Department Guidebook

Department guide for hiring and hosting international scholars

We are your primary resource for all matters relating to visa regulations. Our scholar advisors and front desk staff are here to help with all of your immigration issues, questions, and more, including:

  • Visa regulations and immigration documents for scholars and their dependent family members
  • Mandatory J-1 health insurance enrollment
  • Travel signatures, financial issues, university resources, etc.

We also provide events and ongoing programs to support scholars’ transition to Bloomington and American culture.

Find events

Our responsibilities

  • Advise on visa type and immigration regulations
  • Prepare/obtain/maintain visa document
  • Offer new scholar orientation
  • Monitor compliance (wage paid, health insurance, etc)
  • Monitor changes in policy/law and communicate with scholars and departments
  • Provide travel/visa stamp advice
  • Assist with adjustment concerns
  • Provide information about programming, safety, and health insurance

Your responsibilities

  • Contact OIS to determine visa type
  • Submit Add New Person HRMS eDoc
  • Submit Initiate Hire eDoc
  • Complete Atlas form as advised
  • Assist with arrival including transportation from airport and housing
  • Assist with computing account set-up
  • Assist with adjustment concerns
  • Provide information about programming, safety, and health insurance

Visa types

International faculty, staff, and visitors who come to Indiana University have several nonimmigrant visa options.

J-1 Exchange Visitor status may be used for professors and researchers (who may stay up to five years), specialists in a field (who stay one year or less), short-term scholars (who stay six months or less), and full-time students.

The purpose of the Exchange Visitor Program is increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange.

Average processing time is three months.

J-1 Student Intern status is for the student who is pursuing a degree in his or her home country and requires an internship in order to complete the degree program.

Average processing time is three months.

H-1B status is for professional positions that require a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specialty field. H-1B status can be granted for up to six years.

Average processing time is six months.

Short-term visitors, including those coming from an IU partner institution, may enter the United States in business or tourist status if the business activities are strictly limited to consulting, negotiating contracts or partnership agreements, attending scientific or educational conferences or seminars, attending short-term training, or undertaking independent research.

There are several other statuses that are used for employment, but are less common. OIS will suggest one of these statuses if appropriate.

Average processing time varies by visa type, but is similar to J-1 Exchange Visitor or H-1B status processing time (two to six months).