Office of International Services
Faculty Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What are the different mechanisms I can use to host an international student who is overseas?

  2. How can I host or sponsor an overseas scholar or professional (not a student) to work in my lab.

  3. How can I hire an international student in the US who is graduating (or just graduated)?

  4. How can I host or sponsor an overseas student to work in my lab if he or she is no longer a student?

  5. How long can an international student internship be?

  6. How do I know if NC State has a valid agreement (Memorandum of Understanding or MOU) with an overseas student’s home university?

  7. How long does it take for an international student intern to apply for the program and to get a visa?

  8. How much does the student intern program cost?

  9. How does an overseas student find an internship opportunity at or through NC State?

  10. What’s the difference between an on-campus and off-campus internship?

  11. Can I pay a student intern?

  12. What if the student intern or I have problems or things don’t work out?

  13. Who will arrange travel and housing and other details for the student intern?

  14. What if the student is already in the US?

  15. What if the company that wants to hire me cannot sign the “third party agreement” or is unable to pay for the required site visit costs?

  16. Why does a student intern have to “report” to the OIS upon arrival and what is involved in “checking-in?”

  17. Can a student intern take classes at NC State?

  18. What is the evaluation requirement?


  1. What are the different mechanisms I can use to host an international student who is overseas?

    If an overseas student wants to “work” with you but does not wish to obtain a degree at NC State (which would require the student to go through the normal admissions process), it is possible to “host” the student through: 1) a supervised period of research/internship (international student internship program); 2) one semester of coursework (UG or GR - either through a study abroad exchange agreement if we have an MOU with the student’s current university OR through the GTI’s certificate program for visiting students); 3) the Unclassified Graduate Student (2 to 4 semesters for an overseas graduate student who wants to enroll in graduate courses, but not obtain a degree from NC State – students apply through online with the Graduate School); or 4) a short-term visitor program (no enrollment, no employment, no credit, no visa assistance – see the OIS or International Employment websites for more information about a B-1 Visitor visa). The J-1 Research Scholar program at NC State is used primarily for post-graduate, non-enrolled professionals and faculty.

    Return to top of page

  2. How can I host or sponsor an overseas scholar or professional (not a student) to work in my lab.

    Most (post-baccalaureate) professionals, faculty on sabbatical, and visiting research scholars are invited to NC State University for temporary teaching or research appointments on the J-1 Exchange Visitor Research Scholar program. Details, forms, and instructions are available on the OIS website. Long-term, permanent employment, clinical positions, and tenure (track) positions for nonresidents generally involve the use of the H-1B visa (consult International Employment in HR).

    Return to top of page

  3. How can I hire an international student in the US who is graduating (or just graduated)?

    Most international students in the US (whether enrolled at NC State or at other US universities) are in a temporary student visa classification (F-1 or J-1) that permits employment authorization (post-completion optional practical training or academic training) in their field of study for a certain period of time (12, 18, 27, or 36 months, depending on a number of factors). Graduating students apply for this employment benefit from or through their university’s international office (OIS in the case of NC State international students). International graduates with this type of employment authorization do not need special visa assistance or require special hiring considerations unless you wish to employ them beyond the period of their post-graduate employment benefit. While it is not permissible or lawful to inquire about someone’s visa status during a recruitment period or process, many students will volunteer this information and it is allowable to ask if a candidate has the ability to work in the US in general. Please consult HR regarding questions about allowable questions and employment verification procedures.

    Return to top of page

  4. How can I host or sponsor an overseas student to work in my lab if he or she is no longer a student?

    If an overseas student has graduated (or does not intend or need to return to the home country/school to graduate), the study abroad and international student internship mechanisms are not possible. The student (or graduate) can enroll in courses through the GTI’s Certificate program or you can consider hosting the individual through the Visiting Scholar program (J-1 Exchange Visitor Research Scholar – see the OIS website for details and forms). An employment visa (e.g., the H-1B, TN, or permanent residency) may also be possible; please consult the International Employment office in HR for employment visas.

    Return to top of page

  5. How long can an international student internship be?

    Most internship programs are 2 to 4 months, but they can be as short as 2 months or as long as 12 months.

    Return to top of page

  6. How do I know if NC State has a valid agreement (Memorandum of Understanding or MOU) with an overseas student’s home university?

