Department Support

International Faculty and Scholar Services (IFSS) supports academic departments in bringing some of the world’s most experienced faculty and researchers to UCSC. IFSS facilitates and monitors immigration compliance within a complex, ever-changing regulatory environment.

According to the Department of State (DOS), the purpose of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange.

The exchange of international visitors promotes the interchange of knowledge and skills, mutual enrichment, and stronger links between research and educational institutions in the U.S. and foreign countries. The J-1 status is a temporary, nonimmigrant status. Participants are expected to return to their home country upon completion of their program.

J-1 Exchange Visitors

Information for departments and divisions about the J-1 exchange visitor categories, the most common status for visiting scholars. This section provides instructions on how to request a DS-2019 for a scholar, along with other important immigration information that the sponsoring unit may find helpful to know.

J-1 Visitor Categories at UCSC

Prospective Exchange Visitors must be invited by a UCSC academic department that will serve as the visitor’s host department. The host department is responsible for choosing the J-1 category for its incoming visitors.

J-1 categories are not the same as UCSC academic appointment titles. When selecting one of the categories below for an incoming visitor, departments should consider the following: 

  • Exchange Visitor’s academic background
  • Exchange Visitor’s immigration history
  • Exchange Visitor’s possibility of repeat visits to the US
  • Exchange Visitor’s anticipated length of stay
  • UCSC program objective

J-1 Short-term Scholars

A professor, research scholar, specialist, or person with similar education or accomplishment coming to the U.S. for the purpose of lecturing, observing, consulting, training, or demonstrating special skills. Details about the Short-Term Scholar category:

  • Appropriate for appointments from one day to six months in length
  • The program cannot be extended beyond six months
  • not subject to the 12 or 24-month bar on repeat participation
  • Individuals may be subject to the Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement

J-1 Research Scholar

An individual primarily conducting research, observing, or consulting in connection with a research project; is also allowed to teach or lecture. Details about the Research Scholar category:

  • Used for UC Santa Cruz appointments of 3 weeks to 5 year in duration
  • Program length not to exceed 5 years
  • Individuals who participate in this category become subject to the 24-month bar on repeat participation after completing their program
  • Individuals may be subject to the Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement

J-1 Professor

An individual concerned primarily with teaching, lecturing, observing, or consulting; is allowed to conduct research. Details about the Professor category:

  • Used for UC Santa Cruz appointments of 3 weeks to 5 years in duration
  • Program length not to exceed 5 years
  • Individuals who participate in this category becomes subject to the 24-month bar on repeat participation after completing their program
  • Individuals may be subject to the Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement

J-1 Student Intern

The J-1 Student Intern program is a structured, full-time internship opportunity for foreign students who are currently enrolled in and pursuing a degree at a post-secondary institution abroad and who are invited to do an internship on campus with a UCSC faculty supervisor. The internship must fulfill the educational objectives of the student’s degree program at their current institution abroad. Student interns may participate in a student internship program for up to 12 months for each foreign degree/major. Wages or other compensation is optional, however, student interns must meet the minimum J-1 Exchange Visitor funding requirements.

The Student Intern program is designed to:

  • Provide an opportunity for eligible overseas students to pursue a structured and guided internship program in their specific academic field.
  • Fulfill the educational objectives for the prospective J-1 Student Intern’s current degree program at their home institution overseas.
  • Increase mutual understanding between the people of the US and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchanges.

Students are responsible for finding their own internships or research opportunities (IFSS is not a placement agency). The internship must consist of work-based learning, rather than ordinary employment or unskilled labor. The internship cannot serve to fill a labor need, nor displace American workers.

  • Program length not to exceed 12 months
  • Individuals who participate in this category become subject to the 12-month bar for future J-1 Research Scholar/Professor categories after completing their program
  • Individuals may be subject to the Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement

Changing J EV Categories

Changing J categories within the U.S. is usually not permitted. The procedure to change categories is complicated, time-consuming, and must be approved by the Department of State. A change of category may be possible by departing the U.S., obtaining a new DS-2019, and re-entering in the new category. An exception can be made to alternate between a Professor and Research Scholar category. Please consult with an International Scholar Advisor if you are considering changing your program objective.

Invite J-1 Exchange Visitors

All J-1 Exchange Visitors must be invited and hosted by an applicable university department at UCSC. The invitation process must be initiated by the UCSC host department and involves a department faculty member and an administrative contact. The administrative contact is responsible for submitting the DS-2019 request packet to their Academic Divisional Coordinator.

The department and division should review the eligibility requirements and J categories of the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program prior to starting a DS-2019 request.

Request Process for J-1 Short-Term Scholars, Research Scholars, and Professors

The hosting UCSC department must submit a Professor or Scholar request to IFSS no less than 60 days prior to the proposed start date. IFSS will generate an immigration document, known as the DS-2019, for the Professor or Scholar to apply for a J visa and enter the U.S.

Please see the steps below to invite a J-1 Professor or Scholar to UC Santa Cruz.

