Faculty and Staff Information

This page provides resources for faculty and staff who work with international students. Click on the links below for more information

Advisor Recommendation Procedures

All Academic Advisor Recommendation forms are submitted to ISSA using ISSAlink. Once a student has completed a request form, you will receive an email from issa@nd.edu with instructions for how to complete a recommendation.  If you need assistance at any point, please call 631-3825 or email issa@nd.edu.

ISSAlink Services that Require Advisor Confirmation

Program Extensions                                       Reduced Course Load Requests

Optional Practical Training                            Curricular Practical Training

Academic Training (J exchange visitors only)

Inviting Visiting Researchers or Interns to Campus

Academic departments or faculty members may wish to invite students or scholars from abroad to conduct research or participate in an internship at the University outside of a Notre Dame degree program. Please see the categories below for more information:

Undergraduate Researchers and Interns

  • Departments and faculty members may invite undergraduate students to conduct research or intern at the University of Notre Dame.
  • In most cases, undergraduate researchers will be issued documentation to enter the United States in either the J-1 Non-degree Student category or the J-1 Student Intern category.
  • For more information, contact Lisa Shroyer at lshroyer@nd.edu.

Guest Researchers (Non-Student/Non-Faculty) and Post-Doctoral Scholars

  • An individual who has completed at least a bachelor’s degree in his or her home country and will not be classified as a student for University administrative purposes should most likely enter the country as a J-1 guest researcher or post-doctoral scholar.
  • For more information, visit the J-1 Scholars section of the ISSA website.

Seminars, Conferences and Workshops

  • Individuals who will travel to the University of Notre Dame for short periods of time (less than 90 days) to attend lectures, conferences or workshops may enter the United States using a B-1 Visitor Visa.
  • For immigration purposes, this category requires no formal documentation from the University of Notre Dame, although participants often carry letters issued by the initiating department that may provide a clear description of the purpose of their visit for officers at U.S. consulates and ports of entry.
  • Certain visitors to the University who will conduct their own independent research without supervision or oversight from Notre Dame faculty or staff members may also be eligible to use this category.
  • For questions or more information, please contact International Student & Scholar Affairs at issa@nd.edu.

International Student Orientation

All Notre Dame-sponsored student visa holders (F-1 and J-1) are required to attend International Student Orientation, which takes place at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. Permanent residents and American citizens admitted from abroad are also invited and encouraged to attend Orientation. For more information regarding International Student Orientation, please visit the Newly Admitted Students page. If there are conflicts with your department's orientation program and International Student Orientation, please contact ISSA at issa@nd.edu.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Classes for International Spouses

ISSA offers English as a Second Language Classes for the spouses of international students, scholars, faculty, and staff. For more information about the ESL classes, including location and meeting times, please visit ESL for International Spouses Program.

Student Immigration Basics

Enrollment in a Full Course of Study

F-1 and J-1 international students are generally required to enroll in a “full course of study” to maintain lawful immigration status. International students who are unable to enroll full-time must obtain written authorization from International Student and Scholar Affairs (ISSA) prior to dropping below full-time status. The University is required to report the enrollment status of every F-1 and J-1 student to the Department of Homeland Security each semester during the academic year. This rule generally applies only to the fall and spring semesters; summer is considered an annual break unless a student begins a new program in the summer term. 


Employment is defined as the providing of services in exchange for compensation, which may include books, meals, lodging or other forms of non-financial compensation. F-1 and J-1 students are permitted to accept employment on campus for no more than 20 hours per week during the fall and spring terms. This rule applies to graduate teaching and research assistantships as well as other types of on-campus employment. No hourly restrictions exist for on-campus employment during summer or other scheduled school breaks. 

J-1 students must obtain written authorization from ISSA prior to engaging in any type of on-campus employment.

F-1 and J-1 students must obtain prior written authorization for employment from ISSA before engaging in any type of employment off-campus.  This rule applies to internships, cooperative education, or practicums. 

Any unauthorized employment must be reported by ISSA to the government through the SEVIS system, which may result in the loss of the student’s legal immigration status in the U.S. This will result in the student being unable to enroll at Notre Dame and may result in arrest or removal from the United States.

Study or Research Abroad

International students are required to contact ISSA prior to engaging in research or study outside the United States to ensure that required University reporting on a student’s physical location and enrollment status may be completed accurately in SEVIS.  This can be reported in ISSAlink using the Study/Research Abroad Request eform.

Withdrawal, Dismissal, or Leave of Absence 

Students who separate from the University—even temporarily—must report this separation to the Office of the Registrar, who will in turn notify ISSA.  Students can initiate this separation by going to http://registrar.nd.edu/students/leaveofabsence.php .   Students are also encouraged to come to the ISSA office to discuss with an immigration advisor the effects of the separation on their immigration record.  This will help ensure that students receive timely immigration advice and that the university remains in compliance with federal reporting requirements. 

Additional Information About Student Immigration Issues

This page addresses important international student issues on a very basic level.  Many additional considerations related to these topics and to other student situations exist that should only be addressed by ISSA staff. Additional resources related to these topics are available on the Current Students page.

University of Notre Dame faculty and staff should not attempt to advise international students on reduced enrollment, employment, travel or other issues related to their visa status.  Student inquiries on these matters should be referred to ISSA. ISSA is the only department on campus that should advise international students on immigration matters.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Immigration Terms and Definitions

DHS was created in 2003 to replace Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). DHS absorbed the U.S. Customs Service and is divided into the following three branches:

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

ICE enforces U.S. immigration regulations, conducts investigations, and monitors the activities of non-U.S. citizens in the United States.   

Customs and Border Protection (CBP)

CBP patrols and maintains security at U.S. borders and conducts inspections of people and cargo at U.S. ports of entry. 

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)

USCIS processes applications for immigration benefits, including employment authorization, extensions, and changes of immigration status, permanent residence, and citizenship.


A nonimmigrant is any individual who is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who enters the United States temporarily. A nonimmigrant is expected to depart the United States after fulfilling the purpose of his or her visit. 

F-1 Student

F-1 students are typically degree-seeking students admitted to degree programs at the University.  They normally enter the U.S. using F-1 nonimmigrant visas and must abide by the regulations that govern F-1 student conduct.

J-1 Student

The J-1 exchange visitor category encompasses a variety of purposes, including students and scholars. J-1 students may be degree or non-degree students.  The University of Notre Dame primarily uses the J-1 student category for short-term, non-degree exchange students. They normally enter the U.S. using J-1 nonimmigrant visas and must abide by the regulations that govern J-1 student conduct. J-1 students may also receive full or partial sponsorship from U.S. or foreign governments, or be sponsored by IIE, Fulbright or other third party agencies.

Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)

SEVIS is an electronic system used by ICE to store information about nonimmigrants who enter the U.S. for educational purposes. ICE grants the University access to SEVIS to report information and authorize benefits for its international students. 

Designated School Official (DSO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO)

DSOs and AROs are staff members the University authorized to access SEVIS to create and report student events in accordance with DHS regulations. ISSA staff each serve as DSOs and AROs.


For information about International Student Orientation and requirements for newly admitted students, visit Newly Admitted Students.

For more information about immigration requirements for current international students, visit Current Students.

For more information regarding J-1 Scholars or inviting a visiting scholar to campus, please visit J-1 Scholars.

Still have questions? Email ISSA at issa@nd.edu or call (574) 631-3825.

ISSA provides immigration advising and support to Notre Dame sponsored F-1 and J-1 student visa holders and their dependents. International scholars and faculty should contact the Office of the General Counsel for immigration resources and information.