Hosting or Hiring an International Visitor

If you are inviting, hosting or hiring a foreign national, it is extremely important that he or she acquires an immigration status appropriate for the activities he or she will be engaging in while at Appalachian State University. Engaging in activities forbidden by an immigration status can have serious consequences for the foreign national and Appalachian State University. Please take a moment to review the differences between the three most common immigration statuses associated with international visitors at Appalachian State University. More information about each particular status can be found by clicking on the particular visa type. Information about permanent residency (green card) sponsorship for eligible faculty members can be found here.


B-1 or WB Visa Visitor for Business

J-1 Exchange Visitor

H-1B Temporary Worker


Intended only for specific business activities for a short, defined period of time.

To facilitate the exchange of ideas and cultures and to promote linkages between international professors, researchers and scholars with the United States.

To temporarily employee foreign nationals in specialty, full-time occupations in a non immigrant basis.

ISSSO’s Role and Support Provided


ISSSO will provide a template invitation letter for you to send to your visitor upon request.

ISSSO has the ability to enroll B-1/WB visitors in insurance upon request though it is not required. Insurance must be paid for by the department or visitor upon arrival.

ISSSO is Appalachian’s J-1 Exchange Visitor program sponsor and will work with eligible visitors and departments to provide support during each step of the process.

ISSSO is responsible for filing H-1B petitions (form I-129) on behalf of the foreign national.

ISSSO will work with departments when a foreign national is a finalist for a tenure track faculty position to provide advice and assistance.

Allowable Activities

Attending meetings or conferences, consulting with associates, and formalizing agreements.

Teach, lecture, collaborate on research, observe, consult, train or demonstrate special skills.

Employment only for the specific job for which your H-1B petition was approved.

Forbidden Activities

Performing work in a lab.

Participating in or contributing to research.

Teaching a course.

Enrolling in any classes or engaging in formal study.

Engaging in formal study.

Engaging in any activities outside the scope of respective J-1 Exchange Visitor category.

Be in tenure track position.

Receiving an honorarium or payment for any expenses not associated with your position at Appalachian other than reimbursement for personal expenses.

Length of Stay

Up to 6 months at entry, renewable for up to 12 months for B-2

90 days for WB (Visa Waiver Program only)

Five-year maximum for research scholar and professor category.

Six-month maximum for short-term scholar category.

Six-year maximum in most cases.

Funding Requirements and Restrictions

Not eligible to receive a salary or payment for services.

Only eligible to receive reimbursement for expenses or honorarium.

May or may not be paid by Appalachian.

Must provide proof of financial support to ISSSO and U.S. Consulate to secure visa.

Must be paid by Appalachian and meet U.S. Department of Labor wage requirements.

Impact on Future Visa Acquisition

None if immigration status is lawfully maintained.

In some cases, two-year home country physical presence requirement (212 e) limits future visa options.

Not subject to two-year home country physical presence requirement.

Transferability of visa

N/A Consult for more information

May be eligible to transfer to other J- Exchange Visitor program for similar activity within 5-year limit.

Change of sponsor or position requires new H-1B petition, but portability allows new employment to begin before new petition is approved.

Employment Options for Dependents

Not eligible for employment.

Dependents (J-2) are eligible to petition United States Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) for employment authorization

Dependents of H-1B employees are granted H-4 status, and cannot be employed in the United States.


United States Customs and Immigration Services, Customs and Border Protection and Department of State

J-1 Exchange Visitor programs are managed by the U.S. Department of State and program sponsor (Appalachian).

All H-1B petitions must be approved by USCIS.

Expedited processing

N/A Consult for more information

No premium processing option.

Premium processing ($1255) guarantees a decision within 15 days.

Typical Time to Obtain Status

Varies based on local U.S. Embassy or Consulate processing times.

Typically 2–4 months. More time needed if already in U.S. and applying for a change of status.

Regularly processing typically 4–6 months or more.

Additional Requirements

Consult for more information

Numerous: specific insurance requirements, cross-cultural activity, English language proficiency, and academic credential.

Employer must pay return transportation if employment ends early.

Immigrant Intent

Non-immigrant intent.

Non-immigrant intent. J-1 visa applicant must have permanent address abroad, demonstrate strong ties to home country and have no intention to become a permanent resident of the United States.

Dual immigrant intent.

H-1B eligible to apply for permanent residency ("green card"). No ties to home country required.

Restrictions on Acquiring Status

Consult for more information

Two-year bar on repeat participation as a Research Scholar or Professor after a stay of six months or longer.

H-1B not an option if individual has two-year home residence requirement due to previous J-1 status.  After 6 years in H-1B status, a scholar must be outside the U.S. for one year before returning in new H-status.

Associated Costs

$160 application fee and possible additional visa issuance fee that varies by country.

Fees include $180 SEVIS fee, visa fees (vary by country) and in some cases, change of status fee.

Fees include $325 filing fee, $500 anti fraud fee (for new filings), and optional $1225 premium processing fee.