Hiring Department Information and Resources

The Directorate of International Student and Scholar Advising has a number of different units that assist with foreign nationals:

  • The Faculty Advising Unit primarily assists with the hiring of foreign nationals who will be employed via one of the following work-eligible visa statuses: H-1B, TN, E-3, O-1 and employment-based permanent residency via filing the required visa/immigration petitions and ongoing advising related to their immigration/employment status.
  • The J-1 Scholar Advising Unit primarily assists J-1 exchange visitors who are at Penn State temporarily as a visiting Research Scholar, Short-Term Scholar or a Professor with regard to issuing their appropriate immigration documentation and ongoing advising related to their immigration/employment status.
  • The Student Advising Unit primarily advises and guides international students with regard to the appropriate immigration documentation.

Working with the Faculty Advising Unit

When hosting/hiring foreign nationals, our best advice is to START THE PROCESS AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE. Getting an H-1B visa can take between 4-6 months, and while the J-1 process may be faster, it can still take up to 3-4 months. Plan ahead.

Before you start the request for visa sponsorship on behalf of a newly hired foreign national, you may want to secure the following answers from the foreign national first:

  • What is their home country of citizenship?
  • Where are they currently living? Are they already in the US?
  • Will they be paid? By whom? Will there be any other source of income? If so, from where and how much?
  • What is their field of interest?
  • Do they have a degree (bachelor's degree or higher) in the appropriate field? (Penn State requires a Ph.D. for the speciallty occupation H-1B visa)
  • What will be their basic duties? What is the purpose of their stay in the US?
  • What are their plans at the end of their stay? Do they want to remain in the US permanently?
  • Will their dependent family members accompany them and if so, will they require visa sponsorship as well? Is the intent to have them work or study while here?