J-1 professors, research scholars, and short-term scholars may participate in occasional lectures and short-term consultations as long as such activities are approved in advance and in writing by the Office of International Services at the University of Pittsburgh.
The term occasional embodies the concept of single events rather than an ongoing activity. This also includes authorization to be reimbursed for travel expenses or honorarium.

Eligibility Criteria

Such lectures and consultations must meet the following criteria: Source: 22 CFR § 62.20(g)(1)

  • Be directly related to the objectives of your J-1 program at the University of Pittsburgh
  • Be incidental to your primary program activities
  • Not delay the completion date of your J-1 program at the University of Pittsburgh

If you fail to obtain a letter authorizing the activity in advance, the Office of International Services at Pitt may correct SEVIS record for a technical or minor infraction if no more than 120 days have passed since the infraction occurred. Source: 22 CFR § 62.45(c)

Documentation Needed

  • A letter from the inviting institution describing the terms and conditions of the offer to lecture or consult, including the duration, number of hours, field or subject, amount of compensation (if any), and description of the activity.
  • A letter from your department’s supervisor at the University of Pittsburgh:
    • Confirming that the proposed activity is directly related to your principal activity, is indeed incidental, and will not delay completion of your program at the University of Pittsburgh
    • Explaining how the proposed activity would enhance your exchange visitor program at the University of Pittsburgh
    • Recommending approval of the activity
  • A legible copy of your latest DS-2019. Item #2 on your DS-2019 must list the program sponsor as the University of Pittsburgh and item #4 must list the exchange visitor category as professor, research scholar, or short-term scholar.
  • A legible copy of your latest I-94 card (both sides)

How to Apply for Incidental Employment Authorization

  1. Schedule an appointment with an Immigration Specialist at the Office of International Services
  2. Bring the documents listed above to your appointment.
  3. The Office of International Services will review your documentation and determine if you are eligible for incidental employment. If authorized, OIS will issue a letter authorizing the activity.
  4. You will present the letter as proof that you are allowed to receive pay for your activity. Keep a copy of the Office of International Services authorization letter for your records. The letter will serve as authorization of this activity.

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