UCSC Host Department

  1. The department must set up and offer a UCSC appointment to the incoming Professor or Scholar
  2. Submit New J-1 Scholar Request e-form through iGlobal, including UCSC Appointment Letter

Professor or Scholar

Complete and submit Exchange Visitor sections of the New J-1 Scholar Request e-form through iGlobal, including the following supporting documentation: 

  1. Copy of Passport(s)
  2. Proof of Financial Support
  3. Copy of Curriculum Vitae (in English)
  4. Copy of Diploma and English translation (bachelor’s level or higher)

Sample Email Template to Send to Incoming J-1 Exchange Visitor

The email template below is a sample to assist UCSC departments and divisions with the Professor and Scholar invitation process.

Dear (Scholar’s Name),

Congratulations on receiving an invitation to visit the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) as a J-1 exchange visitor. The Division of _____________ will submit a DS-2019 request to International Faculty and Scholar Services (IFSS) on your behalf so that a DS-2019 will be generated for you. Please prepare an electronic scan of the following:

  1. Copy of your passport and any J-2 dependent passport biographical pages
  2. Proof of financial support (if not funded by UCSC). Please visit the Financial Requirements section on the IFSS website for details on financial documentation requirements.
  3. Copy of curriculum vitae (in English)
  4. Copy of diploma and English translation (bachelor’s level or higher)

Once your DS-2019 is generated, you will receive an email from IFSS regarding next steps of the immigration process. You are not able to book a visa appointment or pay any associated fees until a DS-2019 is created for you.

We look forward to receiving your response and welcoming you to UCSC.

Sincerely,
Administrative Staff Name
Contact Information

After Submission to IFSS

Upon submission of the complete DS-2019 request, please allow 7 business days for processing. Once the DS-2019 is issued, IFSS will send an email to the department and incoming Exchange Visitor with the necessary information to schedule their visa interview abroad. IFSS will mail the original DS-2019 to the incoming Exchange Visitor.

Request Process for J-1 Student Interns

The hosting UCSC department must submit a Student Intern request to IFSS no less than 60 days prior to the proposed start date. IFSS will generate two immigration documents for the Student Intern to apply for a J visa and enter the U.S., the DS-2019 and DS-7002.

Please see the steps below to invite a J-1 Student Intern to UC Santa Cruz.

UCSC Host Department

  1. The department must set up and offer UCSC appointment to incoming Student Intern
  2. Complete department sections of the Student Intern Application e-form in iGlobal
  3. Supervisor must complete and sign DS-7002 Training Plan section of Student Intern Application e-form
  4. Submit the Student Intern Application e-form to IFSS once the Student Intern provides all necessary documents/information via the e-form

Student Intern

Complete appropriate sections of the Student Intern Application e-form, including the following supporting documents:

  1. Copy of Passport
  2. Copy of Curriculum Vitae
  3. Proof of Financial Support
  4. Approval of Student Intern Participation Form (from student intern’s home institution) – processed electronically via the e-form

Eligibility Criteria

  • Currently enrolled and in good academic standing at an accredited postsecondary academic institution outside the US. (Most are pursuing the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree).
  • Fulfilling educational objectives for current degree program outside the U.S.
  • Able to verify English language skills sufficient to function on a day-to-day basis in the program.
  • Primarily in the U.S. to engage in the student internship program, rather than to engage in employment or provide services to UCSC
  • Return as an enrolled student in the home institution after the UCSC internship to “fulfill and obtain a degree.”
  • Able to show sufficient funding to support the visit, including housing and living expenses.
  • Able to provide proof of health insurance that meets the minimum requirements of the J-1 status and will be valid for the time spent at UCSC.
  • The internship must consist of a minimum of 32 hours per week and can include no more than 20% clerical work.
  • Eligible for the Visitor (Undergraduate), Jr. Specialist APO appointment titles

Internship Activities

  • Cannot serve to fill a labor need.
  • Must exist solely to assist the Student Intern in achieving their educational objectives.
  • Must consist of work-based learning, rather than ordinary employment or unskilled labor.
  • Cannot displace American workers, including full or part-time, temporary or permanent.
  • Must meet all requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act.
  • Must not involve in any way a staffing/employment agency.

Sample Email Template to Send to Incoming J-1 Student Intern

The email template below is a sample to assist UCSC departments and divisions with the Student Intern invitation process.

Dear (Student Intern’s Name),

Congratulations on receiving an invitation to visit the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) as a J-1 Student Intern. The Division of _____________ will submit a DS-2019 application packet to International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) on your behalf so that a DS-2019 and DS-7002 will be generated for you. Please prepare an electronic scan of the following:

  1. Copy of your passport and any J-2 dependent passport biographical pages
  2. Proof of financial support (if not funded by UCSC). Please visit the Funding Requirements section on the ISSS website for details on financial documentation requirements.
  3. Copy of curriculum vitae (in English)

You will receive an email invitation from ISSS to submit your information and documents for your Forms DS-2019 and DS-7002. ISSS will send you an email once your DS-2019 and DS-7002 are generated regarding next steps of the immigration process. You are not able to book a visa appointment or pay any associated fees until a DS-2019 is created for you.

