Visitor Visa to United States from Mexico - PowerPoint by wjr13462


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									Updates on Nonimmigrant Visas
      for BCM Postdocs

  Baylor Postdoc Association (PDA)
       Presented by Joy Dun
           March 25, 2008
         Immigration Services Office
       ISO Website:

       Bonnie Weisman, Senior Director of Employment & ISO

          Julia Jalbert, Supervisor, Non-Immigrant Services

Eloy Anaya                           Yvette Fuentes
   Senior Immigration Advisor          Administrative Support
                                       Coordinator III
Joy Dun
  Senior Immigration Advisor         Roneshia Reeves
                                       Immigration Assistant
Gwen Roemer
  Senior Immigration Advisor
                                     Maria Zapata
Gloria Wang                            Immigration Assistant
   Immigration Advisor
   ISO Caseload Assignment

F-1, H-1B, J-1, J-2, O-1, TN, EAD, Visitor Observers:
Eloy Anaya                                A-I
Joy Dun                                   J-P
Gwen Roemer/Gloria Wang                   Q-Z

Medical Elective Students:
Roneshia Reeves                         A–L
Yvette Fuentes                          M–Z

Permanent Resident Questions and Back Up Advising:
Julia Jalbert
               Topics to Cover

   ISO Role

   Visa Options for Postdocs

   Updates and Reminders

   Q&A
                      ISO Role
  Processes All Who Is Not a U.S. Citizen

Any individual who is not a U.S. Citizen will fall into
  one of the following categories:

   • Nonimmigrant
      (F-1, E-3, H-1B, J-1, J-2, L-2, TN)

   • Pending Immigrant
      (those with a valid work permission card)

   • U.S. Permanent Resident
      (immigrant/green card holder)
           Visa Options for Postdocs
   F-1 OPT - employment after completion of the student’s studies; student must
    be employed in his/her field of study; must hold a valid OPT EAD card

   E-3 – temporary employment visa for Australian citizens

   H-1B – temporary employment visa sponsored by BCM

   J-1 – exchange visitor visa sponsored by BCM

   J-2 – dependent of J-1; must hold a valid EAD card

   L-2 – dependent of L-1; must hold a valid EAD card

   TN – temporary employment for Canadian and Mexican citizens to engage in
    professional business activities
        Nonimmigrant Visa Option:
             F-1 Student Visa with OPT

   If you are currently on an F-1 student visa and completing
    your PhD degree, you may be eligible to use the 12-month
    optional practical training (OPT) to start your postdoc
    training. You must apply and obtain an employment
    authorization document (EAD card) for OPT prior to
    starting your postdoc training.

   Your employment must be related to your field of study.

   OPT is authorized for no more than 1 year.
     Nonimmigrant Visa Option:
        E-3 Temporary Working Visa
              for Australians

   The E-3 is a visa category only for Australians
    going to the U.S. to work temporarily in a specialty
   Job you plan to work in requires a minimum of a
    bachelor’s degree in a specialty occupation and
    the applicant must hold a Bachelor’s degree or
   The maximum validity period for E-3 visas is 24
    months, renewable indefinitely.
        Nonimmigrant Visa Option:
          H-1B Temporary Working Visa

   Sponsoring BCM faculty must be willing to comply
    with the Department of State and Immigration
   H-1B postdoc applicant must hold a U.S. equivalent
    of a Ph.D. or M.D. degree
   H-1B is currently the only non-immigrant visa which
    allows the visa holder to apply for permanent
    residency (a U.S. immigrant visa) without
    jeopardizing their non-immigrant status in the U.S.
            Nonimmigrant Visa Option:
                        H-1B Visa (Con’t)
Documents Needed from Dept.:        Documents Needed from H Applicant:
•   Prevailing Wage Form            •   $320 H-1B Filing Fee
                                    •   H-1B Visa Questionnaire
•   Actual Wage Form
                                    •   Copies of Documents Verification
•   Labor Condition Statement           Form
                                    •   Credential Evaluation of U.S. PhD
•   Support Letter                      or MD equivalent
•   Travel Statement Letter         •   Diploma (with English translation, if
•   ISO Fee Form                    •   Curriculum Vitae
•   $500 H-1B Fraud Detection       •   Visa Documents (I-94 card, I-797,
    Fee (effective March 8, 2005)       passport identification and visa
•   $1000 premium processing fee    •   If applicable, H-4 dependent
    (optional)                          documents
           Nonimmigrant Visa Option:
                       H-1B Visa (Con’t)

