An Overview of Nonimmigrant Visa Options for Temporary Appointments

An international scholar is normally defined as an alien who holds nonimmigrant status and is engaged temporarily in a scholarly activity such as teaching, conducting research, observing, etc. Temporary appointments are most often covered by one of the several nonimmigrant classifications mentioned below.

If a foreign national is appointed to a specific position at Temple to engage temporarily in a scholarly activity or employment, the University will issue appropriate immigration documents for the specific visa type. Once a position/title has been established, departments should contact ISSS at

The determining factors of which status is most appropriate and advantageous include

  • whether the person is to receive compensation of any sort from the university
  • the length of stay and 
  • the future plans of both the individual and the hiring unit.

ISSS does not determine job titles (paid/unpaid) or salaries. We are the final stage in facilitating the appropriate visa classification once the department has determined these factors and a prospective employee has been identified. Appointing a foreign national to a position at Temple University can be accomplished only if both federal regulations and the University's own policies permit it.