OGE – Office of International Programs

University of Mississippi

For Departments

The information provided on this page is specifically for UM Departments/Schools hiring or hosting international faculty, scholars, or staff.

Determining the Proper Visa Type

Categories Sponsored By the University of Mississippi

J-1Scholar/Professor

      • Cannot be a candidate for tenure
      • Limited to 5-years of maximum stay
      • Requires a minimum stay of 3 weeks
      • Department pays no immigration filing fees
      • University can sponsor Scholar/Professors who are self-funded or funded by outside agencies, funding can also be split between department and outside agency
      • Perfect for temporary instructor positions or for research positions and for visiting professors on sabbatical

J-1 Short-Term Scholar

      • Cannot hold a permanent position or be a candidate for tenure
      • Limited to 6-months of maximum stay
      • Department pays no immigration filing fees
      • University can sponsor Scholar/Professors who are self-funded or funded by outside agencies, funding can also be split between department and outside agency
      • Perfect for very short research projects or for visiting lecturers

J-1 Specialist

      • Cannot hold a permanent position or be a candidate for tenure
      • Limited to 12-months of maximum stay
      • Department pays no immigration filing fees
      • Perfect for specialty occupations such as Coach or Athletic Trainer

H-1B Worker

      • Can hold a permanent position and be a candidate for tenure
      • Limited to 6-years of maximum stay
      • Department pays filing fees: I-129 Fee, New Application Anti-Fraud Fee, and an optional Premium Processing Fee
      • Department agrees to employ the international employee for the entire period requested on the H-1B application; early termination requires the department to pay the return flight costs for the employee
      • Requires approval from US Citizenship and Immigration Services which can take several months unless Premium Processing is used
      • Perfect for any permanent position or tenure-track position

TN – Trade NAFTA

      • Cannot hold a permanent position or be a candidate for tenure
      • Limited to 1-year of stay per TN period, no maximum for TN
      • Only available to citizens of Canada and Mexico in certain areas of employment
      • Department pays filing fees for TN applicants within the United States: $320 I-129 Fee and an optional $1000 Premium Processing Fee
      • Department agrees to employ the international employee for the entire period requested on the TN application
      • Perfect for temporary and non-tenure instructor positions or for research positions

O-1 Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

      • Can hold a permanent position and be a candidate for tenure
      • Limited to 3-years of initial stay, with 1-year extensions
      • Department pays filing fees: $325 I-129 Fee and an optional $1225 Premium Processing Fee
      • Department agrees to employ the international employee for the entire period requested on the O-1 application; early termination requires the department to pay the return flight costs for the employee
      • Requires a lot of paperwork and documentation from the department and applicant
      • H-1B is often much easier to file and to renew
      • Primary use is for those who are ineligible for H-1B-status because of a two year home residency requirement which cannot be waived or for those who have used the full six years of H-1B eligibility

Permanent Residency (Green Card)

      • Must hold a permanent position or be a candidate for tenure
      • Department must pay some of the legal fees, other payment structures determined by departmental policy
      • Process can take several years
      • Requires substantial paperwork and documentation from the department and applicant
      • Processed by OIP and outside legal counsel
      • Perfect for any permanent position or tenure-track position; also perfect transition for H-1B employees who are nearing the end of their H-1B eligibility

Categories that are Self-Petitioned

B-1/B-2 Visitor Visa or Visa Waiver

      • Cannot hold any position with the University of Mississippi
      • Department pays no immigration filing fees
      • Stay is limited
      • Can receive honorarium and reimbursement for travel expenses in limited circumstances
      • Department must file Form 13
      • B-1/B-2 Holder or Visa Waiver Holder must complete Form 13-S
      • Perfect for a guest lecturer coming to the University for less than 9 total days

F-1 Student Optional Practical Training

      • Can hold a permanent position and be a candidate for tenure
      • Limited to 1-year of authorization, work must be in a field related to the student’s major
      • Primarily used by recent college graduates
      • F-1 student must file for the OPT with his/her College or University
      • F-1 student must have the employment authorization card before beginning work
      • Department pays no immigration filing fees
      • Perfect as a transition work authorization, F-1 OPT holders can change status to J-1, O-1, or H-1B

F-1 Student Curricular Practical Training

      • Should not hold a permanent position or be a candidate for tenure
      • Limited to 1-year of authorization at a time, work must be in a field related to the student’s major
      • Primarily used by students to fulfill practicum or internship requirements
      • F-1 student must file for CPT Authorization with his/her College or University
      • F-1 student must have the CPT Authorization on his/her I-20 before beginning work
      • Department pays no immigration filing fees
      • Perfect for internships and short-term research

J-1 Student Academic Training

    • Can hold a permanent position and be a candidate for tenure
    • Limited to 18-months of authorization (36-months for a postdoctoral researcher), work must be in a field related to the student’s major
    • Primarily used by recent college graduates, can also be used by students to fulfill practicum or internship requirements
    • J-1 student must file for the Academic Training with his/her College or University
    • J-1 student must have Academic Training approval on his/her DS-2019 before beginning work
    • Department pays no immigration filing fees
    • Perfect as a transitional work authorization, some J-1 Academic Training holders can change status to O-1 or H-1B

Visa Processing Steps

Step 1: The Applicant

In general, the first step for any visa application is that the international employee should work with the department to complete the appropriate application form with the Office of International Programs (i.e. J-1 Application, H-1B Enclosure B Form, etc.). Once the international applicant has completed the appropriate forms, the applicant submit all forms and supporting documents to the University department which will host him/her.
Step 2: The Department

After receiving all documents from the international applicant, the school or department should complete the departmental section of the appropriate application form (i.e. J-1 Application Sections 3 & 4, H-1B Enclosure A Form for the department, etc.). Once the department has completed their sections of the form, the department should submit both the international applicant’s materials and the department application form along with any accompanying financial documentation to the Office of International Programs.

