Step 2: Obtain a Letter of Appointment

Once the foreign national's citizenship has been determined, the second step is to obtain a letter of appointment. In order to obtain an appointment letter, the type or nature of the appointment needs to be determined.

Post-Doctoral Research Scholars

If the appointee is coming as a post-doctoral researcher (Postdoctoral Fellow, Postdoctoral Associate), please complete and submit the following forms and supporting documents to the Office of Postdoctoral Scholars (by email to:

The completed documentation will prompt the Office of Postdoctoral Scholars to send a copy of the official appointment letter and appointment form to the ISSO.

Processing of new letters of appointment, as long as all required documentation has been received, will be within 7-10 days.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Office of Postdoctoral Scholars by email (, or by phone (6-2121). 

If you are re-appointing a current post-doctoral researcher at Brandeis, you will need to complete and submit the Postdoctoral Scholar Appointment Change Form to the Office of Postdoctoral Scholars (by email: The ISSO will then receive a copy of the official re-appointment letter once completed.

The ISSO will work with the host department to complete the appropriate visa documentation for the post-doctoral researcher to begin or continue their appointment activity at Brandeis University. 

To access complete information and links to the Postdoctoral Scholar Policy on appointments, taxation, benefits, and appointment processes and forms, appointment requirements, please see the information posted on the Office of Postdoctoral Scholars website.

Courtesy Appointments

For the appointment of a Visiting Scholar (salaried or unsalaried, such as Courtesy Appointments; but not grant funded), complete and scan/email the following two forms to the Office of Postdoctoral Scholars (

These forms, and additional information on the Courtesy Appointment process, can be found on Office of Postdoctoral Scholars website.

Teaching Faculty Appointments (Assistant Professors, Lecturers)

For a Faculty appointment, please contact Dean of Arts and Sciences Office (Attention: Lorna Laurent or Heather Young) for verification and approval.  After the official letter of appointment is issued, the Dean's Office will send a copy to the ISSO to begin discussions with the host department and faculty appointee concerning visa options.

Staff Positions

In rare cases, foreign national appointees have been hired through the Office of Human Resources for a staff position (e.g. Research Technician, Research Associate, Research Specialist).

The hiring department should contact Office of Human Resources (Attention: Melinda Cimino) and the International Students and Scholars Office ( to evaluate the candidate's immigration sponsorship needs, if any.  In particular, please note that not all staff positions qualify for H-1B sponsorship.  For details, contact  Human Resources is responsible for issuing the official letter of employment/job offer.

Please note that J-1 Exchange Visitors cannot hold staff positions.  Hiring departments are recommended to contact the ISSO in advance or following the search process regarding any visa questions.  

Visa Status Overviews

In all cases, the ISSO will assist the foreign national and the hiring department concerning visa options.  The following are overviews of some of the potential visa options:

J-1 Visa


H-1B Visa


Trade-NAFTA (TN) Visa


Seminar Speakers and Consultants


Permanent Residence (Green Card)

OPT STEM Extension - Please note that Brandeis University is an E-Verify certified employer for all employment across campus.  Therefore, individuals who will be working at Brandeis are eligible for the 24-month STEM Optional Practical Training authorization through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. For more information, please contact the ISSO directly. 

  Back to Step 1