Home » Guidance for Vanderbilt Administrators

Guidance for Vanderbilt Administrators

Hiring a Foreign Citizen

ISSS administers the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program and advises F-1 visa types for Vanderbilt University.  F-1 and J-1 Visas are both non-immigrant visa types.  Below is a summary of acceptable activities and program durations for J-1 and F-1 Visa holders.

If you are interested in knowing more information regarding H-1B, B, TN-1, E-3, or O-1 visas, please contact the International Services & International Tax (VISIT) an office of Human Resources.

Visa Types
Description of Proper Use
J-1 Professor
Minimum Stay: 3 weeks Maximum Stay: 5 years 

Activity: Primarily teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting.

NON-TENURE TRACK Only

24-month bar applies

J-1 Research Scholar
Minimum Stay: 3 weeks Maximum Stay: 5 years 

Activity: Primarily research, observation, or consulting on research project.

NON-TENURE TRACK Only

24-month bar applies

J-1 Short-Term Scholar Minimum Stay: 1 day Maximum Stay: 6 months 

Activity: Lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills.

J-1 Specialist
Minimum Stay: 3 weeks Maximum Stay: 1 year 

Activity: An expert in a specialized field coming to U.S. for observing, consulting, or demonstrating special skills.

J-1 Student
Activity: Primarily in the U.S. to engage in a “full course of study”.  May be a degree-seeking or non-degree program.  A significant portion of their funding must not be personal funding. On-Campus Employment: No more than 20 hours a week while classes are in session, more than 20 hours on official school breaks (winter, spring, summer) 

Off-Campus Employment: Academic Training

J-1 Student-Intern
Activity: In the U.S. to engage in a student internship program to fulfill the educational objectives for his or her current degree program at his or her home institution.
Wages: internship can be with or without wages.
F-1 Student
Activity: Primarily in the U.S. to engage in a full-time degree program. On-Campus Employment: No more than 20 hours a week while classes are in session, more than 20 hours on official school breaks (winter, spring, summer) 

Off-Campus Employment: Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT)

International Visitors and Medical Observers
International Visitor Information Sheet Note: Medical Observers may enter the U.S. on either a J-1 or B-1 Visa.
Volunteering
Volunteering Information Sheet

Note: J-1 individuals may be subject to a 2 year home residency requirement (212e) based on home governement funding and/or the Exchange Visitor Skills List. For more information on the 212(e) please contact ISSS.

J-1 Process for Professor, Research Scholar, Short-Term Scholar and Specialist

  1. Foreign National is offered a position from a Vanderbilt University or Vanderbilt University Medical Center Department.
  2. Department prepares and submits to ISSS the Exchange Visitor Application along with appointment letter, CV, and proof of funding.
  3. ISSS enters scholar’s information into SEVIS to produce the DS-2019 form (allow one to two weeks) and notifies department when DS-2019 is ready for pick up.
  4. Department sends the DS-2019 form and ISSS’s pre-arrival information to the scholar.
  5. Scholar or department pays SEVIS fee.  This fee must be paid at least 10 days prior to Visa appointment.
  6. Scholar applies for J-1 Visa at their local U.S. Consulate.
  7. Department keeps ISSS posted on scholar’s arrival date to the U.S.

 

Arrival of J-1 to Vanderbilt

Upon arrival to Vanderbilt, the J-1 visa holder must check-in with ISSS.  The J-1 should bring with them to ISSS their passport, stamped DS-2019, J-1 visa, stamped I-94, and current Nashville address.

After check-in, ISSS “validates” the J-1′s SEVIS record.  This validation must occur within 30 days of the DS-2019 start date.  Therefore, it is very important that you keep ISSS informed if the J-1′s date of expected arrival changes from what is listed on their DS-2019.

Departmental Responsibilities to International J-1 Staff and Faculty

  • Update ISSS on J-1′s arrival date to U.S., if it changes from the date listed on the DS-2019.
  • Send J-1 to ISSS for check-in upon arrival at Vanderbilt.
  • Send J-1 to ISSS for J-1 Scholar Orientation which is held every Thursday at 1:00pm in ISSS.
  • If J-1 is receiving benefits from Human Resources, you must register the J-1 for New Staff Orientation through Human Resources.
  • Assist J-1 with extension/transfer paperwork, if applicable.

Employing a F-1 or J-1 International Student

F-1 STUDENT

The F-1 visa is used for Non-immigrants pursuing a full course of study towards a specific educational or professional objective at an academic institution in the U.S., as designated by the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

F-1 Vanderbilt students receive form I-20 from ISSS.

If the student you are employing is a Vanderbilt F-1 student, meaning they have a Vanderbilt issued form I-20, the student does not need any further work authorization because work is considered on-campus employment and is thus “incidental to status.”  This on-campus employment does not have to be in their field of study.

If the F-1 student you are hiring is from another institution, meaning they have a form I-20 issued by a school other than Vanderbilt, then the work for the student is considered off-campus employment.  The student must apply for off-campus work authorization, at their home institution, before beginning employment.  F-1 students have two types of off-campus work authorization options.

  1. Curricular Practical Training (CPT): The F-1 student from another school doing an internship at Vanderbilt for credit towards their degree from their school (not Vanderbilt).  The employment must be in the student’s field of study which is listed on their form I-20.  CPT must be authorized by the student’s International Student Adviser at their school.  CPT authorization is given on page 3 of their form I-20.  Please note that CPT authorizations are employer and date specific.
  2. Optional Practical Training (OPT): The F-1 student receives employment authorization from USCIS in the form of an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card.  The EAD card lists specific dates of authorized employment, but is not employer specific.  Employment must be in the student’s field of study and commensurate with their degree level which are both listed on their form I-20.

J-1 STUDENT

The J-1 visa is used for an alien coming temporarily to the United States as a participant in a program approved by the Department of State for the purpose of teaching, instructing or lecturing, studying, observing, conducting research, consulting, demonstrating special skills, or receiving training.

J-1 Vanderbilt students receive form DS-2019 from ISSS.

If the student you are employing is a Vanderbilt J-1 student, meaning they have a Vanderbilt issued form DS-2019, the employment is considered on-campus.  J-1 students must receive authorization in the form of a letter from their ISSS International Student Adviser prior to on-campus employment, unless it appears on their DS-2019 as a source of funding (for example, an assistantship).

If the J-1 student you are hiring is from another institution, meaning they have a form DS-2019 issued by a school other than Vanderbilt, then the work is considered off-campus employment.  The J-1 student must apply for off-campus work authorization, at their sponsor institution, before beginning employment.  A J-1 student has one option for off-campus work authorization.

  1. Academic Training (AT): The J-1 student must have written authorization in the form of a letter from their International Student Adviser at the school that issued their DS-2019.  The letter of authorization must reference the specific employment details including position title, address, start and end date.  Employment should be in the student’s field of study as listed on their DS-2019.