hosting and employing internationals

As administrators and faculty members of the University of Illinois, your interactions with foreign nationals may take many forms, such as:

  • offering employment, either temporary or permanent;
  • hosting a visiting scholar, either paid or unpaid;
  • sponsoring a guest lecturer or artist;
  • inviting a symposium or conference participant;
  • bringing a colleague to campus for short-term collaboration.

In even the simplest of these arrangements, visa problems can cause arrival delays, payment problems and in some cases may even result in cancellation of plans. Imagine the following:

  • The J-1 visitor you invited to give a lecture can't be paid because he/she didn't get authorization from his/her sponsoring university.
  • Your guest lecturer arrives with the wrong status and can't be paid.
  • The visiting scholar you've agreed to host is two months late due to delays at the U.S. embassy or consulate in his/her home country.
  • Your newest faculty member can't start teaching on time because he/she needs a waiver of the two-year home residence requirement.
  • The post-doc you're waiting for has a three-month delay waiting for his/her employment authorization card.

The office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) has a visa contact person in nearly every department on campus. Whenever your plans involve an individual who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, talk to your departmental contact or call ISSS as early as possible, preferably before finalizing plans and especially before offering payment or employment. We can't eliminate all problems, but we can help with most. Remember:

  • The fact that the person is already in the U.S. doesn't guarantee anything about his/her activity on this campus.
  • Don't rely completely on what he/she tells you about his/her visa status; verify that it is appropriate for the proposed activity.
  • The arrangements made for a previous visit may be irrelevant; immigration laws change frequently.


Call ISSS early and often!

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