How are H-1B Prepared and Filed by ISO?
   Request and Collect Materials for the Department and H applicant
    (1-2 weeks)
   Send the prevailing wage to the Texas Workforce Commission
    (TWC) (2-3 weeks)
   Review the actual wage form, resolve any wage issues, obtain
    Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the Department of Labor
    (DOL), and prepare H application for filing (1-2 weeks)
   Receive receipt notice from Immigration (2-4 weeks)
   Immigration adjudicates H application within 15 business days after
    USCIS receives the $1000 premium processing check or 3-4
    months for regular processing cases.
        Nonimmigrant Visa Option:
                   H-1B Visa (Con’t)

Additional H-1B Information:
   ISO recommends a total of 4-6 months for an initial
    H-1B and 2-3 months for an H-1B transfer

   Maximum duration for H-1B visa is 6 years.
   Petition can be processed for a maximum of 3
    years at a time.
   There is no grace period for H-1B visa holders.
     Nonimmigrant Visa Option:
            J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa
   The goal of the J-1 visa is to allow foreign nationals
    come to the United States to participate in a wide variety
    of educational and cultural exchange programs.
   This program should not be used as a stepping stone to
    get into a U.S. medical residency program or to work in
    the U.S. permanently.
   Possible categories for postdoc to participate in a J-1
    exchange program is the research scholar or the short-
    term scholar category (for teaching, lecturing, observing, and/or
   J-1 visa holder requirements: 1) enter the U.S. to pursue
    appropriate activity, 2) intent to return to home country, 3)
    have sufficient funding, 4) have appropriate background
    for program activity, and 5) adequate English.
             Nonimmigrant Visa Option:
                               J-1 Visa (Con’t)

Documents Needed from Department:      Documents Needed from J Applicant:

•   Postdoc Associate/Fellow           •   Biographical Data Form
    Appointment Form
                                       •   Curriculum Vitae
•   JREC Form

•   ISO Fee Form                       •   Funding Letter (if not BCM paid)

                                       •   Copy of Passport Identification Page

                                       •   Immunization Form

                                       •   If applicable, J-2 dependent(s)
                                           passport identification page(s)
        Nonimmigrant Visa Option:
                    J-1 Visa (Con’t)

Additional J-1 Information:
   ISO recommends a total of 2-3 months for an initial
    J-1 and 1-2 months for an J-1 transfer
   Maximum duration for J research scholar is 5
    years and 6 months for J short-term scholar.
   There is 30-day grace period for J-1 visa
       Nonimmigrant Visa Option:
    J-2 Dependent with Work Authorization

   J-1 accompany dependents enter on the J-2 visa.

   J-2 visa holders may apply for work authorization
    through USCIS by completing Form I-765.

   J-2 dependent must be able to provide a valid
    work authorization document, such as a valid
    employment authorization document (EAD card),
    prior to starting his/her postdoc training.
       Nonimmigrant Visa Option:
    L-2 Dependent with Work Authorization

   L-1 accompany dependents enter on the L-2

   L-2 visa holders may apply for work authorization
    through USCIS by completing Form I-765.

   L-2 dependent must be able to provide a valid
    work authorization document, such as a valid
    employment authorization document (EAD card),
    prior to starting his/her postdoc training.
         Nonimmigrant Visa Option:
            TN Temporary Working Visa
            for Canadians and Mexicans
   TN visa was developed by the North American Free
    Trade Agreement (NAFTA), to facilitate the entry of
    Canadian and Mexican citizens to the U.S. to engage in
    professional business activities on a temporary basis.
   TN visa holder’s eligibility requirements: 1) must be a
    citizen of Canada or Mexico, 2) entry must be
    temporary, and 3) possess the minimum qualifications of
    a member of one of the NAFTA-specified professions.
   TN visa holder can be admitted in increments of up to
    one year, renewable indefinitely.
            Nonimmigrant Visa Option:
                               TN Visa (Con’t)
Requirements to Enter to USA on TN status
 Canadians:                                    Mexicans:
 • Valid Canadian Passport                     • Valid Mexican Passport
 • Letter of support from the sponsoring       • Letter of support from the sponsoring
   department                                    department
 • Evidence that the job is in one of the      • Evidence that the job is in one of the
   occupations listed in Appendix                occupations listed in Appendix 1603.D.1
   1603.D.1                                    • Evidence that applicant has the required
 • Evidence that applicant has the               credentials for the position
   required credentials for the position       • Copies of diplomas, transcripts,
 • Copies of diplomas, transcripts,              licensure, and certificates. Credentials
   licensure, and certificates. Credentials      issued outside of the USA should be
   issued outside of the USA should be           accompanied by a credential evaluation
   accompanied by a credential
   evaluation                                  Mexicans, upon securing the above items,
                                                 must proceed in scheduling an
 Upon securing the above items the               appointment at the American Embassy
   Canadian visitors do not need to              to secure a TN visa stamp. There will be
   obtain a visa from the American               fees associated with securing a TN visa.
   Embassy and may proceed to the
   point-of-entry to secure an I-94 to enter   Upon securing a TN visa stamp, the visitor
   the USA. The Canadian will have to            may enter the USA and will also be
   pay a fee at the U.S. port-of-entry.          given an I-94 at the port-of-entry.

