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International Hires

Academic Departments frequently find themselves interested in hiring an international individual for faculty positions.  This information is designed to give you an overview of possible options.  Please review this information carefully and follow up with the IES office with specific questions and scenarios.

Please note, UMBC sponsors employment-based visas for faculty positions only.


Common Visa Categories for Hiring International Faculty

  • F-1 OPT
    • New hires that are currently in F-1 student status (from UMBC or any other school in the US) are eligible to work at UMBC after graduation through OPT (Optional Practical Training).
    • OPT is available for one year only.  UMBC cannot host students on STEM OPT, as we are not E-Verified.  This category is not appropriate for long-term positions, but often serves as a bridge to J-1 or H-1b status.
    • There is no cost to the department to hire an individual on OPT.  UMBC HR will manage all required paperwork.
    • Learn more about hiring students and graduates in F-1 status here.
  • J-1 Scholars and Researchers
    • This category is appropriate for advanced Graduate students at an international University; short-term scholars (up to 6 months); or visiting research faculty and postdoctoral research fellows (up to 5 years).  A faculty appointment is required.
    • There is no cost to the department.  UMBC IES will manage all required paperwork.
    • Learn more about hiring using J-1 status here.
  • H-1b Specialty Occupation Worker 
    • This category is appropriate for long-term faculty positions, usually on the tenure track.
    • H-1b status is available for 3 years, and can be extended once to a maximum of 6 years total.
    • The employee must be receiving the “prevailing wage” – a fair wage appropriate to level of experience, field and site of employment.
    • The department will be responsible for the application fees of $500 and $325, and either the department or employee will be responsible for the $1,225 premium processing fee.
    • Learn more about hiring using H-1b status here.
  • Permanent Resident
    • This category is appropriate for UMBC international faculty members already in H-1b status, nearing the end of their H-1b eligibility.  The department should expect that this individual will remain at UMBC for the foreseeable future.
    • The cost is XXXXXXXXXXXXX
    • Learn more about hiring using Permanent Residency status here.


For general inquiries or to learn more about which status is appropriate for your international employee, please email

Please note, departments can certainly hires individuals in additional immigration statuses, but these are the specific statuses that the University needs to be involved in.  An individual might have their own status through their own means that allows them to work.  Please contact the Human Resources Office at UMBC for questions about an individual already in an immigration status other than those listed here.