International Scholars & Employees

Each year DU hosts researchers, faculty, and staff from all over the world. Our international visitors are valued members of the DU community and advisors in International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) are available to assist departments and international scholars in acquiring the appropriate immigration status to visit, work, or conduct research at DU.

The two most common immigration categories used for international scholars at the University are H-1B and J-1. These categories are distinguished by their purpose and intent. The H-1B category is used primarily for employment and may carry an intention to acquire U.S. permanent residency. By contrast, the J-1 category is used to promote educational and cultural exchanges between the people of the United States and other countries.


  • Purpose: Temporary professional employment
  • Intent: Return home or may become a permanent resident.
  • Application: Petition filed by DU with DOL and USCIS. May change status in the U.S. or apply for visa at U.S. embassy abroad.
  • Duration: Up to 6 years for all H-1B employment, given in 3 year increments.


  • Purpose: Educational and cultural exchange
  • Intent: Return home. May be subject to 212(e) home residency requirement.
  • Application: DU issues certificate of eligibility, Form DS-2019. May change status in the U.S. or apply for a visa at U.S. embassy abroad.
  • Duration: 6 months to 5 years depending on the subcategory.

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Other Immigration Categories

The University may sometimes bring international visitors to DU in other immigration categories. ISSS can help determine the most appropriate immigration category for the type of activity the scholar will engage in at the University. For more information about visas and immigration status, please contact ISSS at or 303-871-4912.

TN Visa for Citizens of Canada and Mexico

The TN visa category may be used for citizens of Canada or Mexico who hold certain educational and professional qualifications and who will be employed in a profession on the NAFTA list. Canadian citizens can generally apply for TN status at a US Port of Entry with the required documentation. Mexican citizens must generally apply for TN status at a US embassy or consulate abroad and then enter the United States. Please note that other immigration statuses that allow employment, such as H-1B and J-1, may be available and more appropriate for the work being done at DU.

ISSS Verification for TN

Email ISSS the following documentation to verify TN eligibility:

  1. Passport
  2. Completed TN Letter
  3. Copy of CV/Resume
  4. Copy of diploma

If the proposed employee is eligible, ISSS will send an email confirmation to the department and DU Payroll with a checklist for applying for TN status at a US Port of Entry or Embassy/Consulate abroad.

International Students (F-1 or J-1)

International students in F-1 status who have been approved for Optional Practical Training (OPT) may also be employed at DU. OPT authorizes F-1 students to engage in up to 12 months of full-time employment in their field of study. A 24-month extension is available to students who completed a program in certain STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields and who meet other eligibility requirements. The institution where the student completed his or her program remains responsible for meeting federal reporting requirements on the student, including site of employment.

International Students in J-1 status may be authorized for Academic Training to work at DU. J-1 Academic Training is authorized by the J-1 student's program sponsor.

B-1 Tourist for Business or WB Tourist for Business 

A foreign national traveling to the United States for temporary business activities needs a visitor visa (B-1) unless qualifying for entry under the Visa Waiver Program. Examples of temporary business activities include: 

  • Consulting with business associates
  • Attending a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference
  • Negotiating a contract
  • Lecturing or guest teaching

Here is a sample letter of invitation for a B-1 Tourist for Business or WB tourist for business through the Visa Waiver Program.

Please see the Travel.State.Gov for more information on the B Visitor Visa, permitted activities under this visa type, how to apply, and the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). 

B-2 tourists and WT tourists on the Visa Waiver Program are not allowed to receive payments or reimbursements other than academic honoraria. B-1 tourists for business and WB tourists for business through the Visa Waiver Program can accept honoraria and associated incidental expenses for usual academic activities (which can include lecturing, guest teaching, or performing in an academic sponsored festival) if:

  • The activities last no longer than nine days at any single institution or organization;
  • Payment is offered by an institution or organization described in INA 212(q);
  • The honorarium is for services conducted for the benefit of the institution or entity; and
  • The applicant has not accepted such payment or expenses from more than five institutions or organizations over the last six months

Departments with questions about payments to non-resident aliens should contact Shared Services