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Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Visas for International Scholars Brian Groves International Scholar Advisor – Bechtel International.

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Presentation on theme: "Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Visas for International Scholars Brian Groves International Scholar Advisor – Bechtel International."— Presentation transcript:

1 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Visas for International Scholars Brian Groves International Scholar Advisor – Bechtel International Center Lynn Kroner International Scholar Advisor – Bechtel International Center Al Murray Postdoctoral Services Manager – Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Tammy Jo Wilson Ass’t Postdoctoral Services Manager – Office of Postdoctoral Affairs July 20,

2 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Agenda Types of Visas for International Scholars J-1 Visa: The DS-2019 J Scholar Visa Request – Preparation for and Submission of DS-2019 Requests – DS-2019 Requests – Key Points to Remember! – OPA Approval of DS-2019 Requests – SSN Applications – Non-US MD Trainees – DS-2019 and Appointment Extensions – J-1 Visa Transfers – Change of Visa Status – Leaves of Absence H-1B (and other) Employment Visas for Postdocs – H-1B Visa Terms and Conditions – H-1B Employment Visa Policy – Compelling Circumstances and Other Exceptions – Implications of a J-1 Waiver – Submission of H-1B Visa Petition to OPA – OPA’s H-1B Visa Request Form – Implementation Guidelines and Meeting Dates 2

3 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Types of Visas for International Scholars F-1 OPT – Graduate students from US institutions may begin a postdoctoral appointment in F-1 Optional Practical Training status for the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) period - up to one year – Transfer to J-1 or H-1B visa status at expiration of EAD J-1 Scholar (DS-2019) is the expected status for foreign postdocs – Scholar visa – Up to a maximum of 5 years H-1B – Employment visa – Exception visa status for postdocs – Up to a maximum of 6 years The start and end dates of J-1 and H-1B visa requests must match the start and end dates of the postdoctoral appointment 3

4 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center 4 Visa Decision Tree – Scholar in US Is Scholar J-1 Eligible? (see next slide) Upload copy of EAD Card to OPA Recommendation Form. 3-6 months prior to expiration = Change of Status: Scholar has DS-2019 (Research Scholar Category only) Scholar has I-797 Approval Notice Scholar has PR Card Slides 6-18; Slides DS-2019 Transfer: Slides DS-2019 Extension: Slide 22 H-1B Transfer or Extension: Slides Submit copy of PR Card to OPA & Payroll Not in US In US F-1 OPT J-1 H-1B Permanent Resident Yes Yes, Stanford Sponsored Yes, Non- Stanford Sponsored H-1B J-1 4 International Scholar Current Visa Status

5 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center 5 Visa Decision Tree – Scholar Not in US Is Scholar J-1 Eligible? J-1 Visa Request Initial DS-2019: Slides 6-18 Further evaluation required: 1.Employment visa for postdoc: Slides Staff position: Consult with your HR office Not in US In US 5 International Scholar Current Visa Status (see previous slide) Yes No

6 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center J-1 Visa: The DS-2019 J Scholar Visa Request 6

7 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Preparing for the DS-2019 Request Administrators should review this information prior to completing a DS-2019 Request: – Responsibilities of Sponsoring Departments – Application for the SEVIS Visa Certificate (DS- 2019) for J-1 Exchange Visitors – J-1 Exchange Visitor Information Checklist 7

8 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Submission of DS-2019 Requests Submit the J Scholar Visa Request Web Form (DS-2019) at least 8 weeks before expected arrival/appointment start date (3 months is preferred) via AXESS – – No link to 'J Scholar Visa Request' in Axess? Request access here: Support/funding for Initial requests must cover the period reflected by program start/end dates on Request Form. OPA CANNOT approve visa program requests without an associated postdoctoral appointment request AFTER the completed and approved form is received by the I-Center, allow at least one week for issuance of the DS

9 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center DS-2019 Request - Prior and Current Visa Details Administrators must specify if the postdoc has held J status within the past 2 years – If yes, check “yes” on the J Scholar web form and note the J category and previous J program start and end dates – Category and dates are noted on previously issued DS-2019 forms; ask postdoc for copies If postdoc is currently in the U.S. in other than J visa status, note this on the J Scholar Request form and how change of status will occur – Travel & re-entry, rather than mail, is recommended 9

10 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center DS-2019 Requests – Key Points to Remember! 10

