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International Student and Scholar Services

International Student and Scholar Services

Scholar & Employees

Each year DU hosts researchers, faculty, and staff from all over the world. Our international visitors are valued members of the DU community and advisors in International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) are available to assist departments and international scholars in acquiring the appropriate immigration status to visit, work, or conduct research at DU.

Common Immigration Categories

The two most common immigration categories used for international scholars at the University are H-1B and J-1. These categories are distinguished by their purpose and intent. The H-1B category is used primarily for employment and may carry an intention to acquire U.S. permanent residency. By contrast, the J-1 category is used to promote educational and cultural exchanges between the people of the United States and other countries.

  H-1B J-1
Purpose Temporary professional employment Educational and cultural exchange
Intent Return home or may become a permanent resident. Return home. May be subject to 212(e) home residency requirement.
Intent Petition filed by DU with DOL and USCIS. May change status in the U.S. or apply for visa at U.S. embassy abroad. DU issues certificate of eligibility, Form DS-2019. May change status in the U.S. or apply for visa at U.S. embassy abroad.
Duration Up to 6 years for all H-1B employment, given in 3 year increments. 6 months to 5 years depending on the subcategory.

Other Immigration Categories

The University may sometimes bring international visitors to DU in other immigration categories. ISSS can help determine the most appropriate immigration category for the type of activity the scholar will engage in at the University. For more information about visas and immigration status, please contact Laura Buhs at or 303-871-7861.


The TN visa category be used for citizens of Canada or Mexico who hold certain educational and professional qualifications and who will be employed in a profession on the NAFTA list. Canadian citizens can generally apply for TN status at a U.S. Port of Entry with the required documentation. Mexican citizens must generally apply for TN status at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad and then enter the United States.


International students in F-1 status who have been approved for Optional Practical Training (OPT) may also be employed at DU. OPT authorizes F-1 students to engage in up to 12 months of full-time employment in their field of study. A 17-month extension is available to students who completed a program in certain STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields and who meet other eligibility requirements. The institution where the student completed his or her program remains responsible for meeting federal reporting requirements on the student, including site of employment.

International Students in J-1 status may be authorized for Academic Training to work at DU. J-1 Academic Training is authorized by the J-1 student's program sponsor.