Requesting International Employees or Visitors

There are numerous nonimmigrant employment-based visa categories. In all cases, the foreign national must meet specific requirements related to the occupation and position they would hold at OU. Departments must work in consultation with HR International Faculty and Staff Services (IFSS) to complete the process for bringing a foreign national to OU. 

Under no circumstances should the OU hiring department make any guarantee of sponsorship to a foreign worker for any immigration benefit. Because of the complexity of employment-based sponsorship, it is impossible for any employer to guarantee that its efforts to secure USCIS employment authorization will be successful.

Visa Types & Requirements

OU departments can review the visas available for different kinds of work on the IFSS Nonimmigrant Classification Reference Guide in the Documents section of this page and on the other pages in this website. After reviewing this information, departments should contact IFSS to determine the proper visa. 

Required Timelines for Notifying IFSS

OU departments must notify IFSS as soon as possible when planning to bring a foreign national or continuing the authorization of current workers. Follow the notification timelines in the right columns of the IFSS Nonimmigrant Classification Reference Guide in the Documents section of this page. Failure to follow these notification timelines may result in the inability to authorize a new worker in time for their start date or to renew their authorization before their previous employment authorization ends.

How To Request Foreign Workers or Visitors

J-1 Exchange Visitor

  1. Review the J-1 Exchange Visitor page on the HR website for details about this visa.
  2. Selecting a Participant 
    • To ensure that the program is suitable to the participant's background, needs, and experience, OU department sponsors must screen and select their program participants according to the eligibility criteria for the appropriate visa category. 
    • A personal interview may be necessary as part of the screening/selection process. The participant must be engaged primarily in conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project. They cannot be a candidate for tenure-track appointments. University J-1 programs do not support academic or graduate medical education or training. 
    • Sponsors are required to ensure that participants possess sufficient proficiency in the English language.
  3. Submit Form HR2019 (below) to IFSS to request a J-1 Exchange Visitor.
  4. Participants Currently Outside U.S.
    • The OU Responsible Program Officer in IFSS will issue the DS-2019 government document to the department sponsor. The sponsoring department must send the original DS-2019 to the participant for use when they apply for the J-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad.
    • The participant must enter the U.S. no later than the start dated listed on the DS-2019 form. The participant must notify the IFSS office within three work days of entry to the U.S and arrival on campus. Proof of entry and U.S. residence address will be required. Evidence of compliance with medical insurance guidelines will be required within 30 days of arrival. 
  5. Participants Transferring from Another Program
    • The transferring participants must provide this documentation to the IFSS office: copies of the participant's passport, I-94 card, current and previous DS-2019 forms.
    • The OU Responsible Program Officer in IFSS will issue the DS-2019 government document to the department sponsor AFTER the participant's current Program Officer releases the participant. This date is usually the requested start date indicated on the HR2019 form. 
    • The transferring participant must notify the IFSS office within three work days of their arrival to campus.

Nonimmigrant Workers (H-1B, O-1, TN Visas)

OU departments must complete the HR129 form in the Documents section on this page to request a foreign worker. Foreign workers can be brought to OU to perform services or labor in a temporary status, or to receive training in one of the following nonimmigrant statuses:

  • H-1B: Specialty Occupation
  • O-1: Alien of extraordinary ability in arts, science, education, business or athletics

Admission to the U.S. as a TN nonimmigrant from Canada or Mexico does not require a petition. These persons may apply directly to a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad. Review additional information about TN nonimmigrant workers here. 

The HR129 form is also used to request an extension of stay for the following nonimmigrant statuses:

  • H-1B: Specialty Occupation
  • O-1: alien of extraordinary ability in arts, science, education, business or athletics
  • TN: NAFTA Nonimmigrant

Deadline

Submit the HR129 form as soon as possible to IFSS, but no later than 60 days before the proposed employment begins or before an extension of stay is required. Forms not submitted to IFSS at least 60 days before the proposed employment begins may delay the filing of the petition, which could result in the delay of approval or a non-approval of the nonimmigrant’s services. The 60 days is required to ensure adequate processing of the petition, including filing, adjudication, and visa issuance with the appropriate federal agencies. NOTE: External agency petition adjudication and visa issuance are subject to change without notice. 

