Office of International Affairs International Student & Scholar Services

Incidental Employment for J Professors & Research Scholars

Professors and Research Scholars on the Texas Tech University J-1 Exchange Visitor Program have employment authorization with the University, but do not have employment authorization with any other entity in the United States. It is common, however, for such persons to participate in events related to their program at the University for which payments are commonly received. For example, a professor may be invited to present a lecture at another university for which an honorarium or expenses would customarily be paid, or a researcher may present a paper at a conference to which transportation will be paid. In these situations, the J-1 Scholar must get written authorization from the Office of International Affairs (OIA) for “incidental employment.” To qualify, the activity must: 1) be directly related to the J-1 program at Texas Tech, 2) be incidental to the primary program activities, and 3) not delay the completion of the J-1 program.

Prior to undertaking the activity, the J-1 scholar must:
1) Obtain a letter from the prospective employer/payer describing the terms and conditions of the proposed activity including the duration, the time involved, the field or subject, the amount of compensation, and a description of the activity.
2) Obtain a letter of support from your department head or supervisor referencing the letter of offer, confirming that the activity is directly related to the program at Texas Tech, explaining how it enhances your Exchange Visitor program, and recommending approval of the activity.
3) Forward the two letters to the J program Responsible Officer at the OIA.

Upon approval of the activity the Responsible Officer will issue either a letter specifically approving the activity or a new form DS-2019 showing the funds from the incidental employer. The employer may request to see this documentation before making payments. The documentation of the approval of the incidental employment should be maintained permanently with the DS-2019 and other documentation concerning the J-1 program.