The Basics – Common Visa Types for Rice International Scholars
Please keep in mind that OISS requires appointment paperwork from the department for every international scholar on a non-immigrant visa, regardless of specific visa type.
Click on the visa type for hiring procedures
B-1/B-2/Visa Waiver – typically used by foreign visitors who are invited to Rice for only a short visit with the purpose of presenting a lecture or workshop, or attend a conference, etc.
F-1 CPT (Curricular Practical Training) & F-1 OPT (Optional Practical Training) & F-1 STEM OPT Extension – used by international scholars who are studying at another school in the U.S. (CPT), or have completed a degree program at Rice or another university in the U.S. (OPT & STEM OPT) on the F-1 visa.
J-1 Academic Training – used by international scholars who are studying at another school in the U.S. or have completed a degree program at Rice or another university in the U.S. on the J-1 visa student category.
J-1 Exchange Visitor – most often used visa classification for Rice international research scholars. This visa classification is to be used for positions that are temporary in nature, as permanent positions such as tenure-track faculty would require an H-1B visa. The J-1 visa is obtained based on the DS-2019 Form issued by OISS through J Program Sponsorship. J-1 research and faculty scholars may participate in exchange visitor training programs in the U.S. for a maximum of five (5) calendar years. Their immediate dependents arrive as J-2s. There is also a Short-Term Scholar category option that carries fewer restrictions; however, that category of J-1 visa has a maximum stay duration of six (6) months with no possibility for extension beyond that. Please begin process 90 days before intended start date to allow for OISS and visa processing.
- Incoming International J-1 Scholar Flow Chart
- Special Considerations for J-1 Exchange Visitors – including the Repeat Participation Bars and the Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement (212e)
- J-2 Work Authorization
- Visiting International Undergraduate Researcher
H-1B – non-immigrant worker visa for specialty occupations, valid for up to six (6) years. Visa processing can take 4–8 months, although there is a possibility for expedited processing at an additional cost payable to the U.S. government.
O-1 – non-immigrant visa for individuals with extraordinary ability. Visa processing can take 4–8 months, although there is a possibility for expedited processing at an additional cost payable to the U.S. government.
TN – for Canadian and Mexican citizens only, valid for one year appointments.
PERM Processing - University-sponsored Permanent Residency