Office of International Services (OIS)

General Sponsorship Information

The University sponsors individuals using a number of visa categories. The list below has been put together to give you a basic knowledge of those most frequently used. To determine the most appropriate visa status for your student, scholar, visiting faculty member or prospective employee you should contact the Office of International Services (OIS), as many factors need to be assessed before a decision about an applicant’s status can be made. 

To contact the OIS, please call Alexia Pakiela, at 718.430.2850 or email at


Nonimmigrant Visa Categories:

B-1 Visitors : 

This includes foreign nationals who plan on conducting business in the U.S. for a short period of time. It is most commonly used by foreign businesspersons, but is available to scholars. Reimbursement may be possible for travel expenses and subsistence, but no salary is permitted.

Scholars may use this if they are combining a trip for pleasure and a visit to an academic institution. Visitors in this category are not permitted to receive pay in any form from a U.S. source.



F-1 "Practical Training" and J-1 "Academic Training" :

Foreign students with F-1 status who have completed their programs of study may be eligible to apply for 12 months of employment in their fields of study. The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services must authorize the employment and issue to the student an Employment Authorization Document (an EAD card). The students must have the EAD card before they can begin their post-doctoral training.

Students in J-1 status are also granted the opportunity to apply for a period of academic training for 18 months. For post-doctoral appointments the period may be extended to three years.



J-1 Exchange Visitors (Research Scholars):

This category includes foreign nationals who participate in the U.S. Department of State approved programs. These individuals may be classified at Einstein as post-docs, visiting faculty or visiting scientists. The salary for a J-1 may come from Einstein or its designated affiliate, or, the individuals may bring their own funding with them. The status may be valid for up to five years, but the J-1 may be subject to a two-year home residency requirement. This means that the visa holders may be required to return to their home countries for a period of two years after completion of their program, or secure a waiver from the USCIS of this requirement. For J-1 visa holders, their spouses are also eligible to apply to the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services for authorization to work in the United States.



H-1B Temporary Worker:

In this category, a foreign national must be hired in a professional position requiring at least a bachelor’s degree and experience in that specialty. The H-1B does differ from the J-1 in a number of ways. The H-1B status does not require individuals to return to their home countries after their program is completed. The H-1B status is employer-specific; the individuals may be employed only by the institution sponsoring them and salary guidelines must be strictly adhered to. H-1B foreign nationals can remain in the U.S. for up to six years. Routine processing time for an H-1B can take upward of six months. An individual must wait for approval in this category before entering the U.S. or beginning employment.

 (Premium processing is available, reducing the processing time to approximately 6-8 weeks. Details about this service are available from the OIS.) 



O-1 Aliens of Extraordinary Ability:

To be approved by the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services in this category, individuals must prove themselves to be outstanding researchers. The applications require substantial documentation to prove their outstanding ability in the sciences. An initial application may be requested for up to three years, with extensions in one-year increments. There is no home residency requirement as with the J-1 visa, and as with the H-1B, the employment is specific to the sponsoring institution. Processing time for the O-1 is usually the same as for the H-1B, 6 months.



TN (Trade NAFTA) Status:

The North American Free Trade Agreement allows for certain Canadian and Mexican professionals to work in selected occupations by presenting letters of employment, proof of their qualifications (usually their diploma) and proof of citizenship at the U.S. port of entry. No forms need to be filed with the USCIS, and the intial authorization employment is granted in a 3 year increment.

Immigration Announcements

The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services requires that all nonimmigrants report a change of address to the Service within ten days of moving. There is no fee for the processing of the form and the procedure is very simple. The USCIS form AR-11 allows you to change your address online.

Once you complete the AR-11, make a copy for yourself and one for the OIS. Send the copy to the OIS, Belfer Building Room 1205 so we may update your record in SEVIS.


Contact Us

Office of International Services

Alexia Pakiela
Director, OIS and Office of Academic Appointments
Belfer Building, Room 1205
Telephone: 718.430.2850
Fax: 718.430.8770

Krishma Azmat Dutt 
Support Staff
Telephone: 718.430.2850

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