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Immigration Sponsorship Policies

The four policies on this page are vital to understand when your department or unit is hiring an academic employee with citizenship outside the United States (a "foreign national"). The Office of Global Learning is here to answer your immigration questions throughout the hiring process.  

Academic Appointment Policy

Cornell University can only sponsor foreign nationals for work in certain academic job titles. Below is the full list of job titles for which Cornell will act as the immigration sponsor. Foreign nationals may hold other nonacademic positions at the university, if they have already gained work authorization through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

Academic titles may not be used for appointments in administrative or other nonacademic units. The following authorized academic titles are primary titles. Secondary (administrative) titles such as dean, director, and provost are not included. 

Academic Titles Used at Cornell

  • Professor (adjunct or acting)* 
  • Associate Professor (adjunct or acting)* 
  • Assistant Professor (adjunct or acting)* 
  • Instructor*
  • Senior Lecturer* 
  • Lecturer*
  • Senior Scholar* 
  • Senior Scientist* 
  • Senior Research Associate 
  • Research Associate 
  • University Professor 
  • Professor Emeritus 
  • Professor-at-Large
  • Professor of the Practice*
  • Associate Professor of the Practice*
  • Assistant Professor of the Practice*
  • Research Professor *
  • Associate Research Professor*
  • Assistant Research Professor*
  • Clinical Professor*
  • Associate Clinical Professor*
  • Assistant Clinical Professor*
  • Senior Extension Associate 
  • Extension Associate 
  • Postdoctoral Associate 
  • Postdoctoral Fellow 
  • Teaching Associate
  • Visiting Fellow 
  • Visiting Critic
  • Visiting Scholar
  • Visiting Scientist
  • Librarian
  • Associate Librarian 
  • Senior Assistant Librarian 
  • Assistant Librarian 
  • Archivist
  • Associate Archivist
  • Senior Assistant Archivist
  • Assistant Archivist

*These titles may also be modified by adding "Visiting." Only one modifier may be used with a title.

Waiver of Academic Appointment Policy

In rare cases, Cornell may waive the academic position policy. Waivers to hire nonacademic workers may only be requested by a temporary worker’s hiring unit or department. The prospective foreign national employee may not request a waiver of the policy.

The waiver is meant for high-level positions or very specialized roles, in cases where the hiring unit has exhaustively tested the U.S. labor market.

Get the waiver request form.

Permanent Residency Sponsorship Policy  

Cornell only sponsors foreign nationals for permanent residence for permanent academic positions. Postdoctoral Associates or Fellows and those with "visiting" or "temporary" in their job titles are not considered permanent employees and do not qualify for Cornell sponsorship.

Positions with renewable terms without a maximum time limit such as Research Associates may be eligible for permanent residency sponsorship only if the position has the expectation of continued employment. 

Required Immigration Consultation for New Permanent Teaching Positions

The hiring unit is responsible for scheduling meetings with the department, International Services, and incoming staff/faculty that have accepted a permanent teaching position (including tenure track faculty, as well as Lecturer, Instructors, and other teaching staff that have an expectation of permanent employment). The hiring unit must email us soon after an offer has been accepted to schedule a meeting. 

Failure to establish a timely meeting may result in critical deadlines being missed.