Work Visa

To begin the process of inviting a visiting scholar or hiring an international employee, please contact the Office of International Services. We will help you to determine the best visa for the person and what paperwork is required.

Inviting an International Scholar or Researcher to SLU

If your department would like to invite an international scholar or researcher to SLU, contact the Office of International Services. We will provide the immigration documentation for that individual.

There are a number of visa options for visiting faculty or researchers and for permanent international employees. 

Temporary Worker Visa: H-1B and O-1

The H-1B is the appropriate visa type for most tenured or tenure-track professors, researchers and staff positions. 

H-1B Visa

The H-1B visa category is designated for individuals coming to the United States temporarily to perform services in a specialty occupation or with highly specialized knowledge. It requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree or its equivalent.

To request an H-1B packet for a new employee, or to extend a current employee's H status, please complete the H-1B Packet and return it to Cathy Donahue at the Office of International Services in Des Peres Hall, Room 102.

Premium processing of H-1B visas may be requested by any applicant or hiring department. Federal regulations permit payment by either the individual or the institution. If premium processing is requested, the hiring department or school will determine the party responsible for payment of the processing fee.

Learn More about Temporary Worker Visas

O-1 Visa

The O-1 visa category is reserved for individuals of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts or education. If your department has an international employee who might qualify for the O-1, please contact Cathy Donahue. 

J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa

This classification is appropriate for research scholars who are coming to the United States temporarily and expect to return home. The J-1 visa cannot be used for tenured, tenure-track or permanent positions at the University. 

Saint Louis University has been approved to serve as the visa sponsor for J-1 visitors. Other organizations may serve as the visa sponsor for SLU international scholars, but the scholars should notify the Office of International Services of their arrival and start dates, as well as their departure from the University or termination from the J-1 program because the Office of International Services is required to maintain information on all J-1 scholars and researchers in the Student Exchange Visitor Information System

The J-1 exchange visitor visa was created to facilitate cultural exchange between the United States and other nations. In compliance with federal requirements of the exchange visitor program, J-1 visitors and their dependents should be encouraged to participate in University activities that will increase their understanding of U.S. culture.

Securing a J-1 Visa
  1.  A department requests the Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (Form DS-2019) for a visiting international scholar by completing  the J-1 Department Request Form. The prospective J-1 scholar should complete the New J-1 Scholar Information Sheet. Both forms should be returned to Cathy Donahue at the Office of International Services in Des Peres Hall, Room 102.
  2. The prospective J-1 scholar pays SEVIS fee and keep the receipt.
  3. The prospective J-1 scholar provides the required documents to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad to obtain the J-1 visa: 
      • evidence of financial support
      • evidence of English proficiency
      • evidence that you will return home once you complete your program
      • passport
      • nonimmigrant visa applications and payment of any required fees
      • photographs

Learn more about J-1 Visas

Read SLU’s J-1 Visa Handbook

TN Visa

The TN non-immigrant visa category enables Canadian and Mexican citizens to be admitted to the United States to engage in professional business activities in certain fields for one or more specific employers. TN employment is limited to the types of jobs specified under the NAFTA treaty, and the employee must have the qualifications specified by the treaty.

TN status may be granted for as long as the employment offer specifies (up to one year), and this status may be extended indefinitely in one-year increments.

Learn More about TN Visas

Employing International Students

International students are permitted to work on campus up to 20 hours per week when school is in session and up to 40 hours per week over academic breaks.

The Office of International Services must have a letter of employment written on departmental letterhead before we can authorize a student to obtain a Social Security number to begin working at SLU.

Sample Letter of Employment