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Information for Sponsoring and Hiring Departments

Assistance Determining the Proper Category for Non-Immigrants

Outlining the visitor's purpose while here at Fordham University will help OIS to determine the most appropriate visa category for the foreign national. Please review the information below for general guidance on which category may be appropriate for your visitor.

Most Common Visa Categories:

  • F-1 (receives an I-20) - The vast majority of full-time students enrolled in a degree program will be F-1 students. Non-immigrant F-1 students who have graduated from a school in the US may apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), which grants them work authorization, in order to gain experience in the field of their newly acquired degree.
  • J-1 (receives a DS-2019) - There are many different categories, depending on the visitor's purpose while at Fordham. The most common categories are student, non-degree student, research scholar, short-term scholar and professor.
  • H-1B (receives an approval notice) - Grants work authorization for non-immigrant workers in a specialty occupation. These are issued by USCIS and are employer specific. Fordham must submit a petition and receive approval in order for the non-immigrant to be able to work at the University.
  • TN - Grants work authorization for Canadian citizens in designated professions (see Appendix 1603.D.1 of Annex 1603 of the NAFTA for a list of professions).
  • O-1 (receives an approval notice) - Grants work authorization based on non-immigrants of "extraordinary ability." These are issued by USCIS and are employer specific. Fordham must submit a petition and receive approval in order for the non-immigrant to be able to work at Fordham. The decision to purse this visa category is at the discretion of The Office of the Provost and will be handled by The Office of the Provost and Legal Counsel.
  • R-1 (receives an approval notice) - This visa category is for persons seeking to enter the U.S. to work in a religious capacity.

What will the non-immigrant's purpose be while visiting Fordham?