed.

Individuals from more than 20 countries can enter the U.S. without having a visa. These individuals can enter on the visa waiver program and are subject to the same payment rules as B-1 and B-2 visitors. A complete list of the visa waiver countries can be found in the Limited Services Engagement Form.

Permanent Resident Petitions

As an institution with a proven commitment to maintaining its world-class reputation in teaching and research, the University of Cincinnati (UC) continues to attract faculty and professional staff members from around the globe. The university's international population is an increasingly important part of UC's academic community, and significant human and fiscal resources are allocated to assist these individuals and their employing departments in securing the appropriate authorization from relevant federal agencies to facilitate their work and scholarship. When a UC department determines it would like to retain an international employee on a permanent basis, it must first consult with UC International Services to determine if the position meets minimum requirements for sponsorship of permanent residency.

UC International Services plays a critical role in ensuring that non-U.S. citizens are able to work and pursue the professional development opportunities that an institution such as UC can afford its employees. International employees without U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status and their UC departments must work with UC International Services if they wish to pursue employment-based routes to permanent residency (a green card). For tenure-track teaching faculty permanent residency (PR) is a prerequisite for tenure. For non-tenure-eligible academic and non-academic positions, PR must be pursued by departments wishing to ensure permanent, uninterrupted work eligibility for their employees. Employment-based petitions for a green card are time-consuming, as well as complex, and the staff at UC International Services is fully prepared to advise departments and their employees on how they can best achieve their long-term employment goals at UC. Click here for more information about Permenent Residence Petitions.

Other Statuses

Other nonimmigrant statuses in the US include F-2, J-2, H-4, O-3, TD, E, L, and others.

Individuals in these visa categories can typically attend school full-time or part-time and may receive a tuition scholarship. They are not permitted, however, to engage in employment associated with F-1 and J-1 students including assistantships and other forms of on-campus employment. The exception to this rule is any visa holder who has obtained an Employment Authorization Document from the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Visa Type Class
A-1 Ambassador, public minister, career diplomat or consular officer, and members of immediate family
A-2 Other foreign government official or employee, and members of immediate family
A-3 Attendant, servant, or personal employee of alien classified A-1 or A-2, and members of immediate family
B-1 Temporary visitor for business
B-2 Temporary visitor for pleasure
C-1 Alien in transit
C-2 Alien in transit to United Nations headquarters district under Section 11 (3), (4), or (5) of headquarters agreement
C-3 Foreign government official, members of immediate family, attendant, servant, or personal employee, in transit
D Crewman (seaman or airman)
E-1 Treaty trader, spouse, and children
E-2 Treaty investor, spouse, and children
F-2 Spouse or child of student in academic or language program
G-1 Principal resident representative or recognized foreign member government to international organization, staff, and members of immediate family
G-2 Other representative of recognized foreign member government to international organization, and members of immediate family
G-3 Representative of non-recognized or nonmember foreign government to international organization, and members of immediate family
G-4 International organization officer or employee, and members of immediate family
G-5 Attendant, servant, or personal employee of alien classified G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-4, and members of immediate family
H-1A Temporary worker performing professional nursing services
H-2A Temporary agricultural worker
H-3 Trainee
H-4 Spouse or child of alien classified H-1, H-2, or H-3
I Representative of foreign information media, spouse, and children
J-2 Spouse or child of exchange visitor
K-1 Fiancée or fianc. of U.S. citizen
K-2 Child of fiancée or fianc. of U.S. citizen
L-1 Intracompany transferee
L-2 Spouse or child of alien classified L-1
M-1 Student in vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution
M-2 Spouse or child of student in vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution
N-8 Parent of an alien child accorded special immigrant status
N-9 Child of an alien parent accorded special immigrant status
NATO-17 Includes the principal permanent representative of a NATO state; other representatives of member states; official clerical staff; officials of NATO; experts; members of a civilian component accompanying a force; attendants, servants or personal employees of NATO visa holders; and members of immediate family of the above
O-1 Workers of "extraordinary" ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics
O-2 Workers who accompany and assist O-1 aliens
O-3 Family members of O-1 and O-2 aliens
P-1 "Internationally recognized" entertainers and athletes
P-2 "Reciprocal exchange" artists and entertainers
P-3 "Culturally unique" artists and entertainers
P-4 Family members of P-1, P-2, or P-3 aliens
Q Cultural Exchange Visitors
R Religious Workers
S Federal Witnesses
TD Dependents of TN professionals