Faculty who plan to hire or invite postdocs who are not U.S. citizens will need to work with Visa and Immigration Services (VIS) to obtain the proper immigration status and clearance for these individuals prior to their arrival at Stony Brook. This includes postdocs who will be hired at Stony Brook as employees, as well as postdocs who will be visiting scholars at Stony Brook paid from another, outside source, e.g., Fulbright Scholars.
Hiring International Postdoc Employees
The most common types of visas for incoming postdoc employees are the J-1 exchange visa, the H1-B employee visa, or the OPT extension on the F-1 visa for postdocs who were graduate student in the United States and can continue on their student visa for the practical training period. There are pros and cons to each type of visa for the incoming postdoc. Contact VIS as soon as you think you may want to hire an international postdoc for the next steps.
Sponsoring International Postdoc Visitors
A postdoc or scholar who will visit Stony Brook for a temporary period to do research still needs to be processed by your department in order to give the researcher an official affiliation at Stony Brook. The affiliation allows access to services and facilities, like the library and parking, and ensures visiting scholars are also in compliance with export controls and other policies. Usually the first step in inviting an international visitor is to obtain an official letter of invitation from the relevant academic dean, so departments should talk to their college. Departments should also inform the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs about the visiting postdoc to provide access to the postdoc listservs and other on-campus activities during the postdoc’s stay.
International Health Insurance
All visiting scholars, while researching, studying, or teaching at Stony Brook University, must have health insurance. Most scholars purchase the SUNY international health insurance plan. Talk to VIS about how to sign up.
National Postdoctoral Association’s Quick Guide to Visas (login for member version; to access this member benefit, join the NPA for free)