11 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Key Point: Biographic Data Accuracy of biographic data is crucial Before starting the DS-2019 web form, review the instructions at Refer to copy of passport when completing DS web form – Postdoc’s name must be entered as it appears in the machine-readable strip at the bottom of the biographic page of passport – Date of birth must be entered in U.S. month/day/year format 11

12 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Key Point: Passport Machine-Readable Strip 12

13 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Key Point: Program Start Date DS-2019 program start date MUST be the same as the Appointment start date Allow Enough Time for Processing – OPA approval and Bechtel processing = 8 weeks minimum – After you mail the DS-2019 to the postdoc, the postdoc needs time to apply for and be granted the visa and arrive to Stanford – Arrival up to 30 days before program start date is permitted. – If postdoc can’t arrive on time or doesn’t submit J Arrival and Insurance Confirmation form by 25th day after program start date on DS-2019, the Administrator MUST submit a Request to amend the program start date to a later date. AVOID requesting a DS-2019 with amended start date! Use a realistic start date 13

14 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Key Point: Funding Initial and transfer J-1 (DS-2019) requests – Funding entered must be total funding for entire program date timeframe noted on DS Request Form; i.e., from the Program Start Date to the Program End Date. Extensions – Funding entered must be for extension period only; i.e., from current DS-2019 end date to the new end date being submitted 14

15 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Key Point: Program description In the description of program field, write a brief (2-3 lines at most) description of the general type of research the postdoc will conduct – Do NOT note department or lab where the research will take place, or the names of any collaborators, faculty, etc. Example: “Research in Radiology”, NOT “Research in imaging with Dr Wu at the dept of Radiology” 15

16 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center OPA Approval of DS-2019 Requests DS-2019 Web Forms route to OPA for approval before processing by Bechtel DS-2019 request and postdoctoral appointment Recommendation or Change Form must be submitted simultaneously (within a few days of one another) – OPA CANNOT approve visa request or extensions without postdoctoral appointment web form/documents – PD Web Forms training provides instruction on appointment submission DS-2019 requests are generally approved by OPA within 5 business days 16

17 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center After OPA and Bechtel Approve Appointment and DS-2019… Postdoc Administrator Should: – Send DS-2019 document to International Scholar – Two business days after OPA appointment approval notice: 1.Look up the Postdoc’s student ID# (EmplID) in PeopleSoft 2.Direct postdoc to the online pre-arrival orientation: 3.Prepare an Arrival Orientation Packet for the Postdoc – Administrator’s Orientation Toolkit is online at 4.Register the Postdoc in a Benefits Session 5.Aid-Year Activate in GFS and enter the aid (funding) information 17

18 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Key Point: Arrival Confirmation When Postdoc Arrives at Stanford – Postdoc must confirm arrival no later than 25 th day after program start date by submitting the J Arrival and Insurance Confirmation webform: – If postdoc cannot arrive and confirm before 25 th day, a new amended DS-2019 showing later start date must be issued prior to arrival or the record will become invalid. If postdoc arrives and fails to report arrival by deadline, he/she will be in violation of his/her visa status. – Bechtel must validate record no later than 30 days after program start date 18

19 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Social Security Number Applications Administrators: Please advise International Postdocs on Stanford-sponsored J visas: – After Bechtel has validated SEVIS record, wait 2 weeks before applying for SSN – SEVIS record is validated within 3 business days after postdoc submits J Arrival and Insurance Confirmation web form. If SEVIS record can’t be validated because web form submitted is incomplete, Bechtel will inform postdoc that he/she must resubmit web form. Otherwise, postdoc should assume that record has been validated within 3 days of submission of web form. – It can take up to 2 weeks before SSN officials can see validation of SEVIS record – If SSN officials can’t see validation of SEVIS record, the SSN request will be denied 19

20 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Non-US MD Trainees (Assumes Incidental or Full Patient Contact for the Purpose of Treatment) Bechtel only processes visa requests for postdoctoral scholars in Research Scholar category with No Patient Contact If your postdoc will have incidental or full patient contact, you must contact Graduate Medical Education at the hospital All visas and CA Med Board License exemption approved by ECFMG and processed through GME; None processed or reviewed by Bechtel or OPA 20

21 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center MDs on Visas: J-1 Visa Status Issue ECFMG will allow maximum of 7 years of clinical scholar program Known issues with MDs conducting research prior to completion of residency requirement MDs cannot be appointed to a research appointment (without approval) prior to a clinical appointment as this is considered a change in program Completion of studies and 2 year return home requirement: – J-1 Research Scholar status (24 month bar on re-issuance of a DS-2019 for Research Scholar category) – J-1 Clinical Scholar status (212.e - 2yr home country residency requirement) 21

