Immigration and visa issues for college professors and lecturers

Many Louisiana colleges include faculty members who immigrated to the United States. These post-secondary instructors teach a variety of subjects, including nursing, chemistry, culinary arts and more. If you are considering traveling to live in the U.S. as a foreign national, it is critical that you make sure all your paperwork and visa information is in good order.  

You might also be a college recruiter tasked with hiring professors or lecturers from other countries to come and teach at your school. Employers who wish to hire a foreign national must make sure that the professor in question is eligible to live and work in the United States and has met all visa requirements. 

Benefits of hiring foreign nationals as lecturers or college professors 

If one of your primary goals is to increase diversity among your faculty and throughout your college campus, hiring instructors who come to the United States under nonimmigrant visa statuses is a viable option. Candidates for professor exchange programs and other visa categories often have five or more years of experience teaching in their country of origin. Such professors also often possess multiple degrees.  

Hiring a foreign instructor to teach his or her native language at your school adds cultural context and personal knowledge about dialects and grammar to your classes. When your faculty is comprised of visitors who are living and working in America from other countries around the world, it helps students develop a global perspective. Many college recruiters say that hosting a teacher from abroad can help the rest of the faculty expand their thinking and consider new methods of teaching and learning. 

What to do if problems arise with a professor’s visa 

There are many reasons to consider hiring a professor or lecturer from another country to teach at your college campus. However, if problems arise regarding visa application or an issue that develops while an instructor is here in the U.S., it can create serious legal problems, not only for the professor but for your school, as well.  

Before participating in a visa program to hire foreign nationals as instructors at a college campus, you’ll want to thoroughly research U.S. immigration laws that are relevant to this type of employment. It’s also wise to have a support network in place, such as legal advocates who can step in to help resolve a problem if complications arise that are placing an instructor at risk for removal or an employer at risk for substantial fines.