Prospective Scholars & Faculty
Thank you for your interest in coming to Portland State University. Each year, PSU welcomes over 100 faculty, visiting graduate students, post-docs, researchers, instructors and special guests from around the world. Whether your interests are in the sciences or humanities, urban affairs or sustainability, the social sciences or the arts, we welcome to you join us and become part of a global community.
Types of Scholars and Faculty
International scholars and faculty are able to come to PSU in one of three main capacities:
- Visiting Scholars (J-1 Scholars) – Most international visitors come to PSU as Visiting Scholars to conduct short-term research, teaching or other international exchange activities from three weeks to five years. Visiting Scholars may be faculty, visiting graduate students, post-docs, researchers, instructors, specialists and special guests. Visiting Scholars also include invited summer session instructors in the International Visiting Professor program.
- University Employees (H-1B and TN Employees) – International faculty and researchers who are hired as regular full-time employees may be eligible for H-1B (Specialty Occupation) or TN (NAFTA Professional Worker) status. Some international employees may be considered for Permanent Residence.
- Guest Lecturers and Special Guests (Business/Tourist) – Visitors who come to the university to present special lectures, consult, observe, share skills, perform or engage in cultural activities for a limited period of time, may be eligible use a business or tourist visa. This status may also be used for independent research that is not associated with any academic department.
J-1 Scholar Invitations:
International scholars and faculty come to the PSU only at the invitation and support of an academic department, institute or program at the university. Therefore prospective scholars who want to come to PSU should contact the department with which they are interested in collaborating.
- Schools and Colleges: http://www.pdx.edu/schools-colleges
- Research and Strategic Partnerships: http://www.pdx.edu/research-and-strategic-partnerships
- Campus Directory: http://www.directory.pdx.edu/
Once a department has extended an invitation, ISSS will work with the department to facilitate the J-1 visa process.
J-1 Scholar Eligibility:
To be eligible for the J-1 Visiting Scholar Program, the exchange must meet the following basic requirements:
- The prospective scholar and PSU department must have a mutual interest in collaboration in a research or teaching area.
- The J-1 program may not be used for the sole purpose of employment, or for completely independent work with no relationship to the university.
- Scholars must hold, at minimum, the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree in their field; OR
- Scholars must have the skills, experience or educational background appropriate for the exchange program activity.
- Although there is no English language requirement, scholars should have a sufficient understanding of English to be successful in the program.
- There are limitations on holding a J-1 status repeatedly. See information on Scholar Categories and the 12/24-month bars.
- The scholar must have adequate financial support for the exchange program (currently a minimum of $1,500/month). Financial support can come from the PSU host department, home country sources, grants, or personal funds.
H-1B, TN, Permanent Residence:
These statuses are reserved for employees of the university. As such, petitions for H-1B, TN or PR will only be considered after an offer of employment has been made. For job announcements, please consult Human Resources:
Human Resources: http://www.pdx.edu/hr/
H-1B: PSU uses H-1B visa status to employ foreign nationals in professional positions on a temporary basis. H-1B visa status is designed for “specialty occupations,” which are defined as those requiring “theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge” and a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific field. H-1B is an appropriate status for faculty, instructors, researchers, and certain staff members. It is the only appropriate visa sponsorship option for tenure-track or tenured faculty.
TN (NAFTA professional worker): The TN visa status is available to Canadian and Mexican citizens to work in the U.S. on a temporary basis in a professional-level job under provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Permanent Residence: PSU only sponsors tenure-track or tenured faculty members for permanent residence.
Guests and Visitors (Business/Tourist):
Guests and visitors to the university may be able to travel to the United States with a B-1/B-2 Business/Tourist visa or under the visa waiver program. While such visitors are not allowed any type of employment, they may receive honoraria or reimbursements under certain circumstances. If you plan to travel to PSU as a visitor, please have your host department contact ISSS for more detailed information well in advance of your visit.