J-1 Work Authorization Letter

The Office of International Affairs issues a work authorization letter to international employees on J-1 visas in certain situations. This letter must be included with the payroll hire paperwork submitted to the Payroll Office for these employees.

The regulations are clear:

  • A visiting scholar with a DS 2019 issued by the UO as program sponsor, hired by the UO and so indicated by the purpose and the source of funds coming from the UO, does NOT need an extra work authorization letter. The DS 2019 serves the purpose of the work authorization. If the UO did not issue the DS 2019 as program sponsor then the visiting scholar DOES need a work authorization letter. An example might be a visiting scholar on sabbatical from another institution collaborating at the UO.
  • Students with GTFs or research assistantships on J-1 visas, where the UO is again the program sponsor and source of funding for those positions, also do NOT need a work authorization letter.
  • Students on J-1 visas who get other on-campus employment which is not a condition of a scholarship, assistantship or fellowship, DO need a work authorization letter.

Note: the funding source is the key to whether or not a J-1 letter is issued and required with the hire documents

Quick Reference Chart

Student Employees
Including Non-UO students
Holding a regular student job
Visiting Scholars (Unclassified) UO is not the stated source of
funding on the DS2019

UO is the source of funding for
the GTF fellowship as stated on
the DS2019
J-1 Letter is NOT required

Visiting Scholars (Unclassified)

Holding regular teaching and
research appointments where the
source of funding is the UO.
J-1 Letter is NOT required


When a work authorization letter is required, the hiring department will need to submit a J-1 Work Authorization Form for Employer to the Office of International Affairs.