Notice

All requests for the employment of foreign nationals at the University of Oklahoma must be processed through IFSS. Only the IFSS staff is authorized to sign the legal documents and forms required to sponsor international scholars and staff.

About IFSS

Review the About Us page
  • Contact Information
  • IFSS Staff
  • IFSS Disclaimer

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of visas are available?

Departments can review the visas available for different kinds of work in the Nonimmigrant Visa Deadlines & Descriptions Reference Guide in the Documents section of this page. After reviewing this document, departments should contact IFSS to determine the proper visa. 

Does the department have to pay anything?

Information about fees and who is responsible for fee payment is available on each program's specific page

How long will the visa process take?

The length of time for the visa process depends on a variety of factors. It is highly recommended that departments follow the timelines set out in the Nonimmigrant Visa Deadlines & Descriptions Reference Guide in the Documents section on this page. See the far right columns for the Preferred Length of Notice to give IFSS when you're attempting to bring an international person to OU. 

Processing time depends on the visa type, current status, current location, government processing times, and when information is given to IFSS, among other factors.

When can the international start work?

An international person's start date at OU depends on a variety of factors including the visa type, current status, current location, government processing times, and when information is given to IFSS, among other factors. Contact IFSS as early as possible in your recruitment process of an international person. 

J-1 Exchange Visitor

For Use by OU Departments
These documents are used by OU departments.
HR2019 REQUEST FOR EXCHANGE VISITOR
Campus: Norman, OUHSC, Tulsa
HR6220 REQUEST TO CHANGE LOCATION FOR EXCHANGE VISITOR
Campus: Norman, OUHSC, Tulsa
J-1 ARRIVAL NOTICE & INSURANCE PLEDGE
Campus: Norman, OUHSC, Tulsa
J-1 INTERNAL TRANSFER RELEASE FORM
Campus: Norman, OUHSC, Tulsa
NONIMMIGRANT VISA DEADLINES & DESCRIPTIONS (REFERENCE GUIDE)
Campus: Norman, OUHSC, Tulsa
UNIVERSITY VISA FEE POLICY
Campus: Norman, OUHSC, Tulsa
Documents for J-1 Visitors
These documents are used by J-1 Exchange Visitors.
HR2019-2 REQUEST FOR DEPENDENTS
Campus: Norman, OUHSC, Tulsa
J-1 EXCHANGE VISITOR BROCHURE
Campus: Norman, OUHSC, Tulsa
J-1 MEDICAL HEALTH INSURANCE REQUIREMENT
Campus: Norman, OUHSC, Tulsa
J-1 TRANSFER OUT OR EARLY PROGRAM COMPLETION
Campus: Norman, OUHSC, Tulsa
J-1 TRANSFER-IN FORM
Campus: Norman, OUHSC, Tulsa
J-2 INSTRUCTIONS FOR EAD CARD
Campus: Norman, OUHSC, Tulsa

Nonimmigrant Worker

For Use by OU Departments
Representatives from OU departments use these documents for processing nonimmigrant workers (H-1B, TN, and O-1 visas).
HR129 REQUEST FOR NONIMMIGRANT WORKER
Campus: Norman, OUHSC, Tulsa
NONIMMIGRANT VISA DEADLINES & DESCRIPTIONS (REFERENCE GUIDE)
Campus: Norman, OUHSC, Tulsa
UNIVERSITY VISA FEE POLICY
Campus: Norman, OUHSC, Tulsa

Notice

There are numerous nonimmigrant employment-based visa categories.  In all cases, the foreign national must meet specific requirements related to the occupation for which the employer is petitioning. 

Under no circumstances should the hiring department make any guarantee of sponsorship to a foreign worker for any immigration benefit.  Due to the complexity of employment-based sponsorship, it is impossible for any employer to guarantee that its efforts to secure USCIS employment authorization will be successful.

Foreign workers will be required to follow the New Hire appointment process for employees of OU. Positions that are eligible for sponsorship as a nonimmigrant worker can be found in the IFSS University Appointment Eligibility Chart.