We look forward to receiving your response and welcoming you to UCSC.

Sincerely,

Administrative Staff Name
Contact Information

After Submission to IFSS

Upon review of the Student Intern Application e-form, IFSS will issue the final SEVIS-generated DS-7002 for the Student Intern. The final SEVIS-generated DS-7002 will be electronically signed by the UCSC host supervisor and the IFSS advisor. The student intern will sign the hard copy of DS-7002. IFSS will also issue Form DS-2019 for the student intern. Once the DS-2019 is issued, IFSS will send an email to the department and Student Intern with the necessary information to schedule the visa interview abroad. IFSS will mail the original DS-2019 and DS-7002 to the Student Intern.

Eligibility Criteria
  • Intent to pursue appropriate activity (research, teaching, etc.)
  • Intent to return to home country (as determined by consular officer)
  • Sufficient funding for program duration
  • Appropriate background for program activity
    • Professors, Research Scholars, and Short-Term Scholars require the equivalence of a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher
  • English language proficiency

The UCSC department must extend an academic appointment to the prospective J-1 Exchange Visitor prior to requesting a DS-2019. J-1 Exchange Visitor status is limited to those who hold temporary, “visiting” academic positions. The J-1 status cannot be used for tenure-track faculty positions, regular faculty or support positions, administrative positions, or staff positions. The following titles are eligible for J-1 Exchange Visitor status:

  • All Visiting Appointments
  • Visiting Scholar, Visitor (Graduate Student), Visitor (Undergraduate Student)
  • Research Associate and Research Fellow
  • Postdoctoral Scholar
  • Jr. Specialist

Please reference Recruitment and Appointment of Non-Citizens for more information.

Fees and Processing Times

Fees

IFSS will apply a recharge for J-1 sponsorship requests. Initial requests will incur a charge of $500.  Extension requests will incur a charge of $250. Both are payable via FOAPAL.

Processing Times

  1. Department Invites J-1 Exchange Visitor
    Before submission to IFSS
  2. Submit DS-2019 Request to IFSS
  3. IFSS Processes DS-2019
    7 business days
  4. Visitor Makes Visa Appointment
    2-4 weeks
  5. U.S. Embassy/Consulate Processes Visa
    1-12 weeks
  6. Visitor Arrives in the U.S. and Completes IFSS Orientation Process*
    2-4 weeks

*Must complete no later than 30 days from the start date

UCSC Department and Faculty Responsibilities

The UCSC department and hosting supervisor are responsible for providing assistance to the Exchange Visitor upon arrival to UCSC and must comply with the following reporting requirements:

  • Monitor the J-1 Exchange Visitor’s arrival dates and inform IFSS of possible delays or cancellations by submitting the J-1 Scholar Deferral and Cancellation e-form through iGlobal See Recommendations (opens dialog).
  • Inform J-1 Exchange Visitors that they are required to have health insurance for themselves and their J-2 dependents that meet the Department of State’s requirements for the J program.
  • Remind the J-1 Exchange Visitor to complete the mandatory IFSS orientation process no later than 30 days after their start date.
  • Notify IFSS by submitting an amendment request if the J-1 Exchange Visitor will experience any of the following at least 30 days in advance:
    • program activities end two weeks or more before the program end date on the DS-2019
    • change/add UCSC compensation (only if it is a significant change, such as a new source of funding; there is no need to report regular annual salary increases)
    • change departments or labs within UCSC
    • change faculty supervisor within UCSC
    • New or additional site of activity (new location where activities will be conducted)

H-1B Temporary Worker

Information for departments and divisions about H-1B status, intended for temporary employment in a specialty occupation. This section provides information on how to sponsor an initial H-1B, as well as the timeline for H-1B petitions and the effect of pending extensions or amended petitions on work authorization.

About H-1B Status

H-1B status allows UCSC to temporarily employ foreign national workers in the US in “specialty occupations”. A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and requires at minimum a Bachelor’s degree in a specific field as a minimum requirement for entry into the occupation (e.g. sciences, medicine, health care, education, biotechnology, and business specialties, etc.).

  • UC Santa Cruz will only sponsor full-time employees in H-1B status. 
  • Non-Academic Staff positions must go through an exception process before an H-1B application can be submitted to IFSS. For more information on the exception process please see the Non-Academic Staff H-1B Sponsorship Exception Form.

Time Limits

An H-1B may be requested for periods of up to 3 years at a time, for a maximum of 6 years.  An existing appointment is NOT required to be eligible for H-1B status; all that is required is a reasonable expectation that employment will continue.  

Documented time spent outside of the US may be “recaptured” on behalf of the employee in order to extend beyond the 6 year limit. 

Individuals who have reached 6 years of H-1B status may be eligible for an additional 6 years once they have spent at least one year outside of the US.  