Immigration Documents

    Travel Issues

   Address Change

   H-1B Reminders

    J-1 Reminders
Immigration Documents
     • Valid Passport
        (valid at least 6 months into the future)

     • Visa Stamp
        (only used to gain entry; OK if expires while in

     • Form I-94
        (proof of legal entry and permission to remain in

     • Visa documents
        (Form I-20, DS-2019, I-797, or EAD)
Form I-20 for F-1 Students
  for J-1
I-797 Approval Notice For H-1B and TN Employment
Complete a Travel Request Form with ISO when you plan
to travel abroad. (Provide this form to ISO at least 10
business days before departure.)

If you are planning to travel into any country other than your
home country, you need to check specific entry procedures.
Ask “Do I need an entry visa to enter the country?”
ISO Travel Request Form
                Travel Documents
Documents required to re-enter into the U.S.:
 Valid document for travel
    – F-1 needs an endorsed I-20
    – J-1 needs an endorsed DS-2019
    – H-1B or TN needs original I-797 form
 Valid visa stamp (unless exempt)
 Passport valid for at least 6 months into the future

 Verification of Status
    – F-1 may obtain a letter from the Graduate School verifying student’s full-
      time status and funding, transcript, and/or pay stubs as additional
      evidence of funding source
    – J-1/H-1B/TN visa may obtain an employment verification letter from the
      Benefits window and/or pay stubs as additional evidence of funding
 All previously issued visa documents
          After Travel is Completed
•   You must present to ISO your new visa stamp, if
•   ISO wants to see the front and back of the I-94 departure
    record card.
•   In the case of an H-1B/TN, the original I-797 approval
    notice is returned to ISO.
            Travel to Canada & Mexico
•   Automatic Revalidation permits you* to travel to Canada, and
    Mexico (and certain adjacent Caribbean islands for F and J visa
    holders) for 30 days or less and re-enter the U.S. with an expired
    visa if you have:
•   a valid passport
•   a valid visa document
•   Evidence of having entered the U.S. on proper visa
•   Has maintained and intends to resume same nonimmigrant status
•   Not apply for a new visa stamp while in Canada or Mexico

•   In this case, do not surrender your Form I-94 when you exit the
    U.S. You will re-enter the U.S. on the same I-94 form.

•   *Citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, North Korea and Cuba are not eligible to utilize
    automatic revalidation.
Possible Travel Delays

           Security Clearance

           Special Registration

           US VISIT Program
              Change of Address

You must report your change of address within 10 days of your move!
H-1B Reminders
                H-1B Visa Duration
   H-1B allows for a total of six (6) years in three year
    increments. Exception: U.S. permanent residency
    pending for more than 365 days allows for H extension
    at one year increment beyond six years.

   There is no limitation to the number of extension or
    modification during the six year period.

   Extension beyond six years can only be filed if the
    visitor has a Labor Certification or an immigrant (Form
    I-140) application pending for more than a year.
     Maintenance of H-1B Visa

H-1B is employer and employment specific.
Therefore, each time there is a change in
job duties, work locations, significant
increase/decrease in salary, title,
department, or employer, a modified H-1B
must be filed.
           Portability Rule
   If the employee is maintaining H-1B status in
    the U.S. already, (s)he can “port” to the new
    position based on a receipt from USCIS and
    does not need to wait for final H-1B approval
    before new employment can begin.

