Visa Sponsorship Overview

Academic departments play a major role in bringing international faculty and researchers to Columbia. We acknowledge and appreciate the work you do in collaborating with us in getting members of this extraordinary talent pool to the university.

    Overview

    Whom Do We Sponsor?

    We provide visa sponsorship for specific titles. Titles eligible for sponsorship are determined by the academic unit in consultation with the Provost’s Office (Morningside or Manhattanville) or Office of Faculty Affairs (CUIMC).

    These include:

    • Officer-level collaborative research appointments
    • Officer-level instructional appointments
    • Visiting Scholars invited by a faculty sponsor to use Columbia resources to conduct independent, non-collaborative research
    • Research technicians at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC)
    • Officers of Administration under certain, limited circumstances which are governed by both federal regulation and University policy as described by visa type below.   

    Questions about visa sponsorship eligibility?

    Hiring managers can contact ISSO on the Morningside/Manhattanville or CUIMC campuses for further guidance on sponsorship.

    Visa classifications and eligibility criteria are described below.

    J-1 Scholar

    Unlike other visa types, the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program has multiple purposes and categories. Learn more about J-1 Scholar Characteristics.

    J-1 Student Intern

    It is generally used for students who do not have the equivalent of a bachelor's degree and are currently enrolled in a degree program abroad. They are coming to Columbia to engage in research-based internships that are integral to the curriculum of the home-school degree program to which they will return.

    Federal regulations prohibit J-1 Exchange Visitor visa sponsorship for administrative or technical positions.

    Learn more information and how to sponsor or extend a J-1 Student Intern.

    H-1B Specialty Occupation

    H-1 B is frequently used for full-time instructional and research appointments.

    The position needs to qualify as a “specialty occupation” that requires a “theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree, or its equivalent, as a minimum requirement” at a wage that meets the higher of the prevailing wage or the actual wage, and the applicant must have a degree directly related to the offered position. This means both the position and the scholar must meet H-1B eligibility criteria.

    An administrative position does not qualify unless it can be demonstrated by the unit director/dean that it is critical to the functions of the department or the University.

    Learn how to sponsor or extend an H-1B.

    O-1 Extraordinary Ability

    O-1 status is for people who are recognized as being at the very top of their field within the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics and who will be employed at Columbia University in this area of extraordinary ability.

    An O-1 petition requires a great deal of evidence. Due to the extensive documentation requirements, it is used only when:

    • there are no other appropriate visa options available
    • the person already holds O-1 status and requires concurrent O-1 sponsorship from Columbia

    Learn how to sponsor or extend an O-1.

    E-3 for citizens of Australia

    E-3 status is for Australians in a full-time “specialty occupation” that requires a “theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree, or its equivalent, as a minimum requirement” at a wage that meets the higher of the prevailing wage or the actual wage.

    An administrative position does not qualify unless it can be demonstrated by the unit director/dean that it is critical to the functions of the department or the University.

    Learn how to sponsor or extend an E-3.

    TN for citizens of Canada and Mexico

    TN status is available to Canadian and Mexican citizens who are coming to the US to engage in specified professional activities under provisions of the NAFTA treaty.

    Learn how to sponsor or extend a TN.

    PR Permanent Residence

    The ISSO assists sponsoring schools, departments, institutes and their qualifying foreign national employees with the employment-based permanent residence process. All Columbia-sponsored employment-based permanent residence cases must be approved by, and coordinated through, the ISSO.

    Learn how to sponsor a Permanent Residency.