Individuals may be eligible to extend their H-1B status beyond 6 years if they are the beneficiary of an approved I-140 and their priority date is subject to backlog, or if they have an I-140 or Labor Certification that was filed at least 365 days in the past.

Dependents

Spouses and children of H-1B employees who are under the age of 21 are eligible for H-4 status.

Dependents who apply for an H-4 visa from outside of the US may do so using the primary H-1B approval notice. 

Dependents who apply for an Extension or a Change of Status to H-4 from inside of the US may do so using form I-539.  As a courtesy, IFSS will include an I-539 packet together with the primary application, though preparation and review remains the responsibility of the applicant.  

H-4 Dependents are not allowed to accept employment except in limited situations. 

Other Important Points

  • It is the responsibility of the department to notify IFSS if any conditions of employment change at any time.  This includes adding or changing work location(s), dismissal or termination, or change in salary, title, or responsibilities.
  • An H-1B request must be initiated by the hiring department or division. The employee may not submit their own application to IFSS.
  • Individuals who are subject to the 212(e) Home Residency Requirement due to a previous stay in J-1 status will have to satisfy the requirement or apply for a waiver BEFORE applying for H-1B status.  As a J-1 sponsor, IFSS cannot assist in the preparation of a J-1 waiver.
  • The wage for the position must meet the requirements of  Department of Labor (DOL) regulations. IFSS will facilitate the process of obtaining a prevailing wage but should not be viewed as setting the wage.
  • The payment of H-1B petition (Form I-129)must come from the employer and cannot be passed on to or recovered from the employee in any way.
  • H-1B status is employer-specific; the employee or beneficiary may only work for the employer who sponsors the status. The employee may have more than one H-1B approval at a time.
  • The employee must have met the degree requirements before the petition is submitted. The employee must have a diploma or other certification from the institution to indicate that all degree requirements have been met.
  • H-1B status recognizes dual intent. This means an employee may apply for permanent residency while in H-1B status. 
  • Employers are required to maintain and make available upon request a public inspection file, which is housed in International Student and Scholar Services.
  • IFSS recommends premium processing service to reduce adjudication time to 15 days in nearly all cases. The employer is required to pay for Premium Processing in cases of business necessity such as to ensure a certain start date or avoid a lapse in employment.  In certain circumstances, such as a need for personal travel or a dependent Drivers License, the employee may pay for Premium Processing personally
Fees and Processing Times

The following government application fees apply for processing the H-1B petition.

AmountFeeComments
$460Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant WorkerRequired for all H-1B cases
$500Fraud Detection and Protection FeeRequired the first time that UC Santa Cruz applies for an H-1B on behalf of an individual
$2805Premium Processing FeeOptional but recommended in all cases
$470Form I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and Biometrics Service FeePaid by department or employee; for dependent(s) seeking H-4 status

All checks should be issued separately and provided to IFSS at the time of submission. While IFSS will begin processing of H-1B cases before receiving checks, please note that sometimes checks can take up to 3-4 weeks to arrive.

In addition to the above government application fees, which are payable by checks, please take note of the IFSS processing fee, which is payable via recharge/FOAPAL number.

AmountFeeComments
$2000IFSS Processing FeeMust be paid by University funds. Cannot be paid personally.

About Premium Processing

The optional premium processing service fee guarantees that USCIS will respond to a case (with an approval, denial, or request for further evidence) within 15 calendar days from submission.

Given the lengthy adjudication times, IFSS recommends using Premium Processing in all cases. When necessary due to a business need, such as to avoid a lapse of employment, the fee must be paid by the employer. In certain cases, when requested for the benefit of the employee (such as to renew a driver’s license or re-enter the US after personal travel) the cost may be passed along to the employee. 

About IFSS Processing Times

  • To allow for sufficient government processing time, hiring departments should endeavor to submit H-1B request materials to IFSS for a prospective employee 6-7 months in advance but no later than 60 days prior to the anticipated start of H-1B employment.
  • IFSS processing timeline begins upon receipt of all application materials. The time spent gathering and preparing the documents prior to submission is preliminary.
  • Usually within 4-6 weeks of receiving the complete request, including checks and all supporting documents, IFSS will submit the H-1B petition to USCIS.
  • If a complete H-1B request packet is not submitted to IFSS in a timely fashion, IFSS cannot guarantee that the application will be processed and/or filed in a timely manner or at the requested time. Please note that IFSS processing times may vary depending on volume.