    You can see a list of current partner schools on the OIA website: oia.ncsu.edu/sail. You can also contact the Study Abroad office and check out their website for a list of active programs.

    Return to top of page

  7. How long does it take for an international student intern to apply for the program and to get a visa?

    Once all the application materials are received, a decision can be usually be made and a visa document issued within five to ten business days. OIS will express mail the visa documentation and admission letter directly to the applicant along with pre-arrival information and instructions on how to apply for the J-1 student intern visa. Visa processing times at US consulates overseas can vary, however, and neither the processing time nor the approval can be guaranteed. Applications should be completed at least 45 days prior to the intended start date and applicants are cautioned to not make flight arrangements or visa interview commitments prematurely.

    Return to top of page

  8. How much does the student intern program cost?

    There is a one-time fee of $500 that is paid during the application process. This fee covers the administration costs associated with managing the international student intern program (application processing, issuing and express mailing documents, time spent corresponding and advising various parties, etc). This fee may be paid by the student intern, the faculty supervisor (department), or other party. The fee is generally paid by credit card (instructions and a link are sent to the applicant as part of the online admission process), but later payment by check or idt is also possible. The student is responsible for the visa application fee, SEVIS fee, and other fees associated with passports or immigration. Some companies that host off-campus student interns on Third Party Agreements may also be required to pay the travel costs associated with a mandatory site visit (if not otherwise exempt or located within short commuting distance from campus).

    Return to top of page

  9. How does an overseas student find an internship opportunity at or through NC State?

    On-campus interns are invited by an NC State faculty member and this usually happens as a result of the student corresponding directly with the faculty member, being recommended by the student’s home school advisor who happens to be a colleague of the NC State faculty member, or other third party. Off-campus internships usually come about through an eligible student (currently enrolled at one of our partner schools overseas among other requirements) communicating directly with a US company or being introduced by an academic advisor or alumni friend. NC State (OIS, Career Development, HR, etc.,) does not provide a placement service to either interested students or companies – matches must be made through other efforts – and the University does not make lists of student interns or companies that have had interns available to those who are looking for jobs.

    Return to top of page

  10. What’s the difference between an on-campus and off-campus internship?

    An on-campus internship is usually a supervised research project on one of the NC State campuses and involves close and frequent supervision by an NC State faculty member. These are open to any overseas student that receives an invitation from an NC State faculty member. An off-campus internship does not need an NC State faculty member to provide frequent supervision and is not usually on the NC State campus, but is conducted at a US company or agency that has entered into a “Third Party Agreement” with NC State University, has agreed to fulfill all necessary responsibilities with regard to providing an off-campus internship, and is limited to students who are enrolled in one of our partner institutions.

    Return to top of page

  11. Can I pay a student intern?

    Yes – IF it is approved beforehand in the SEVIS system. Some interns are paid
    wages and some are not paid anything (but demonstrate their own funding from elsewhere). If you have an appropriate funding line that can pay an intern, then you must pay at least the US federal minimum wage for a full-time position (32 hours per week or more) for the entire period of the internship. Faculty and campus departments are not obligated to pay wages to interns – some do and some do not. Interns should not be paid anything unless and until the employment is approved in the SEVIS system beforehand by OIS. The hiring units on campus are required to process payments (wages or reimbursements) through the normal procedures in the HR and/or Financial systems (On-campus student interns are in the student information system, have a campus-id, and can be employed with a job code of S960 code) - and international student interns who will be paid are required to meet with the Payroll office to ensure correct withholding (if any) and reporting of taxes.

