Immigration Services

Welcome to Immigration Services at Kent State University!

The Office of the General Counsel currently coordinates the petitioning for H, O, and other nonimmigrant visas needed by eligible international faculty and professionals for employment at Kent State University. Our office also provides employment-based permanent residency petitioning for full-time employees of the University upon request from the employee and approval from the employing unit. The purpose of this site is to provide educational materials, immigration updates, and - most importantly - access to the tools and forms used by the Office to assist the University in its immigration needs. Our office also coordinates with the Office of Global Education on policy and regulatory interpretations. The Office of Global Education provides international student and scholar services for the University community and coordinates the filings for F and J visas. 

H-1B/O-1 Sponsorship: The Sponsoring Unit office can begin the process by downloading the "H-1B Request Form" provided below and complete Form A of the document (pages 1-9). Form B of the document should be forwarded to the employee for completion.

Note: While our office can provide limited guidance on issues regarding dependents, our office does not file the necessary petition for change of status or extension of status for dependents (i.e. I-539). The employee is responsible for those filings and all associated costs, however, our office will accept dependent petitions to accompany our filings on behalf of the employee.

University Sponsorship for Employment-Based Permanent Residency

International faculty and professional staff members who would are interested in University sponsorship with employment-based immigration must first seek approval from their unit, and after such approval is received, may initiate a request for further action by sending such request to Associate Counsel Michael Pfahl at The Office of General Counsel does not automatically begin such processes upon hire, and does not commence such processes until approval is secured by the appropriate unit appointing authority. All international faculty and professional staff members requesting such sponsorship must be currently employed by the University and in a position that is otherwise eligible for such sponsorship in accordance with federal regulations. For information, see the KSU Guide for Recruiting and Hiring International Faculty and Professionals document below. The University will provide services at the Permanent Labor Certification (ETA-9089) and Form I-140 stages, but the employee remains responsible for the Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status, "Green Card Petition") and any associated forms and costs (i.e. attorneys fees, filing fees, etc.).

See Guidelines for University Sponsorship of Employment-Based Permanent Residency for more information.



Helpful Links


Occasionally, departments may have international guests come to campus to conduct or attend a workshop, conference, present a lecture, observe, or conduct independent research for a short period of time.  An International visiting for the purposes of engaging in temporary academic, educational, or professional activities as described above, may not need for Kent State to sponsor an H-1B visa.  However, any visa consideration should always be made well in advance so find out all relevant information as soon as possible!

The B-1 business visitor category is not appropriate for visitors engaging in longer-term active in-lab research or collaborative activities outside the 9/5/6 rule.  Visitors involved in exchange programs, formal collaboration between institutions, or joint research projects from which Kent State will benefit should use the J-1 Exchange Visitor visa and should contact the Office of Global Education, International Student and Scholar Services at 330-672-7980.

B-1 Business Category

Visitors from countries not included in the visa waiver program will need to visit a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in order to obtain a B-1 before boarding a plane to enter the U.S. The visitor should check the U.S. Embassy or Consulate’s web site to see what specific documents they will need to take to their visa appointment. They can find this information at the U.S. Department of State web site here: The person must enter on a B-1 visa or have similar work authorization in order to be eligible for payment of the honorarium and reimbursable travel expenses.

After obtaining the visa and upon entry to the U.S. they will be required to present:

  • Valid passport
  • Valid B-1 visa stamp in passport
  • Letter from Kent State University - Sample Letter (DOC)

Their passport and I-94 card will be stamped indicating their immigration status and length of stay allowed in the U.S. When entering the U.S. under the B-1 visa the international will be given a white I-94 card and an extension of their stay beyond their original intent will be allowed.


Academic honorarium payments and reimbursement for incidental expense are allowed. Please keep in mind that when a visitor arrives in the B-1 category that honorarium payments are allowed only as long as the academic activity at Kent State University for which an honorarium is paid is no longer than 9 days, and the visitor has not accepted honoraria from more than five institutions or organizations within a 6 month period (9/5/6 rule). The lecturer or business visitor will need either a social security number or an individual tax identification number (which must be applied for through the IRS). The visitor will also have to complete the Foreign Visitor Information Sheet.


It is important to prepare for a B-1 visitors as far in advance as possible. It is very possible that there could be a delay at the port-of-entry (for visa waiver eligible lecturers) or a long wait time at the U.S. Embassy in his/her home country. To see current wait times for getting a visa interview appointment and for visa processing at each U.S. consulate or embassy, refer to the U.S. Department of State Visa Wait Times. B-1 visitors should plan to obtain their visa stamp well ahead of their visit to the U.S. It is recommended that a visa is obtained prior to booking an airline flight.