International Scholars, Researchers and Onboarding
Any UCCS office or department interested in hiring a non-U.S. citizen or permanent resident for a paid university position must coordinate their recruitment and hiring processes with the Human Resources office at UCCS. In addition, the H-1B process is coordinated by Human Resources and the CU-Boulder International Student & Scholar Services office. Please visit the International hiring webpages on the Human Resources website for more information.
Visa Options for Scholars
International Affairs assists departments in bringing visiting international scholars and researchers to UCCS. This page will explain the different categories in which scholars can be brought to the university, the processes involved, and the documentation needed.
All visiting international scholars, regardless of the immigration arrangements that are made for them, must have official university appointments to indicate that they have an academic relationship to the university. For those scholars who are not paid by the university, appointments such as visiting researcher without stipend are usually appropriate. Any scholar who is on the payroll of the university should consult with his or her department for an appropriate identity card. Scholars should connect with UCCS Human Resources to ensure all required documentation is on file. Scholars who are not on the university payroll can get "affiliate" identification cards.
The Different Visa Categories
Employing departments should be aware that there are different categories available in bringing over a visiting scholar. In brief, the most common categories used by foreign nationals at UCCS are:
Appropriate for temporary employment (up to five years, depending on J category)
Coordinated by UCCS Human Resources which consults with the CU-Boulder ISSS office.
It is not unusual for departments to also hire recently graduated students who are on student visas. There are two types of student visas: F-1 and J-1, and both types have mechanisms whereby the students can obtain work permission after their graduation.
F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)
OPT allows students to work in their major field of study, for a period not to exceed 12 months. F-1 students must apply for the OPT with the Department of Homeland Security, and when approved, will have an Employment Authorization card in hand with validity dates. If their EAD card is not sponsored by UCCS, (and they are from another university/institution), please have the individuals complete check-in processes with International Affairs when they arrive on campus.
F-1 OPT for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) students.
Students who graduate with a major in one of the STEM fields can apply for and obtain an additional 24 months of OPT from the Department of Homeland Security. However, the employer must be enrolled in the government's E-Verify program. The University of Colorado Colorado Springs is considered an E-Verify employer and can hire for the 24-month STEM Extension for purposes of hiring an F-1 student on the STEM OPT.
J-1 Academic Training
J-1 students who complete their program of study can apply for and obtain a period of up to 18 months of work permission in their field of study. Maximum permission varies by the length of the J-1 student program.
Other Visa Types
Immigration law defines "nonimmigrants" as persons who have an intent to return to their home countries when they have completed their stated program. Departments and prospective visiting international scholars should keep these distinctions in mind in preparing documents dealing with nonimmigrant status and in all relationships with consular and immigration officers.
Visiting scholars should come to the United States on appropriate visas. The USCIS will deny most applications for change of status for people who state one intention when they enter the United States and then immediately "develop" a different set of intentions. Please contact the International Affairs Office for assistance regarding the best category in which to bring in an international scholar.
Disclaimer: U.S. immigration laws are very complex. The information contained in these pages is designed specifically for scholars and the departments at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs; other individuals should seek assistance from immigration specialists. Immigration laws are constantly changing, and even though we will attempt to keep these files up to date, we cannot guarantee their completeness or accuracy. The information contained herein is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship, nor can it be construed as legal advice.
LPR (Legal Permanent Resident) and Green Card Considerations
Immigrant Status for International Faculty Members and Researchers
The ISSS office at CU-Boulder assists UCCS departments and the Human Resources office at UCCS in obtaining green cards (permanent residency status) through employment-based immigration for their international hires if they are hired into permanent positions. Permanent positions are defined as those in a tenure or tenure-track stream, or a permanent research position (i.e., long term and indefinite).
NOTE: ISSS cannot file permanent residency petitions for those in postdoctoral positions, since these positions are not considered permanent. All green card petitions based on employment at UCCS must be filed by ISSS at CU-Boulder, in coordination with UCCS Human Resources. Special care should be exercised in the use of private attorneys. While it is always possible and permissible for an alien to retain an attorney, that attorney cannot represent the university's interests without the express permission of university counsel. In applying for immigrant status for a prospective international faculty member or researcher, the university undertakes a considerable responsibility under immigration laws. Departments must exercise care to use the employment authority of the university to obtain immigration benefits for aliens only when it is consistent with the university's goals, programs, and standards and within the intent of immigration law.
NOTE: Departments and sponsoring faculty members should be aware that the penalty for knowingly providing false information in an immigration application is a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment of up to five years (Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1001). This is why ISSS must insist on receiving careful and complete documentation of every application they file for immigration benefits. The following page will assist those who may be hiring international faculty: