Rice Unconventional Wisdom

International Scholars


Rice's Immigration and Visa Policy

General Guidelines & Procedures for International Research & Faculty Scholars

Inviting One-Time Visitors

The Basics – Common Visa Types for Rice International Scholars
Click on the visa type for hiring procedures

B-1/B-2/Visa Waiver – typically used by foreign visitors 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 OPT (Optional Practical Training) – used by international scholars who have just completed a degree program at Rice or another university on the F-1 visa (typically valid for up to 12 months)

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 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 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.
                Special Considerations for J-1 Exchange Visitors
                J-2 Work Authorization
                International Visiting Research Student

H-1B – non-immigrant worker visa for specialty occupations, valid for up to six (6) years. Visa processing can take 4 – 6 months, although there is a possibility for expedited processing at an additional cost payable to the US government.

TN Visa – for Canadian and Mexican citizens only, valid on one year appointments. Their immediate dependents arrive as TD visa holders.

PERM Processing - University-sponsored Permanent Residency