International Visitors to KSU
Kennesaw State University encourages international collaboration and programming to embrace the true power of openness and leverage diverse perspectives, as well as to impact individuals and communities for positive change. The International Student and Scholar Services Office (ISSSO) is equipped to support international students, scholars, and student interns coming to KSU in the F-1 and J-1 visa categories. However, in certain cases other visa categories may be appropriate, so we have included some general information for KSU departments below. Please note that the ISSSO does not advise on visa categories outside of those listed above, and so we encourage hosting departments and visitors to do due diligence in ensuring visitors arrive in the appropriate visa category.
B-1/B-2 Business or Tourist VisaVisitors may fall into the B-1 category if they wish to visit the U.S. for a short time for business-related activities, such as to attend a conference or to meet with KSU departments for business meetings or negotiations. Visitors may fall into the B-2 category if they wish to participate in social or touristical events or to enroll in a short, non-credit, recreational course of study. U.S. employment is not permitted while a visitor is on a B-1/B-2 visa. However, an honorarium or reimbursement for expenses may be possible. For more information about B-1/B-2 visas, visit the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs' Visitor Visa webpage.
Visa Waiver Program/ESTA WaiversIn some cases, citizens and nationals of certain countries are eligible for a waiver of the tourist visa when coming to the U.S. for less than 90 days for tourism or business. Visitors must be a citizen or national of a participating country and must have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to arrival. Foreign nationals in the U.S. on ESTA are subject to the same restrictions on activities and employment as B-1/B-2 visitors outlined above. Click here to review the visa waiver program requirements.
Other Visa TypesIn the event that a B1/B2 visa or ESTA waiver is not appropriate, a good resource to identify the correct category is the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs' Visa Wizard. If you believe your visitor qualifies as a J-1 visiting research scholar, professor, or specialist, contact the ISSSO for support.
Visitors on Visas Sponsored by a Third PartyOccasionally, visitors may be sponsored for a visa (typically a J-1 exchange visa) by a third party. If this is the case, KSU as the host and the visitor as the visa holder must be sure to follow all of the regulations for the particular visa category, as well as any agreed-upon requirements of the third party. Be sure to know what is required of your department and of KSU and have any contracts or agreements reviewed prior to moving forward.
Supporting Your International Visitors
Below are some tips for supporting your future international visitors and making sure they have what they need in order to have a successful visit to KSU.
- Contracts: Any agreements or contracts should be approved by the Contracts office prior to signing. Their website describes the process and lists who is the appropriate signer for the agreement. You may also wish to consult the Division of Legal Affairs regarding the proposed activities and your department's responsibility around being a host.
- Employment: Remember that certain visa categories, including the visitor visa, restrict employment. If the international visitor is being paid, work with KSU's Human Resources and the ISSSO (for J-1 visas) to determine eligibility and the correct visa category. Additionally, ensure that the visitor completes the hiring process before they receive their visa documents and enter the U.S., so that there are no issues if the visitor is deemed is ineligible for hire.
- Registered Visitors: Groups and unpaid affiliates may require access to technology, parking, rooms/buildings, and/or dining during their stay. Additionally, visitors to campus for more than four days should be officially registered with KSU. You may report that you are hosting visitors and request access for the visitors using the Registered Visitor Form in Owl Express. A job aid can be found here.
- Background Checks: Part of the process for on-boarding your visitors might be a background check, which may incur a cost if the department is not state-funded. Please contact Human Resources with questions about background checks.
- Housing: The hosting department is responsible for helping the visitors find housing. We suggest researching local hotels, extended-stays, or homestay options for your visitors. KSU does not currently provide on-campus housing to visitors.
- Arrival: Discuss in advance how the visitors will arrive to campus from the airport. If you are driving the visitors, be sure to complete the required KSU driver training.
Visitors often have questions about their expenses in the U.S. For your reference, our Travel website provides some basic information about housing costs and general expenses. It also provides information about local transportation and food options.