About USCIS Processing Times

  • Premium Processing is recommended in all cases. Under Regular Processing, USCIS processing times fluctuate month to month for petition adjudication and are often 7-9 months.  
  • Under Premium Processing, USCIS will adjudicate the petition within 15 calendar days of receipt at USCIS for an additional premium processing service fee.
  • Premium Processing only affects the time that the petition spends pending with USCIS. It does not include the time needed by IFSS to queue the application and to review the H-1B request materials, or the time it will take for delivery of the printed approval notice.
  • Premium Processing is not a guarantee of approval. USCIS could respond within 15 calendar days with a request for additional information, approval, or denial.
H-1B Application Process
H-1B Application Documents
Document Checklist
Actual Wage Determination Worksheet
Deemed Export Control Certification
Employer Letter of Support Template
Employer Letter of Support- Off-Site Template (where applicable)
Employee Premium Processing Fee Letter Template (where applicable)
Non-Academic Staff H-1B Sponsorship Exception Form (where applicable)

Submit all application materials to IFSS

Departments and divisions must submit a complete electronic H-1B application packet through iGlobal. This starts the process with IFSS.  Please view the instructions on how to submit an H-1B Application prior to accessing iGlobal, and contact ischolar@ucsc.edu with any questions. Please be sure to begin your internal processes in time to submit the materials to meet the deadlines discussed in Fees and Processing Times.  Divisional review, postings, document collection, etc. are not considered part of the timeline.

The same application may be submitted to IFSS for all of the following H-1B situations:

  • New Employment – The first time an employee  will apply for H-1B status at UC Santa Cruz, even if they are already an employee;
  • Extension  – When an employee is already in H-1B status and will extend their stay in the same position.  Employees who submit a timely filed extension may continue to work for up to 240 days while their petition remains pending;
  • Amendment – When an employee is already in H-1B status and something about their position has changed (location, title, responsibilities, etc);
  • Change of Employer – When an employer is already in H-1B status with another employer and will transfer to UC Santa Cruz.  It is sometimes called “portability”;
  • Concurrent  – When an employee is already in H-1B status with another employer and would like to work at UC Santa Cruz in addition to their original position.

Review

IFSS reviews the paperwork submitted within 10 business days of receipt. We will discuss with you any necessary changes or missing documents that should be included.

LCA

IFSS submits a request to certify a Labor Condition Attestation (LCA) to the Department of Labor (DOL).  This will generally be returned as certified from the DOL within 7 days. At the time of submission, IFSS will electronically post the Notice of Filing of the LCA (detailed in the next section).  This 10-day period can run concurrently to the rest of the application preparation and does not have to delay the process.  

Petition Submission

Once the LCA has been certified, IFSS will finalize the petition and submit it to USCIS.  Petitions using Premium Processing will receive a response within 15 days. Petitions using regular processing are subject to fluctuating USCIS adjudication timelines, which can be up to 9 months.

Approval

Once an H-1B petition is approved, IFSS will notify the specified department and division contact.  H-1B employees who are outside of the US will need to apply for a visa in their passport from a US consulate abroad. 

Notice of Intent to Hire H-1B Employees

In compliance with Department of Labor requirements for employers petitioning for H-1B visas, the following notice of positions for which UC Santa Cruz intends to hire H-1B employees is provided. Candidates have already been selected to fill the positions; the Notice of Intent to Hire is not a posting for an open position.

Complaints alleging misrepresentation of material facts in the labor condition application and/or failure to comply with the terms of the labor condition application may be filed with any office of the Wage and Hour Division of the United States Department of Labor.

All Labor Condition Applications pertaining to these positions are available for public inspection at the UC Santa Cruz Division of Global Engagement, 1156 High Street, Classroom Unit, Santa Cruz, CA.

lca-posting-button-link.png

Sponsor Permanent Residency

Information for departments and divisions interested in petitioning permanent residency (commonly called “green card”) for international faculty who have been offered permanent positions and meet other specific criteria.

Overview, Process, and Fees

UCSC divisions and departments can sponsor permanent resident status for employees in permanent, full-time positions that require professional-level credentials.

According to APO policy, these employees include individuals hired in tenure-track faculty positions, researchers in the Professional Researcher Series (at the Associate Researcher level or higher, if funding is guaranteed for a minimum of three years), and for Continuing Lecturers (under very limited circumstances as determined by the USCIS). All university-sponsored permanent residency cases must be processed through IFSS and a UCOP-vetted immigration attorney. 

To start the permanent residency process please log into iGlobal Department Services and complete the Outside Counsel Request for Permanent Residency Form. Upon receipt of the completed form, an initial consultation will be set up with IFSS, an immigration attorney, the hiring unit, and the employee. The meeting will cover strategy for filing, as well as the cost and timeline of the petition.

IMPORTANT

Special Handling for Teaching Faculty allows facilitated recruitment and standard in most faculty Permanent Residence cases.  To take advantage of this option, UCSC must submit a Labor certification application to the Department of Labor within 18 months of the date the faculty member was selected for their position. For this reason, please reach out to International Scholar Services to discuss the Permanent Residency Strategy for all new foreign national faculty hires immediately upon selection, even in cases where sponsorship will be delayed.  Failure to file within this time period and to properly document the recruiting effort may make it difficult to obtain Permanent Residency on behalf of the employee for a period of several years or longer.

Schedule of Fees

IFSS does not charge an internal fee for Permanent Residence petitions, however, the following legal and government application fees do apply. These fees are non-exhaustive and subject to change. 

