Visas and Permanent Residency – A Summary of Categories

International visitors and scholars may use a variety of visas and statuses when they come to the University of Illinois at Springfield for short or long term stays. Information herein is related to researchers, guest lecturers, professional staff, and faculty members. Information on international students may be found at International Student Services.

B1 Visa

A visitor or tourist visa. It is normally valid for six months. B1 visa holders may be reimbursed for expenses and/or honorariums but for no more than 9 days of activity. They cannot receive an honorarium from more than five institutions during a six-month period. Details on payment and reimbursement may be found at the Office of Business and Financial Services.

F1 Visa – Practical Training

The F1 visa is a student visa. F1 visa holders are eligible for 12 months of practical training which can be used at the conclusion of their studies. Practical training is applied for through their sponsoring university/college. Successful applicants receive and Employment Authorization Document (EAD) which lists the starting and ending dates of employment authorization. Employment is not restricted geographically but must be related to the F1 visa holders’ field of study. Dependents of F1 visa holders who are on F2 visas are not eligible to work under any circumstances.

F1 visa holders are not benefit eligible.

J1 Visa – Practical Training

Students who have been studying on J1, exchange visitor, visas are eligible to work upon the completion of their degrees provided that the employment supplements their degree work. Work authorization is arranged through the sponsoring university. Authorization is initially for 18 months with an 18-month extension possible in certain instances.

J1 visa holders are not benefit eligible.

J1 Visa – Professor, Research Scholar or Short-Term Scholar

J1 visas are also used for faculty and scholars who will be engaged in teaching and /or research. Research Scholars and Faculty may stay in the USA for a maximum of five years. Short-Term Scholars may stay for up to six months. Off-campus work is possible if related to the visitor’s field, but must be approved by the Office of International Programs. Visitors may be subject to a two-year home residency requirement which could impact upon their changing visa statuses. This status cannot be used for tenure track positions. A DS 2019, available in the Office of International Programs, is required for the visa application.

J1 visa holders are not benefit eligible.

Hosting Visiting International Faculty/Scholars

J2 Visa

Used for the spouse or minor children of a J1 visa holder. J2 visa holders may work but need an Employment Authorization Document.

J2 visa holders are not benefit eligible.

H1 Visa

A visa used by a temporary worker. Must have at least a bachelor’s degree to qualify, but typically will need a master’s or Ph.D. depending upon the relevant position. Visa is specific to a position. Application is made by the university and not the individual. Application requires an approved Labor Condition Application from the Department of Labor with a favorable prevailing wage determination from the State Employment Service. It is valid for up to six years (two 3 – year periods). This visa is appropriate for tenure track positions and for professional positions that are considered as recurring. This visa can take up to four months to obtain, though a premium processing option is available. Dependents of H1 visas holders on H4 visas are not eligible to work under any circumstances.

O1 Visa

A visa used for an alien of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics, as demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim. The application requires support from a relevant national or international organization and documentation to verify the alien’s professional acclaim. May be obtained for an initial period of three years with annual extensions subsequently. Dependents of O1 visas holders on O3 visas are not eligible to work under any circumstances.


A temporary professional worker under the North American Free Trade Agreement provision for Canadian and Mexican citizens. Individual must be employed in a profession designated under the TN Schedule. Activity must be temporary but is renewable in one year increments. A bachelor’s degree is required. May not be used for tenure track positions.

Permanent Resident

Often referred to as a Green Card. Valid for 10 years. No employment restrictions except for those positions restricted to U.S. citizens. Renewable indefinitely provided the individual has maintained residency. Applications for permanent residency may be made through certain family relationships, extraordinary ability, national interest or permanent employment. The application process is complex and may take several years to complete. The Office of International Programs will process employment based green card applications for permanent full-time staff members upon the request of the employing college.