    Return to top of page

  12. What if the student intern or I have problems or things don’t work out?

    It is unlikely that any internship program arranged while the student is abroad will be without some misunderstanding, surprise, or unexpected situations. It is critically important to communicate and manage expectations <em><u>prior to</u></em> arriving at the internship as well as for interns and supervisors to &ldquo;check-in&rdquo; regularly with each other. Discuss any frustration, disappointment, problem, etc., with your intern and try to work out a solution that is acceptable to both parties. It is often the case that someone made an incorrect assumption or oversight and the problem is not rooted in an intentional or unprofessional act or omission. It is better to bring it up and discuss it sooner rather than let it go on for a period. Guarantees about all working conditions, safety, convenience, outcomes, changes in responsibilities, relationships, etc., are simply not possible, but we do expect everyone to work together to prevent or resolve problems so that everyone is content with the internship experience. If the faculty supervisor or the student intern cannot resolve a situation together first, then please contact the OIS and we will see if we can assist with a mutually acceptable solution or compromise. It is not possible to change internship objectives or details (or student interns) after the internship has begun so please know that a situation that does not work out will result in the student intern returning to the home country. Faculty supervisors must ensure (prior to an invitation or commitment to host) a student intern&rsquo;s English ability, personal maturity, and technical background are sufficient for a successful program &ndash; and that you will have the time and ability to adequately supervise and support the student intern throughout the program. While OIS is happy to facilitate the immigration and matriculation aspects of the program, we do not have the staff and resources to solve any problem that might come up &ndash; Faculty supervisors must assume a good deal of responsibility for this program to work and to keep costs low. If things really do not work out or if the student intern no longer makes a good faith effort to pursue the training objectives on the TIPPs form, please contact OIS immediately. If we cannot help broker a positive solution, we can and are required to terminate the program (and will advise the student intern appropriately).

    Return to top of page

  13. Who will arrange travel and housing and other details for the student intern?

    The student intern is responsible for all logistical and personal details such as travel, housing, fees, etc. Some faculty supervisors do offer assistance in travel, local transportation, airport pick-up, meals, local accommodations, etc., but they are not required to. It is imperative that these matters be discussed between the student intern and the supervisor in detail (you may wish to use the Intern-Company Discussion Points on the OIS website) prior to issuance of the visa document – and especially prior to arriving in the US.

    Return to top of page

  14. What if the student is already in the US?

    The J-1 student intern program is not for those students or visitors who are already in the US, but is designed for overseas students to gain some culture and work experience in their field of study as part of their overseas educational program. We cannot assist those already in the US in another nonimmigrant visa status to apply to the USCIS for a change of status &ndash; but it may be possible for an international visitor to apply to the International Student Intern program while in the US if he or she will be departing and applying for the J-1 student visa overseas.

    Return to top of page

  15. Can a student intern arrive early or stay later than the visa document indicates?

    The program dates on the student’s DS-2019 will reflect the dates of the internship period. The student intern may (and should) enter the US a few days prior (we recommend 7-10 days prior) to the start date in order to go through orientation, find housing, etc. The student intern also has 30 days after the program (as reflected on the DS-2019 or if the internship ends earlier) to depart the US. This 30 day “window” is called a “grace period” and can be used for sightseeing, shopping, etc.

    Return to top of page

  16. Why does a student intern have to “report” to the OIS upon arrival and what is involved in “checking-in?”

    The University is required to “validate” the student intern’s  SEVIS record after arrival in the US and before the internship begins. If the student intern does not check in with the OIS, we will not validate the SEVIS record and the student intern will be in violation of his or her status. For check-in, we need a copy (scan, copy, or fax) of your J-1 visa stamp, processed DS-2019, and stamped Admission-Departure Form I-94. We also need the complete street/residential address where you will be staying (spending the night) during the internship, and any other local contact information (phone) in case we need to get into contact with you (this can and should be done through the MyPack portal). The student intern will also be shown a brief powerpoint overview of immigration responsibilities, health insurance, social security, campus resources, and other helpful information regarding expectations, safety, and opportunities. Once check-in has been completed, OIS will validate the SEVIS record and the student intern may begin the internship.

    Return to top of page

  17. Can a student intern take classes at NC State?

    International student interns generally do not enroll in courses, although it is possible and if so, can (and should) be part of the student intern’s learning objectives and activities as reflected on the TIPPs form). Normal University policies regarding audits and enrollment must be followed (student interns are already considered NDS students, but have a schedule lock on their courses – consult OIS to have this lock removed; nonresident tuition and fees will be assessed as appropriate).

    Return to top of page

  18. What is the evaluation requirement?

    The federal regulations regarding the student intern program require a program evaluation. This is generally done at the end of a program, but if a student internship program exceeds a period of 6 months, then both a mid-point and a final evaluation are necessary.  The methods of evaluation are to be agreed upon and listed in the TIPPs prior to the start of the internship period. Supervisors may use their own evaluation tool provided a copy is sent to OIS at the conclusion of the internship. An evaluation form is also available on the OIS website for use by supervisors and interns.

    Return to top of page