Permanent Residence Process with Labor Certification: EB-2 Faculty Special Handling

AmountFeeComments
$3,000Special Handling Labor CertificationLegal Fee
$2,500Immigrant PetitionLegal Fee
$2,805Premium Processing Service FeeOptional USCIS filing fee but recommended in all cases
$715Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien WorkerUSCIS filing fee

Permanent Residence Process: EB-1 Outstanding Professors and Researchers, National Interest Waiver

AmountFeeComments
$6,000Immigrant PetitionLegal Fee
$2,805Premium Processing Service FeeOptional USCIS filing fee but recommended in all cases
$715Form I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien WorkerUSCIS filing fee

Adjustment of Status (any Permanent Residence Process)

$2,500Principal Employee Adjustment of Status and Related ApplicationsLegal Fee
$1,500Spouse Adjustment of Status (concurrent with I-140)Legal Fee
$1,000Child Adjustment of Status (concurrent with I-140)Legal Fee
$1,540Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status and Biometrics Service FeeUSCIS filing fee; applies to all applicants including dependents

Incidental Fees

$750Attorney fees for copying, FedEx, USPSLegal Fees – required but fees only charged when incurred.

Other Visa Types

Information for departments and divisions with incoming international scholars or visitors whose visit or appointment does not fit with the J-1 or H-1B categories. This section includes information on work authorizations for those in B-1/B-2, WB/WT, E-3, O-1, and TN status.

B-1 Business and Visa Waiver Program

The B-1/B-2 visa allows visitors to enter the United States as non-immigrants for up to six months for business or pleasure, with the possibility to extend the status for an additional six months.

Visitors entering in this status cannot engage in employment in the U.S. nor enroll in an academic study program. The U.S. Department of State expressly indicates that the B-1 may be used for “independent” research.

Visitors in this status are permitted to change to another non-immigrant classification, provided they had no preconceived intent to do this prior to their entry in B status (or, if so, disclosed this intent to U.S. officials prior to their entry in B status).

  • B-1 status (Visitor for Business)
    An international visitor entering in B-1 status holds a permanent residence in a foreign country that he/she has no intention of abandoning, and who is visiting the U.S. temporarily for business. Examples of appropriate uses for the B-1 visa include:
    • An individual coming for a conference or seminar;
    • An individual coming for an interview;
    • An individual coming to negotiate a contract;
    • An individual coming to participate in a short-term training program (excluding internships or activities that provide students with credits, benefit their program of study in any way or are a requirement by their home institution);
    • A scholar who will spend his/her leave at UC Santa Cruz conducting independent research (no direct benefit to UCSC), and will receive no payment from UCSC.
    These must all be short-term, non-salaried academic activities. The department’s letter of invitation should indicate the types of activity that will be pursued, and these activities should correspond to those indicated as acceptable for the B-1 classification by the U.S. Dept. of State (see http://travel.state.gov/pdf/BusinessVisa.pdf).

    If activities do not conform to the B-1 classification U.S. Dept. of State may require a different visa, such as a J-1 Exchange Visitor visa.  If a J-1 visa is more appropriate the host department will need to go through the J-1 request procedure. The Department of State has made clear that any visitor to a U.S. academic institution who engages in a collaborative activity or research, and whose activity will benefit the hosting institution should be sponsored for a J-1 visa.
    The initial maximum period of stay for a B-1 visa holder can be up to 6 months, although the individual could be admitted to the United States for less than six months.  The period of time for which a visitor may be admitted depends on the time requested, the proof of finances for that time period, and the discretion of the immigration officer at the U.S. port-of-entry.  Extensions of the B-1 status may be granted for up to six months or less through application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by the B-1 Visitor for Business.
  • B-1 Visitors Payment
    B-1s may not receive a salary from UCSC.  However, they may be allowed to receive reimbursement in some cases.  Individuals admitted under a B-1 visa are allowed to receive reimbursement for travel and per diem expenses, up to a reasonable amount, for the period of time they are in the U.S. as a B-1 Visitor for Business.
    Additionally, B-1 visa holders are allowed to receive payment of honoraria and associated incidental expenses for “usual academic activity,” provided that the activity on campus lasts no longer than nine days from the beginning to the end of their activity. B-1 visa holders cannot accept honoraria and/or incidental expenses from more than five institutions or organizations in a six-month period.
  • B-2 status (Visitor for Pleasure)
    An international visitor entering in B-2 status has recreational intent, including tourism, amusement, visits with friends or relatives, rest, and activities of a social nature. In ALL cases, we recommend that departments invite visitors in B-1 rather than B-2 status.

WB Visa Waiver Program Overview

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of certain countries to enter the United States as non-immigrants for up to 90 days for business (WB status) or pleasure (WT status).

For a complete list of countries eligible for the visa waiver program, please visit the website for the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs.

In general, the same rules apply to the WB (Visitor for Business) as apply to the B-1.  However, a significant difference is that individuals requesting WB status, who enter the U.S. without a B-1 visa stamp in their passport, can only stay in the U.S. for a maximum of 90 days and cannot extend their stay or change their status inside the U.S.  This means that an individual cannot come to the U.S. on a visa waiver with any uncertainty about their length of stay or the hope to change to another status.  