22 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center DS-2019 and Appointment Extensions OPA approval of DS-2019 extensions are completed in combination with extensions of the postdoctoral appointment The extended DS-2019 program end date must match the appointment extension end date – Please submit the appointment Change Request and DS-2019 Extension Web Forms simultaneously (within a few days of one another) 22

23 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center J-1 Visa Transfers A transfer is a change in sponsors, i.e., between Stanford University and another institution (postdoc is leaving one and coming to another). A change in departments within Stanford, or change in faculty sponsors, is NOT a J-1 Transfer. Important Things to Note In Transfers: 1.There can be no time gap between end of postdoc’s app’t at current institution and start of app’t at the new institution – If transferring TO STANFORD, the Stanford program start date noted on J Scholar Transfer Request form is the date that current institution releases the record 2.No Change in J-1 Category – Obtain copy of postdoc’s current DS-2019 to verify program end date and J-1 category (must be Research Scholar) 23

24 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Transferring To Stanford: On the J Scholar Request form, note the name and address of int’l scholar advisor (not the P.I) at postdoc’s current institution so that Bechtel can contact that advisor and request the transfer Postdoc must be IN the U.S. on the transfer effective date (i.e., start date of Stanford program) in order for transfer to be completed by Bechtel – Travel outside U.S. may need to be postponed until after transfer has been completed Note postdoc’s home country address AND U.S. address 24 Processing J-1 Visa Transfers

25 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Change of Visa Status A Change of Status is the switch between visa types: i.e., from an F-1 to a J-1 Most common for postdocs is switching from F-1 OPT to J-1 or H-1B Most postdocs continue stay in F-1 OPT until the expiration of their EAD (recommended) before the required change in status 25

26 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center To Request a Change of Status: 1.Start a new DS-2019 Request Form 2.Note on Request Form that postdoc is currently in the U.S. in another visa status, a drop-down menu will appear asking you to indicate the current visa status details and how the change of status will occur 3.Start as early as 3 months prior to the expiration of the current status How Change of Status takes effect: By postdoc departure and Re-entry: HIGHLY recommended – Start date on DS-2019 application should be the expected date of re- entry OR By USCIS change of status Approval by Mail: NOT recommended (see next slide) 26 How Change of Status Takes Effect

27 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center NOT recommended? It takes 3+ months. If processing Change of Status by Mail, remember the following: 1.The program start date on DS-2019 request should be the first day after end date on EAD; should approximate the expected approval date of the change of status 2.Postdoc should not mail application for change of status earlier than 3 months prior to program start date on DS-2019 and once the application has been mailed, the postdoc should NOT depart the U.S. until after it has been approved. 3.Postdoc must submit J Arrival and Insurance Confirmation webform as soon as the change of status has been approved or by the 25th day after the program start date, whichever is earlier, so that record can be validated. 27 Change of Status by Mail

28 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Unpaid Leaves of Absence for J-1s – Request should be made BEFORE the start of the leave's occurrence, and immediately upon the need to take a leave – Requests must be reviewed in accordance with J-1 program regulations which require pursuance of J program objectives while in the U.S. – Not all unpaid leave of absence requests are approved on policy grounds. – Requests will not be approved if they are determined to be a violation of the visa status. – The University is required to report infractions in the scholar's SEVIS record – Documentation to support the request may be required in order to review any leave requests 28

29 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center H-1B (and other) Employment Visas for Postdocs 29

30 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center H-1B Visa Terms and Conditions 1.Job Specific -- Can limit the career path of postdoc; defined as employment -- No significant change in responsibilities without USCIS approval 1.Postdoc is Ineligible to Receive Stanford or Externally Competitive National Fellowships -- Must be salaried on university grants -- Department must ensure sufficient funds are available to support the postdoc during the appointment period 2.H-1B is a Specialty Occupation Visa -- Must demonstrate that special educational preparation is required 3.Prevailing Wage (Market Rate) -- Postdoc must be paid a prevailing wage rate 30

