Hiring International Workers

Over 1,000 international scholars and 4,000 international students call the University of Cincinnati home.

UC International helps departments understand the policies and procedures of hiring international scholars and students.

University policy requires that departments process all immigration applications and petitions through UC International. A unit may not relinquish UC control of visa sponsorship to an outside attorney.

All international students and employees must have a record created in UC International's iBearcatsGlobal database.

International Employees

Departments can hire international employees under a variety of visa statuses. If we do not have specific information about a potential employee's visa status, email our office for further guidance.

H-1B status is used to hire international workers for a specialty occupation. The position must require a bachelor's degree and specialized knowledge in order to qualify for an H-1B visa.

The J-1 visa is an exchange visitor program which provides opportunities for students, professors, scholars, specialists and interns to work or otherwise gain exposure to American knowledge.

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O-1 status is available to people of extraordinary ability in their field.

TN status is an opportunity for Canadian and Mexican individuals to work in the United States temporarily.

UC International provides immigrant visa assistance to employees who file permanent residency petitions based upon their employment at the University of Cincinnati.

International Student Workers

International students can work for the University of Cincinnati under certain circumstances, like on-campus jobs, graduate assistantships and more.

Virtually every tenure-track faculty searches draws some international applicants: students completing US degrees, individuals working elsewhere in the US or candidates from abroad. Every year, UC hires dozens of foreign nationals for tenure-track positions.

Before the potential employee starts at UC, they must hold an appropriate visa classification. Shortly after, the university will seek a "labor certification" on behalf of that new faculty member. This is a determination by the US Department of Labor that the individual was selected as the best qualified, available candidate pursuant to a full, fair and open search.

Following these instructions will help ensure that you do not have to conduct another search for a filled position. 

  1. The position must be advertised in a national professional journal, in print or online. However, if online, the job listing MUST be viewable to the public without subscription or membership fees and must be posted for at least 30 calendar days. Provide documentation of all advertising, including a copy of the actual ad, as it appeared in the journal or online source. For print ads, a copy of the entire page containing the UC ad is required. Online ads should be printed from the website on at least the first and last day in which the ad ran.
  2. At minimum, all ads should identify the university, the location of the employment (Cincinnati, Ohio), the position title and duties, and the minimum qualifications required. The successful candidate must meet all stated requirements, and all candidates who apply need to be evaluated against all stated requirements. It is not OK for any ads to merely state that multiple openings/positions are available, without a brief overview as to the job title, duties, and requirements for each position.
  3. The minimum qualification should identify the degree required. For example, a Ph.D. in “Civil Engineering” or a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology or a related field. The ad should not ask for "an earned doctorate" without a field or a set of related fields. Related fields should be limited in scope.
  4. If a candidate may be hired "ABD," state that. For example, "a Ph.D. or ABD in Finance" or "the completion of all requirements for the Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering except for the dissertation." If the degree will be required by a specific date, indicate that too. For example, “a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering is required by the date of hire.”
  5. If a sub-specialty is required, it must be stated (a degree in 20th Century French Literature for example).
  6. If experience is required, it must be stated in measurable terms. For example, "two years post-doctoral experience in Animal Nutrition", or “two academic years of teaching experience in Physics.”
  7. If a professional license is required, it must be stated. (“A medical license is required by the date of hire.”)
  8. It is advisable to not state "preferred" qualifications. The Department of Labor views preferred qualifications as required qualifications. If a qualification is truly required, state it; otherwise, do not.
  9. Avoid listing “ideal” qualifications or making vague references to qualifications which are neither quantified (measurable) or qualified.

Examples to AVOID include:

  • “Diverse teaching experience and publications are highly desirable.”
  • "Prefer applicant to have experience serving a diverse population of open admissions undergraduates.”
  • “A master’s degree is required; a doctoral degree is preferred.”
  • “Transatlantic interests desirable.”
  • “Must have demonstrated a developing national reputation…”
  • “Candidates must show evidence of commitment to research and excellence in teaching.”
  • “Should have extensive professional experience in subject area.”
  • “Proven record of undergraduate and graduate teaching and scholarly research.”
  • “Seeking an outstanding researcher in field.”
  • “Understanding of software/application.” OR “Exposure to software/application.”
  • “The successful candidate should have post-doctoral research experience and a record of substantial research accomplishments.”
  • “Must have high-quality scholarly potential.”
  • “Emerging record of professional activity and teaching experience at the university level are required.”
  • “Demonstrate strong communication skills, and be able to work collaboratively with other professionals and students.”

Examples to include:

  • If a department wants someone who has published in his/her field, instead of saying “Must have demonstrated scholarly research potential,” the ad should say “Must have at least two peer-reviewed publications in the field of insert name the field.”
  • If a department wants someone who has both research and teaching experience, instead of saying “Candidates must show evidence of commitment to research and excellence in teaching,” the ad should say “Candidates must have one year of research experience in the area of identify area/field and two academic years of teaching insert subject matter at the university level, with documented positive student or colleague reviews.”

The university wants to hire the best qualified applicant and does sponsor individuals for H-1B, TN, O-1 and E-3 visa classifications.  J-1 exchange visitor, TN or E-3 visa classifications cannot be hired for tenure-track faculty positions. UC will also pursue permanent resident status via Labor Certification.

The University (the hiring department) is responsible for paying all costs associated with employment visas for the candidate of choice. The department can choose to pay the application fees associated with dependents or have the candidate pay those fees.

Candidates are often aware of visa-related issues and may raise questions asking what fees UC will or will not pay. Search committees that encounter such questions can contact UC International for advice.

After making an offer to a faculty candidate who will need visa sponsorship, contact UC International immediately for advice on the candidate’s eligibility for employment at UC.

If your offer is accepted, submit the correct visa request using the iBearcatsGlobal system and complete the hiring process in Success Factors.

Time is of the essence because, by law, a foreign national may not be employed unless he or she is authorized.

After the faculty member joins the University, the hiring department may also work with UC International Services for assistance in obtaining a labor certification and permanent resident classification for that individual. 

The Labor Certification request must be filed with the Department of Labor with 18 months of the position offer date and the preliminary processes associated with Labor Certification take months, so the process should be started early.

Any offer to a foreign national should include the following statement:
“This offer is contingent upon your having employment authorization from the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services to assume this position. We will assist you in obtaining the appropriate visa classification. Tenure will be contingent upon obtaining permanent residence and we will assist you in obtaining permanent residence through Labor Certification.  Other pathways to permanent residence can be pursued, however, UC International Services will not assist with processing those petitions.”