International Scholars

The Basics – Common Visa Types for Rice International Scholars

Please keep in mind that OISS requires an appointment packet 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) – used by international scholars who are studying at another school in the U.S. (CPT), or have just completed a degree program at Rice or another university in the U.S. (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 just 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.

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 on one year appointments.

PERM Processing - University-sponsored Permanent Residency

Additional Resources