   H-1B modification, extension, and transfer
    petitions require the same paperwork from
    the employer and employee each time.
Part-Time H-1B Employment
   An H-1B worker may be employed part-time,
    provided the LCA and H-1B petition state that the H-
    1B worker will work ONLY part time. (20 C.F.R.
   An employer may not sponsor an H-1B worker for
    full-time employment and then only pay him or her for
    part-time employment.
   A change from full-time to part-time or vice versa is
    considered a material change that requires the
    employer to file an amended H petition.
   BCM part-time H positions also must meet BCM
    hiring guidelines and requirements. For example,
    Postdoctoral Research Fellows cannot be part-time.
    Concurrent Employment
 H-1B status permits working for multiple
  employers at one time, provided each
  employer has an approved H-1B petition for
  the worker in question.
 Each employer is responsible for its
  submission, extension, and monitoring of the
  H-1B petition filed on behalf of the H
Occasional Speeches and Lectures
 and Reimbursement of Expenses
   H-1B non-immigrants may not receive
    compensation for occasional speeches and
    lectures at other institutions or at
    conferences that did not file and approved
    H-1B on their behalf.
   An USCIS memo dated April 6, 1994
    allowed H-1B workers be reimbursed for
    “transportation and reasonable, incidental
    living expenses” incurred in connection with
    travel to other institutions or conferences.
Leave of Absence
  H-1B = Employment = Payment. Is LOA
   without pay a violation of status or employer’s
   failure to compensate?
  Okay to be on LOA without pay if the H-1B will
   not be physically present in the U.S. during the
  Okay to be on LOA without pay with approved
    Unlawful Presence and 222(g)
 H holds date-specific I-94 cards, which
  means they can trigger 222(g) visa
  overstays and incur “unlawful presence,”
  and the 3/10 year bar. Also immediate
  loss of employment.
 If subject to 222(g), the international is
  permanently limited to apply for future
  non-immigrant visas only at a U.S.
  Embassy located in the country of his/her
 ISO requires all H-1Bs and H-4s come to
  the office to present their I-94 cards.
J-1 Reminders
  Two Years Home Residency
  Requirement – 212(e)
Many exchange visitors are subject to what is known as the
two years home residency requirement. Not all exchange
visitors are subject.

A J-1 exchange visitor may be subject to this requirement
on the basis of one or more of these 3 ways:
   1) Financed by the U.S. government or a foreign government
   2) Skills that the exchange visitor is coming to develop are in a
      field which the exchange visitor’s home government requested
      be included on the Department of State skills list
   3) Receive “graduate medical education or training” in the U.S.
          Complying with 212(e)
       Home Residence Requirement
The subject J-1 exchange visitor must spend two years
physically present in his/her country of citizenship or last
legal permanent residence.

The time spent to comply with the requirement does not
need to be continuous.
   What Does Being
Subject to 212(e) Means?

     If an exchange visitor is subject
         to this requirement, (s)he is

        Not eligible to apply for H, K,
         or L visa

        Not eligible to adjust for U.S.
         permanent residence status
                        H-1B Update
Time spent in H-4 does not count towards H-1B principal status
  (December 5, 2006)
    – Memo from Michael Aytes, USCIS Associate Director, Domestic
      Operations, provides guidance on the period of admission for H-4
      and L-2, dependents now applying for H-1B and L-1 principal
      status beyond the maximum period of stay. The memo states that
      time spent in H-4 or L-2 dependent status does not count towards
      the maximum period of stay for principals in H-1B and L-1 status,
      and that qualifying H-1B aliens need not be in H-1B status when
      requesting an extension beyond the six-year maximum.

Filing Fee Increase (July 30, 2007)
     – H-1B I-129 Filing Fee increased from $190 to $320
     – H-4 I-539 Filing Fee increased from $200 to $300

H-1B Cap Exempt Petition Filing to CSC (January 30, 2008)
   – All BCM H-1B cases are now being filed to the USCIS California
     Service Center (CSC)
                               J-1 Update
2 Year Bar
  – International who entered the U.S., or acquired this status in the U.S., is not
    eligible for repeat participation as a professor or research scholar for a
    period of 2 years following the completion of 5-year period.
  – If an international completes a professor or research scholar exchange
    program for a period less than 5 years but more than 6 months, will not be
    eligible to begin a new 5-year program until 2 years later.
12 Month Bar
  – Internationals who has been in the J-1/J-2 status within the previous 12
    months, for more than 6 months, are ineligible to begin a new program in J-1
    status in research scholar or professor category until they have been
    physically absent from the U.S. for a minimum of 12 consecutive months.
Change in maximum duration
  – J-1 Research Scholar/Professor maximum duration changed from 3 years to
    5 years.
  – No option for extension beyond 5 years.
  – The 5-year period is not an aggregate of 5 years.
  – The 5-year period commences with the program begin date as identified in
    SEVIS and ends 5 years later.
  – If the J-1 leaves the U.S. for a short period of time (such as vacation or any
    type of leave of absence), the time cannot be recaptured.
   J-1 research scholar/professor maximum = 5 years
   12-month bar

