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The Institute sponsors scholars in a variety of different nonimmigrant classifications depending on the purpose and nature of their visit.

All requests for institutional sponsorship officially begin in the host department or research center in which the individual will be working or studying.

ISSS also provides information to incoming scholars regarding life in Monterey. Please feel free to share the Visiting Scholar Resource Guide.

J-1 Categories and Definitions

The Institute has been authorized to bring individuals to the U.S. as visiting professors, visiting research scholars, short-term scholars, and specialists. The Institute uses different types of visa classifications for visiting professors, researchers, or scholars to enter the U.S. Within each type, there is specific information regarding employment, enrollment in classes, travel and reentry, limitations and extensions of stay, and dependents.

Individuals may come for a minimum of two weeks to teach, conduct research, or share their expertise with our campus community. These experiences may be paid either by the Institute or by the home institution.

To initiate a request for a J-1 Exchange Visitor to come to the Middlebury Institute, the hosting/hiring department must complete and submit the DS-2019 (J-1) Request form for Visiting Professors, Researchers and Specialists form.  The scholar wishing to come in J-1 status must submit the individual J-1 Exchange Visitor Request Form.

 

Professor

The purpose of this position is primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting. An individual coming to campus as a visiting professor may also conduct research. The maximum time limit for this type of visitor is five years.

Research Scholar

The purpose of this position is primarily to conduct research, observe, or consult in connection with a research project. An individual coming to campus as a research scholar may also teach. The maximum time limit for this type of visitor is five years.

Short-Term Scholar

The purpose of this position is primarily to act as a professor or research scholar on a short-term trip to lecture, observe, consult, train, or demonstrate special skills. The maximum time limit for this type of visitor is six months.

Other Designations

H-1B Temporary Worker in a Specialty Occupation

The H-1B is an employment-based, nonimmigrant status that allows a foreign national to come to the U.S. and temporarily perform services in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation is one that requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge to perform the occupation.

H-1B employment is site specific according to federal law. Therefore, H-1B professionals may only be employed by the Institute department that submitted the H-1B petition. No other employment, on or off campus, is permitted without separate approval by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The federal government allows the USCIS to approve a certain number of new H-1B petitions each federal fiscal year. The Institute, as an institute of higher education and research, is exempt. H-1B petitions processed by the Institute are not subject to this quota.

The Institute may consider H-1B status for you if the position for which you are being considered is in line with the following:

  • It requires a person with specialized knowledge.

  • Your appointment will be long term or possibly permanent.

  • You have at least a bachelor's degree.

  • The J visa is disadvantageous to you.

  • You are not subject to 212(e), the two-year home residency rule.

  • The graduate school/research center will pay at least the prevailing wage as determined by the State Workforce Agency (SWA).

Note: It is possible for an individual to have more than one H-1B employer, but the individual must be approved for each H-1B petition separately. An example of this is a scholar who is working on a project for one employer and consulting with another employer on similar material. Please consult with ISSS when contemplating such an arrangement.

TN Professional under NAFTA

The TN visa program is the immigration component of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which enables Canadian and Mexican citizens to be admitted to the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level in certain occupations, for one or more specific employers (provided that each employer applies for a separate TN visa).

TN status may be granted for an initial period of up to three years, and this status may be extended indefinitely in three-year increments.

  • The profession must be on the list of qualifying positions.

  • The individual must have at least a bachelor's degree or appropriate credentials demonstrating status as a professional.

  • The individual possesses the requisite educational background and experience for that position.

  • The individual must be a citizen of Canada or Mexico.

  • The individual must have a prearranged job that is not self-employment.

ISSS can assist the hiring department in making the determination whether the TN visa is appropriate for an employee. The TN visa is a temporary visa category and is not appropriate for permanent positions.

Exchange visitors who are subject to the two-year home country residence requirement (212(e)) cannot change their nonimmigrant status from J-1 to TN while in the U.S. However, former exchange visitors who are subject to 212(e) are eligible to enter the U.S. under TN status. Each temporary entry or extension of TN status is available in three-year increments with no clearly defined maximum number of entries or extensions. TNs cannot live in the U.S. permanently. TNs are liable for federal tax withholding as nonresidents until they qualify to be taxed at a lower rate under the Substantial Presence Test. However, even as nonresidents, IRS permits TNs to claim dependents as exemptions; TNs are also subject to FICA withholding tax.

Lawful Permanent Resident

U.S. immigration practices classify individuals who are not U.S. citizens into two major categories:

  1. Nonimmigrant: those who intend to stay in the U.S. temporarily to pursue a specific activity or purpose (e.g., study, travel, business).

  2. Immigrant: those who intend to live in the U.S. permanently.

A person who is admitted as an immigrant or adjusts his/her status to that of an immigrant after arrival is commonly referred to in this document as a lawful permanent resident (LPR). Such individuals may also be referred to as immigrants, permanent residents, resident employees, and green card holders. LPR status allows an individual to live and work in the U.S. for an employer without the time limitation typical of nonimmigrant visas. An individual can become a permanent resident through a variety of avenues. Two of the most common:

  • Having a close family relationship to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident that qualifies in one of the family-based preference categories

  • Having education, skills, or talents that are in demand in the U.S. and that qualify in one of the employment-based or profession-related preference categories

The act of "sponsoring" an employee for LPR refers to lending support to an application through the means of a long-term job offer. The LPR process is complicated and, depending on the qualifications of the foreign national, as well as the specific type of immigration procedures required, the Institute may be involved in the sponsorship process in a number of ways. Most employment-based permanent residence petitions are contingent upon a full-time, long-term employment relationship. The employer files an application on behalf of the foreign national employee and is liable with regard to the good faith and veracity of the petition. For this reason, the Institute should decide to sponsor a foreign national for permanent residence if it is in the best interest of the Institute and the decision is based solely on institutional need for the candidate's unique skills and expertise.

In order for the Institute to consider sponsorship of an employee, certain eligibility requirements must be met. Please contact International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) for details.

B-1 Visitor for Business

The B-1 category might be appropriate for aliens who wish to come to the U.S. to engage in temporary professional activities related to their employment or business abroad, as long as those activities do not constitute "employment" in the U.S.

The legal term “business” is defined fairly broadly: 22 CFR 41.31 (b)(1) The term "business"...refers to conventions, conferences, consultations, and other legitimate activities of a commercial or professional nature. It does not include local employment or labor for hire. The range of legitimate activity for B-1 purposes at the Institute is limited, but it would allow for the following:

  • Consultation with business associates

  • Participation in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions, conferences, or seminars

  • Undertaking independent research.

The decision as to whether to bring someone here on a B-1 visa is also tied to payments to be made to the visitor.

Receiving Payments: Payments made to B-1 visitors are restricted. Although EMPLOYMENT IS NOT PERMITTED, certain reimbursement and academic honorarium payments are possible; for example, for giving a talk, guest lecture, or performance in an academic-sponsored festival, as long as the activity lasts no longer than nine days at any single institution and the visitor has not accepted payment or expenses from more than five institutions or organizations over the last six months. Visitors can also receive reimbursements for incidental expenses or per diems related to their B-1 activities, but they cannot exceed what is "reasonable" as a business expense.

Study Restrictions: Visitors in B-1 status are not allowed to enroll in any "course of study" unless USCIS has approved a change to F-1 or J-1 status. However, enrollment in a casual, short-term recreational class is possible.