International Scholars

The Office of International and Cultural Education is committed to helping academic departments provide research and learning opportunities at Gustavus for international faculty and scholars. In particular, we can assist with immigration and government regulations, as well as procedures regarding temporary travel and work applications. The CICE provides the following services:

  • A list of Embassies and consular Posts;
  • Up-to-date information about regulatory changes and/or government practices;
  • Help replacing original immigration documents;
  • Review necessary documents for visa applications and U.S. re-entry inspections;
  • Assist with visa status for family members of invited international scholars;
  • Guidance on Permanent Resident (Green Card) applications.

Please be advised that U.S. governmnent rules and regulations may change any time. If you have any questions, please contact Jeff Anderson.

Types of Visas

The following information should help current or prospective faculty and staff to understand the visa categories relevant for employment at Gustavus (grateful acknowledgement to Wabash College for permission to reproduce information from their website).

J-1 Visiting Professor or Research Scholar

This visa is appropriate for visiting academic staff (provided the conditions below are met). It is relatively easy to process and visitors may be paid a salary. The purpose of this visa is for academic exchange and is NOT appropriate for permanent tenure track positions.

Maximum Time Limits
  • Professors and Researchers: Up to three years; extensions beyond three years may be arranged in exceptional circumstances. (Note, however, that scholars from some countries may be required to return home for two years after completion of their program. This is called the two-year home country residence requirement. For further information, please consult the CICE.)
  • Short-term Scholars: Six months. Extensions can be made within the 6 months, but the length of the entire visit cannot exceed 6 months.
  • Specialists: One year, no extensions.
Payments and Appointments
  • Professors and Researchers: May be paid a salary. They must be engaged in teaching or research and must have an academic appointment. All J-1 scholars are expected to hold advanced degrees and be well established in their discipline.
  • Short-Term Scholars: May receive payment for services and/or reimbursement for their expenses. They are not required to receive an academic appointment. Payment of any type except expense reimbursement will require an I-9 form (Employment Eligibility Verification) to be completed.
  • Specialists: May be paid a salary. Visitor must be an expert in field of specialized knowledge, coming to U.S. to observe, consult or demonstrate.
Financial Support Required
  • Financial support must be verified for the entire length of stay.

B1 Visitor for Business

This visa can be used for speakers or for short-term research (6 months or less). The visitor can be given reimbursement for travel, food, and lodging, but cannot be paid a salary. The visitor must apply for the B1 visa at a consulate unless from a visa waiver country.

TN (Trade NAFTA, available to citizens of Canada or Mexico)

This can be used for short-term or long-term academic visitors who will be paid a salary by Gustavus. It is not appropriate for a one-time speaking engagement. Canadian citizens apply at U.S. border with offer letter from Gustavus. The application procedures for Mexican citizens are lengthier. Contact the CICE for assistance.

H1B Temporary Worker of Distinguished Merit and Ability

This visa is used for academic visitors who will be appointed at Gustavus for longer-term academic positions (1 year or more, up to 6 years). The salary must match the "prevailing wage" determined by the Department of Labor. The H-1B visa requires sponsorship by the employer. Gustavus files the petition on behalf of the visitor. This process is coordinated through the CICE. Note: Processing time is 3-5 months.

Permanent Residency (Green Card)

An application for a permanent residence involves filing numerous forms and extensive documentation in several steps. The process may be expensive, because an attorney must be hired who is familiar with immigration laws and procedures.