     Previously on J-1 (any J                     New program
         category) or J-2                         J-1 research
      within the previous 12                    scholar/professor
              months                             (up to 5 years)
                                12 months gap

    2-year bar (repeat participation)

          New program                             New program
          J-1 research                            J-1 research
        scholar/professor                       scholar/professor
         (up to 5 years)                         (up to 5 years)
                                24 months gap
           J-1 Funding Issues
   Office of Postdoc Research encourages
    postdocs to be paid the NIH stipend
   ISO requires that all postdoc paid by
    BCM must be no less than the graduate
    stipend (currently at $26,000/year).
   Office of Postdoc Research
    recommends no self-funded postdoc.
       Permanent Resident Update

  Proposed Rule: Green Cards without Expiration Must be Replaced

The USCIS has announced a proposal that would require all lawful permanent residents
who carry Permanent Resident Cards, or green cards, to apply for replacements for those
original cards without an expiration date. Permanent Resident Cards allow permanent
residents the right to live and work in the United States. Although cards that were issued
between 1977 and 1989 have no expiration date, they currently continue to be evidence
of lawful permanent residence. Since 1989, these cards have been issued with a ten-year
validity period, at which point they are required to renew the card.
For Permanent Resident Cards to serve their purpose as proof of identity and work
authorization, the USCIS has proposed that cards without expiration dates will be
required to be replaced. Under this proposal, there would be a 120-day period for filing
Form I-90 (Application to Replace Lawful Permanent Resident Card) along with the filing
and biometrics fees. After the I-90 is filed, an appointment will be scheduled at an
Application Support Center where a photograph and fingerprints will be taken for identity
verification and background check.
Those who file within the 120-day period of the proposed rule will receive their new cards
before the old card is terminated. Another proposal to this rule is granting the USCIS the
authority to announce the termination date of the old cards in a separate Federal Register
notice. Cardholders who file Form I-90 late would risk a delay in the issuance of a new
card, and put their ability to travel and work in jeopardy.
    Visa Application Fee Increase

    Application Fees for Non-Immigrant Visas to
            Increase On January 1, 2008

Effective January 1, 2008, the application fee for a U.S.
non-immigrant visa will increase from $100 to $131.
This increase allows the Department to recover the
costs of security and other enhancements to the non-
immigrant visa application process. This increase
applies both to non-immigrant visas issued on machine-
readable foils in passports and to border crossing cards
issued to certain applicants in Mexico.
                      Passport Update
Passports Required for Air Travel to United States
On January 23, 2007, the Departments of State and Homeland Security
announced that the requirement for citizens of the United States, Canada, Mexico,
and Bermuda to present a passport to enter the United States when arriving by air
from any part of the Western Hemisphere.

Passports Requirement for Land and Sea Travel to United States
On January 31, 2008, the United States ended the practice of accepting oral
declarations of citizenship at the border. U.S. citizens ages 19 and older must
present documentation that proves both identity and citizenship. Identification
documents must include a photo, name and date of birth. Children ages 18 and
under will only be required to present proof of citizenship, such as a birth

As early as June 1, 2009, the U.S. government will implement the full requirements
of the land and sea phase of Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). The
proposed rules require most U.S. citizens entering the United States at sea or land
ports of entry to have a passport, passport card, or WHTI-compliant document.
        Social Security Card Update
                   (for paid employees)

   Obtaining a Social Security Number requires a 10-day
 waiting period after entry into the United States or Change
                      of Status approval

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is required to verify the
visa status and employment/training authorization of all foreign
nationals who apply for a Social Security number. This process
involves a primary source verification and direct interface
between the various U.S. government databases. A foreign
national physician in J-1, J-2, H-1B or other non-immigrant
status must wait at least ten days after entering the United
States (or ten days after issuance of a change of status approval
by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)) before
being eligible for a Social Security number. Applying before the
ten day timeframe will cause further delays in the final issuance.
U.S. Permanent Residency
     Process at BCM
           Permanent Positions
   U.S. permanent residency sponsorship by the
    employer requires your position be a permanent
   Postdoc positions at BCM are not permanent
    positions and therefore are not eligible for BCM
    U.S. permanent residency sponsorship.
   BCM Postdocs may seek attorneys for their
    private U.S. permanent residency petitions.
      PDA Meeting Regarding
       Permanent Residency

Date:        April 15, 2008
Location:    Room N315
Time:        4:00 – 5:00 pm
Presenter:   Julia Jalbert
Thank you!

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