31 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center H-1B Visa Terms and Conditions continued Early Termination (by Stanford) – Faculty Sponsor or Department required to pay for postdoc’s return airfare home 6. Responsibility for Fees – Department or Faculty sponsor may not ask postdoc to pay fees associated with filing the petition if prohibited by law, university policy, or if it results in a reduction of the scholar’s funding to a level below Stanford’s required minimum level of support 7. Sign-off on Commitment – Department Chair, Director of Finance & Administration, Department Manager, or Administrative Services Manager

32 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center H-1B Employment Visa Policy See Research Policy Handbook Chapter 9.4B: – OPA’s H-1B policies and visa request form now extend to E-3 visa requests (employment visa for Australian citizens) All foreign nationals holding a postdoctoral scholar position are expected to come to Stanford in J-1 status In compelling circumstances following review and approval, Stanford may sponsor a postdoctoral scholar for an H-1B visa 32

33 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Compelling Circumstances for H-1B Visa The following circumstances allow for Stanford sponsorship of an H-1B visa: 1.Postdoc is currently in valid H-1B status 2.Postdoc has pending US permanent residence (requires I-485 document) 3.Postdoc is married to US citizen or permanent resident 4.Postdoc received doctoral degree in the US on an F-1 visa and is currently completing Optional Practical Training (OPT) Postdoc has exhausted 5 years in J-1 status 5.Postdoc has exhausted 5 years in J-1 status 33

34 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Other Possible Exceptions for H-1B Visa In other circumstances, the department may petition the H-1B Review Board for exception to J-1 visa policy: 1.Postdoc has obtained a J-1 waiver 2.Postdoc is subject to the 24 month repeat participation bar 3.Postdoc has received a comparable offer outside Stanford with an H-1B visa commitment 4.No other qualified candidates are available or identified (requires supporting documentation) 34

35 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Implications of a J-1 Waiver Background – Postdocs in J-1 status may pursue a waiver of the 2 year home return rule on their own; Stanford is not involved – Bechtel does not provide advice or assistance in pursuing a waiver Implications of Postdocs Obtaining J-1 Waivers – USCIS approval of waiver renders J-1 status non-extendable J-1 status ends at current DS-2019 expiration date – Non-extendable J-1 status renders postdoc appointment non- renewable, unless: Department and hiring faculty are willing and able to sponsor an H-1B exception petition, AND H-1B Review Board approves the petition – If J-1 status expires during the pendency of H-1B application period the postdoc is ineligible to work – Scholars interested in pursuing J-1 waivers are strongly encouraged to discuss with faculty sponsor before seeking a waiver and should be reminded that a waiver will prevent further extension of their current J status 35

36 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Submission of H-1B Petition to OPA OPA H1B process requires three separate actions: – Submit a postdoc web form via AXESS Recommendation Form (new appointments) Change Request (appointment extensions) – Complete a paper H-1B Visa Request and Petition at Upload Request form and supporting visa documents to Recommendation Form (new appointments) Submit Request form and supporting visa documents to (appointment extensions) – Submit an Employment Visa web form via AXESS OPA’s H-1B approval is submitted via Bechtel’s Employment Visa Web Form 36

37 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center H-1B Employment Visa Request Form 37 DO NOT check if not in H or E status Visa start date (may or may not match appointment start date

38 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center H-1B Employment Visa Request Form 38 Asterisked items incur the $900 fee noted below

39 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center 39 H-1B Employment Visa Request Form, p.2

40 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Implementation Guidelines and Meeting Dates H-1B Implementation Guidelines – Instructions for H-1B Requests and the Postdoc Web Forms System – Review Board Meeting Dates and Document Submission Deadlines 40

41 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center H-1B Visa Process – Quick Review Submit to OPA: – Recommendation Web Form (new appt) – Change Request Web Form (extend appt) – H-1B Visa Request Petition (paper form) – New Appts - upload to Rec Form – Change Requests - to ) Updated OPA Visa Page: to/visas.html to/visas.html Submit to BECHTEL: – Employment Visa Web Form (routes to OPA for approval) – Dossier of supporting documents – Fee payment checks OPA’s H-1B visa approval is submitted via Bechtel’s Online Employment Visa Web Form 41

42 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Resources Bechtel International Center Lynn Kroner – J-1 Exchange Visitors – – Brian Groves – H-1B Employment Visas – – Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Al Murray – SOM Postdoctoral Appointments – – Tammy Jo Wilson – University Postdoctoral Appointments – H-1B Review Board – – 42

43 Office of Postdoctoral Affairs Bechtel International Center Open Forum Questions?


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