In most cases, departments should also write a letter of support for any International Applicant. The letter of support is similar to a job offer letter. The letter will be sent by the department along with all documents to the Office of International Programs. Sample support letters are included in the application packets on the International Programs website.
Additionally, departments should process the Form 1 with Human Resources for any incoming international employee. All international employees must be processed for hire through Human Resources, regardless of the source of the scholar’s funding.

Step 3: The Office of International Programs

After receiving all documents from the international applicant and department as well as the proof of finances, the Office of International Programs will process the visa application forms. In many cases such as H-1B and PR petitions, the Office of International Programs must verify the prevailing wage for an international employee with the Department of Labor in Jackson, MS. This process can take as long as 2 weeks.

Additionally, all petitions require the approval of Human Resources. This means that there should be a record on file for an employee, such as a Form 1 for hire or a Form 3 if the international employee’s title or salary has been changed. H-1B, O-1, and TN Petitions require the Human Resources Director’s signed approval. Permanent residency petitions require both HR approval and the approval of the Chancellor. Please allow up to two days for the Office of International Programs to receive these approvals.

Once all application materials, supporting documents, DOL approvals, and HR approvals are received, please allow 1 week for the Office of International Programs to process all documents and submit petitions.

Human Resources Approval

All International Scholars and Professors who are being hired or hosted by the University of Mississippi must be processed for hire through Human Resources before the Office of International Programs can process any visa paperwork. Human Resources processing is necessary, regardless of the source of the employee’s funding (this includes scholars whose funding comes from Fulbright sponsorship, personal funds, or outside grants).

Departments should process the Form 1 with Human Resources for any incoming international employee. Currently, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires the University of Mississippi to pay any full-time salaried position a minimum of $23,660 per year (this minimum is subject to change). Any position that will be on the university payroll for 4.5 months or less must be paid on an hourly basis, with wages that are prorated based on the Fair Labor Standards Act minimum full-time salary of $23,660 per year.

Faculty or Research Scholars who are funded externally and will not be receiving any University of Mississippi funding should be processed with Human Resources as either a “Visiting Scholar” or as a “Visiting Scientist” with a zero-sum salary.

Additionally, if a scholar or faculty member’s title or salary is changed, a Form 3 will need to be submitted to Human Resources before the Office of International Programs can process any visa paperwork.

New Hire Check-In

Check-In and Orientation

Check-in and orientation for new international faculty and scholars is very important. The Office of International Programs must meet with ALL new international employees, regardless of their immigration status. This means that all international employees on J-1, J-2 EAD, F-1 OPT or CPT, TN, O, H-1B, Permanent Residency, and PR-applicants with EAD Cards must check-in with the Office of International Programs when they first arrive at the University of Mississippi.

During check-in, the Office of International Programs will advise new international employees on a variety of immigration issues as well as provide resources to assist with adjustment to life in Oxford.

 

Topics typically covered during orientation include:

      • Social Security Application
      • Banking
      • Health Care and Health Insurance
      • Address Reporting Requirements
      • Travel Requirements
      • Immigration Regulations
      • Child care and school resources
      • Programming activities and opportunities for involvement

Check-in and orientation require as much as an hour to complete. New international faculty and scholars or the departments must set up an appointment with the Office of International Programs prior to check-in and orientation.

New international faculty and scholars should bring the following items with them to their check-in and orientation appointment:

    • Passport
    • Visa documents (DS-2019, I-797 Approval Notice, I-20)
    • Employment Authorization Card (If on J-2, F-1 OPT, or PR-applicant)
    • Green Card (for Permanent Residents only)
    • Dependent family members information, passport, supporting documents
    • Health insurance information

Departmental Obligations

All International Scholars and Professors who are being hired or hosted by the University of Mississippi must be processed for hire through Human Resources before the Office of International Programs can process any visa paperwork. Human Resources processing is necessary, regardless of the source of the employee’s funding (this includes scholars whose funding comes from Fulbright sponsorship, personal funds, or outside grants).

Departments should process the Form 1 with Human Resources for any incoming international employee. Currently, the Fair Labor Standards Act requires the University of Mississippi to pay any full-time salaried position a minimum of $23,660 per year (this minimum is subject to change). Any position that will be on the University payroll for 4.5 months or less must be paid on an hourly basis, with wages that are prorated based on the Fair Labor Standards Act minimum full-time salary of $23,660 per year.

Faculty or Research Scholars who are funded externally and will not be receiving any University of Mississippi funding should be processed with Human Resources as either a “Visiting Scholar” or as a “Visiting Scientist” with a zero-sum salary.

Additionally, if a scholar or faculty member’s title or salary is changed, a Form 3 will need to be submitted to Human Resources before the Office of International Programs can process any visa paperwork.

Finally, Departments should inform the Office of International Programs if an international employee ends their employment or service to the University before the end-date of their sponsored visa program. With some visa-types such as H-1B, the University may be held liable for unpaid wages to an employee if the University’s sponsorship of their visa was not ended at the same time as the employment end-date.