Eligible travelers who wish to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program must apply for authorization via the Department of Homeland Security’s  Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). For more information about the Visa Waiver Program or ESTA visit U.S. Customs and Border Protection website. 

Procedures for Inviting B-1 or WB Visitors

If you believe an international visitor invited to your department may qualify as a B-1 or WB business visitor, please follow the procedures below:

  1. The department issues an invitation letter.
  2. If the visiting scholar will apply for a B-1 visa, he or she will need to take the invitation letter and proof of finances to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy responsible for his or her location.  The visitor will need to fill out Form DS-160, the online nonimmigrant visa application which can be found at the U.S. embassy’s website or at the U.S. Department of State website.  A visa application fee will also be required at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. 
  3. If the visiting scholar will not apply for a visa because he or she can enter under the visa waiver program as a WB and will not stay more than 90 days, the scholar will need to present the invitation letter and proof of finances at passport inspection at the US port-of-entry. The scholar should make sure that the passport admission stamp has a WB annotation before leaving the passport inspection area.  A “WT” is an annotation for “tourist” and will not allow the privileges described above, so it is important to get the correct annotation at passport inspection.

After arrival, the visiting scholar should also check their I-94 record (arrival and departure information) to ensure that the data matches the information on the passport admission stamp.  A visitor may print a paper-I-94 from this website, if necessary. If there are concerns, please contact IFSS.

3-A Specialty Workers

The E-3 classification applies only to nationals of Australia. The individual must come to the United States solely to perform services in a specialty occupation. The specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of knowledge in professional fields and at least the attainment of a bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.

This status is reserved for tenure-track faculty members, temporary faculty, and researchers with Australian citizenship when J-1 is not appropriate or available. The university will only file E-3 petitions for full-time appointments. The Academic Personnel Office policy on hiring noncitizens can be found here. Contact an International Scholar Advisor at ischolar@ucsc.edu to determine if this category of work authorization is applicable.

O-1 Aliens of Extraordinary Ability

The O-1 nonimmigrant category is for individuals who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry. To qualify for an O-1 in the Sciences, Business, or Athletics, a person must have either of the following:

  • Receipt of a major, internationally-recognized award (e.g. the Nobel Prize) or
  • Meet at least three of the following criteria:
    • Receipt of nationally or internationally recognized prizes or awards for excellence in his/her field.
    • Membership in an association in the field which requires outstanding achievements of its members, as judged by national or international experts in the field.
    • Published material in professional or major trade publications or major media, concerning the person’s work.
    • Authorship of scholarly articles in professional journals or other major media.
    • Participation on a panel, or individually, as a judge of the work of others in the field.
    • Employment in a critical or essential capacity for organizations and establishments that have a distinguished reputation.
    • High salary or other renumeration commanded by the person for services.
    • Other comparable evidence.

O-1 Petitions at UCSC

If your academic department is interested in pursuing O-1 sponsorship on your behalf, please contact the International Scholar Advisor at ischolar@ucsc.edu for more information. Processing of an O-1 petition can take six months or more and require substantial evidentiary documentation. A review of your CV will be necessary to determine your eligibility. 

TN Mexican and Canadian Professional Workers

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) allows Mexican and Canadian citizens to enter the USA in TN status in order to be employed in specific occupations on a temporary basis, if they hold the qualifying educational background, degrees, or experience described within NAFTA Appendix 16-3.D.1. Most occupation titles require a bachelor’s degree and some require a higher degree or a professional license with few exceptions. TN nonimmigrant status requires that applicants show evidence that they have a residence abroad and that they intend to depart the U.S. after completing their employment.

UCSC Employment 

Please contact the International Scholar Advisor at ischolar@ucsc.edu for more information or to determine if TN work authorization is appropriate and applicable to your case. Click here for TN Status Guideline and Request form.

Resources

TN Sample Job Verification Letter

U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, TN NAFTA Professionals

Customs & Border Patrol, Canadian Preclearance Locations

Department of State, Visas for Canadian and Mexican NAFTA Professional Workers


Common Immigration Terms

Glossary of Common Immigration Terms

The U.S. Department of State divides foreign nationals into two categories:

  • Immigrant: those who come to the U.S. to stay permanently
  • Non-immigrant: those who come to the U.S. for a specific purpose for a limited amount of time and then leave the U.S.

There are many US visa categories labeled A-V. Each lettered visa represents a specific type of visitor based on their purpose for visiting the US. 

The terms below are commonly used by IFSS in communication with departments/divisions.

CIP Code

An Exchange Visitor’s field of study or research at UCSC is tied to a 6 digit code in SEVIS, known as the Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code. CIP codes provide a taxonomic scheme that supports the accurate tracking and reporting of fields of study and program activity. 

Department of Labor (DOL)

An abbreviation for the U.S. Department of Labor. Employers must attest to the Department of Labor that they will pay wages to the H-1B nonimmigrant workers that are at least equal to the actual wage paid by the employer to other workers with similar experience and qualifications for the job in question, or the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment – whichever is greater. 

