Visa Sponsorship 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 Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs (Morningside/Manhattanville) or Office of Faculty Affairs (CUIMC).
- 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
- 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?
Visa classifications and eligibility criteria are described below.
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 are currently enrolled in a degree program abroad and 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 is at least Level 14 (Morningside/Manhattanville) or Grade 106 (CUIMC) and can be demonstrated by the unit director/dean to be critical to the functions of the University. It must qualify as a "specialty occupation" with the candidate holding the specialized degree the position requires.
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 and the position requires someone of extraordinary ability
- the person already holds O-1 status and requires concurrent O-1 sponsorship from Columbia
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.
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.
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.
- J-1 Scholar Characteristics
- Sponsoring and Extending J-1 Student Intern
- Sponsoring or Extending an H-1B
- Sponsoring or Extending an O-1
- Sponsoring or Extending an E-3
- Sponsoring or Extending a TN
- Sponsoring Permanent Residency
- Allowable Payments by Visa Type
- I-9 Handbook for Employers
- Immigration Attorney List