University of California, Riverside

International Students and Scholars Office

Visa Options at a Glance


Common Nonimmigrant Visas (Temporary Visas)

Non-immigrant visas establish work eligibility, and must be obtained prior to coming to the United States  or employment with The University of California, Riverside.  The International Scholar Center offers assistance and sponsorship with most visa types.

The University of California, Riverside departments may sponsor faculty and staff for the following types of visas.  Each visa type has specific requirements that must be met to ensure compliance with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regulations. 

If you have questions about a specific visa type or are unsure which visa type is appropriate for your department’s hiring situation, contact the International Scholar Center at

J-1 Exchange Visitor

J-1 Visas are for individuals approved to participate in the exchange visitor programs, intended to foster global understanding through educational and cultural exchanges.  All exchange visitors are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program in order to share their exchange experiences.

H-1B Specialty Worker

The H-1B visa classification requires a sponsoring U. S. employer and is employer-specific.  The position must require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and the scholar must hold that degree or its equivalent in the field required for the position.  UCR must file a Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor attesting to payment of prevailing wages for the position and the working conditions. 

O-1 Extraordinary Ability        

O-1 Visas are for individuals of extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education or athletics who are in the United States to work.  Must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in the field of expertise.

TN NAFTA Treaty (North American Free Trade Agreement)

NAFTA was developed to facilitate the entry of Canadian and Mexican citizens to the United States to engage in professional business activities on a temporary basis. The TN category allows for admission of individuals for the purposes of working for a U.S. employer as a professional and only occupations specified in Appendix 1603.D.1 of the NAFTA treaty can serve as the basis for TN employment.  Appendix 1603.D.1 also stipulates the minimum qualifications for entry into the U.S. in each occupation.

E-3 Australian Specialty Occupation

The E-3 visa classification allows Australian nationals to come to the U.S. to perform services in a specialty occupation under the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA).

F-1 Student/F-1 Student with OPT (Optional Practical Training)

F-1 students enrolled in an US university may qualify for practical training, which allows them to engage in temporary employment to gain practical experience in his or her field of study.  Foreign student who has graduated from an US university can apply for OPT with the help of their home university and apply for the EAD Card (Employment Authorization Document) through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for work authorization.  To obtain OPT please contact your graduating university’s international office. UCR's resources for this can be found here.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

International Students and Scholars Office
0321 Surge Building

Tel: (951) 827-4113
Fax: (951) 827-3248