Form DS-7002

The DS-7002 is an immigration document that applies only to J-1 Student Interns at UCSC. It is a mandatory Training/Internship Placement Plan that describes what the Student Intern will do during their program, what skills they will learn, how cultural exchange will be encouraged, and how their performance will be measured. The DS-7002 must be completed by the UCSC faculty host and signed by the Student Intern, faculty host, and IFSS scholar advisor before the DS-2019 is issued. The signed DS-7002 is required at the Student Intern’s J-1 visa appointment abroad. 

Form DS-2019

The DS-2019 is an immigration document issued by UCSC, a U.S. government-approved institution or organization, certifying that an Exchange Visitor has been invited to conduct research or teach at UCSC and meets all eligibility requirements for the J-1 status. The DS-2019 is officially titled the “Certificate of Eligibility” because with it, Exchange Visitors are “eligible” to apply for a J-1 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Spouse or children each need their own DS-2019 to obtain J-2 dependent status, if desired. The DS-2019 allows visitors to physically be present in the US and conduct their activities at UCSC.

Getting the DS-2019 from UCSC is not enough to become a legal J-1 visitor and to start activities at UCSC; visitors must also be granted legal entry to the U.S. and enter in J-1 status, or be approved for an in-country change of status from another type of nonimmigrant status.

Form I-129

The form submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with supporting documentation by IFSS to obtain (or amend the details of) a worker on a nonimmigrant immigration status, such as H-1B.

Form I-797

Form I-797, Notice of Action, is issued as a result of an application or a petition submitted to USCIS. For H-1B petitions, the Form I-797 is the approval notice of the petition in order to apply for or maintain one’s current H-1B immigration status.

In-Status

An individual is considered in valid status (“in status”) if they are complying with all terms and conditions of their visa classification. Please reference Maintaining J Status or Maintaining H Status for more information. 

submitted to USCIS for adjudication, USCIS’ review of a petition or application to determine if a petitioner or applicant is eligible for the immigration benefit for which they are applying.

Labor Condition Attestation (LCA)

The Department of Labor’s Form ETA-9035 is also a Labor Condition Attestation. This submission is an attestation by the employer about the wages and working conditions related to a given employee.  It is a necessary part of the H-1B petition process.

Premium Processing Service Fee

Premium Processing Service provides expedited processing for certain employment-based petitions and applications. Specifically, USCIS guarantees 15 calendar day processing to those petitioners or applicants who choose to use this service or USCIS will refund the Premium Processing Service fee. If the fee is refunded, the relating case will continue to receive expedited processing.

The 15 calendar day period will begin when USCIS properly receives the complete H-1B petition packet from IFSS. IFSS completes and includes the Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service, within the H-1B petition packet. USCIS will issue an approval notice, a denial notice, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence or open an investigation for fraud or misrepresentation within the 15 calendar day period. If the petition or application requires the submission of additional evidence or a response to a notice of intent to deny, a new 15 calendar day period will begin upon receipt by USCIS of a complete response to the request for evidence or notice of intent to deny.

Prevailing Wage

The average wage of workers that are similarly employed within the area of intended employment.

Program Objective

The research and teaching activities during an Exchange Visitor’s J-1 program participation at UCSC. J-1 Exchange Visitors must always keep their program objectives consistent in order to maintain their J status.

SEVIS

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is an electronic system by which student and Exchange Visitor data is transmitted directly to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. All Exchange Visitor amendments and new DS-2019 requests are reported to SEVIS.

To create a DS-2019, a scholar advisor must upload DS-2019 requests to SEVIS on a daily basis. The DS-2019 is processed and transmitted back as a pdf file the next day.

SEVIS ID Number

The unique ID Number that is included on the top right-hand corner of the DS-2019; all SEVIS ID numbers start with the letter N. The SEVIS ID number is generated by SEVIS once IFSS creates a DS-2019 for an Exchange Visitor. The SEVIS ID is required to start the pre-arrival steps for incoming Exchange Visitors. 

USCIS

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the federal agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States and that grants immigration benefits. It is a component of the Department of Homeland Security. All H-1B petitions and F-1 and J-2 work authorizations are 

Violation of Status/Out of Status

An individual is considered “out of status” or violating their “in status” designation when they are not fulfilling the terms and conditions of their visa classification. Please reference Maintaining J Status or Maintaining H Status for more information. 

Visa

A visa only serves as an entry document to the US, meaning a visitor only needs a valid visa to enter the US but not to maintain their legal presence in the US. Since a visa is only needed to enter the US, it can expire while a visitor is conducting activities at UCSC as long as their DS-2019 or I-797 is still valid. 

Visas are obtained at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Visas cannot be obtained within the United States because it is an “entry” document only. To enter the United States, all nonimmigrant international visitors (except Canadians) are required to have the proper visa stamp placed in their passports. “Nonimmigrant” means a person has no intention of staying in the United States permanently.

Last modified: May 22, 2024