Inviting Visiting Scholars

When inviting an international visitor to Auburn University, colleges and departments should consult with the Office of International Programs to ensure the suitable steps are taken and to make sure the visitor has the appropriate visa type to carry out their objective. The Office of International Programs can be contacted by phone (334-844-5001) or email (intledu@auburn.edu).

Listed below are various visa classifications available and the types of activities that are appropriate under each visa type.

B-1 Visitors for Business

The B-1 status is for foreign nationals coming to the U.S. temporarily to engage in commercial or professional activities. These activities must be related to their business abroad and must not constitute employment in the U.S. In fact, B-1 visitors who accept employment in the U.S. violate the terms of their status and become subject to deportation.

Professional activities associated with a visit to Auburn University may include:

  • Participating in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences or seminars
  • Attending business meetings
  • Consulting with business associates
  • Exclusively observe the conduct of business, provided the international visitor pays for his/her own expenses

As a general rule, the B-1 classification is not adequate for having the visitor:

  • Engage in collaborative or guided research
  • Gain practical experience through on-the-job training
  • Provide services that primarily benefit AU

Allowing a foreign national to come to AU under a B-1 classification to engage in activities that are not adequate under the B-1 places the institution, the host and the visitor at risk.

If inviting a visitor to engage in any of the 3 duties listed above, a J-1 scholar classification is required. To start the process of inviting J-1 scholars please review the DS-2019 application and information on our website. By inviting visitors come to AU under the J classification these visitors are given the needed access and identification upon arrival.

When inviting a B-1 visitor to AU, a background check must be performed prior to the visitor’s arrival by the VP for Research Office. For more information please contact the on-campus Research Security Officer, Georgia White.

Payments:
Educational institutions may reimburse B-1 visitors for their expenses that do not exceed reasonable travel and living costs. They may even be paid an honorarium to a B1 visitor provided the visit does not exceed 9 days and the B-1 visitor has not received similar payments from more than 5 U.S. colleges or universities in the immediately preceding 6 months. For more information regarding payment for these types of visitors please go to the AU Payroll and Benefits website.

B-2 Visitors for Pleasure

The B-2 status is appropriate for visitors who wish to visit the U.S. to engage in a variety of activities for pleasure. The term pleasure refers to the activities listed below:

  • Tourism
  • Vacation
  • Visit with relatives and/or friends
  • Medical treatment
  • Participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social or service organizations
  • Participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating
  • Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree

As a general rule, the B-2 classification is not adequate for having the visitor:

  • Engage in collaborative or guided research
  • Gain practical experience through on-the-job training
  • Provide services that primarily benefit AU

Allowing a foreign national to come to AU under a B-2 classification to engage in activities that are not adequate under the B-2 places the institution, the host and the visitor at risk.

If inviting a visitor to engage in any of the 3 duties listed above, a J-1 scholar classification is required. To start the process of inviting J-1 scholars please review the DS-2019 application and information on our website. By inviting visitors come to AU under the J classification these visitors are given the needed access and identification upon arrival.

When inviting a B-2 visitor to AU, a background check must be performed prior to the visitor’s arrival by the VP for Research Office. For more information please contact the on-campus Research Security Officer, Georgia White.

Payments:
Educational institutions may reimburse B-2 visitors for their expenses that do not exceed reasonable travel and living costs. They may even be paid an honorarium to a B2 visitor provided the visit does not exceed 9 days and the B-2 visitor has not received similar payments from more than 5 U.S. colleges or universities in the immediately preceding 6 months. For more information regarding payment for these types of visitors please go to the AU Payroll and Benefits website.

J-1 Visiting Scholars and Professors

The J-1 visa is for individuals who are coming to the U.S. for a short-term program to participate in the following activities:

  • Research
  • Training
  • Teaching
  • Observing
  • Consulting

The Office of International Programs at AU authorize documents only for professors, research scholars, short-term scholars and specialists under the J classification that will engage in the activities listed above. Hosting an international visitor for these activities makes the visitor, the department and AU a participant in the Department of State’s J Exchange Visitor Program. The DS-2019 is the document issued by the Office of International Programs to any person that has been approved to participate in the J program. For more information on how to invite an international visitor to come to AU as a J-1 Exchange Visitor Program participant please read and review the DS-2019 Request Form.

The primary purpose of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is to foster international exchanges; therefore, the invited visitor must be affiliate in some manner with a partner institution or organization abroad. This program is to not be used solely for the purpose of employment. Potential hosts seeking to employ a full-time Postdoctoral Fellow, Research Fellow, or any other faculty position should see the information about the H-1B visa classification.

When inviting a J-1 visa holder who is sponsored by an outside agency/university, please contact the Research Security Officer, Georgia White for more information

H-1B Employees

Departments seeking to hire full-time Postdoctoral Fellows, Research Fellows and any other faculty position should seek information about the H-1B classification. The H-1B is considered a temporary non-immigrant visa applicable to the hiring of foreign nationals into a specialty position where a baccalaureate degree is considered a minimum requirement to perform the job duties. An H-1B change of status is issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) for an initial 3 year period with an additional 3 year extension available for a maximum of up to 6 years. For more information regarding this visa application please go to our Nonimmigrant Employment website.

Visa Waiver Program

Business visitors and tourists from certain countries may be eligible to enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. Visitors who enter under the Visa Waiver Program for business purposes are admitted with the WB status which is the same as the B-1 (see B-1 guidelines above). Visitors who enter the Visa Waiver Program for tourism purposes are admitted with the WT status which is the same as the B-2 (See B-2 guidelines above). An individual admitted under the Visa Waiver Program is not eligible for an extension of stay, a change to another nonimmigrant status or adjustment of status to that of a permanent resident.

Payments:
Like B-1 visitors and B-2 visitors, WB and WT visitors may be reimbursed for expenses and paid an honorarium.

More information on the Visa Waiver Program can be obtained from the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Waiver Program website.

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Last Updated: January 17, 2019