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Visitor Visa to United States from Mexico document sample
Visitor Visa to United States from Mexico document sample
Updates on Nonimmigrant Visas for BCM Postdocs Baylor Postdoc Association (PDA) Presented by Joy Dun March 25, 2008 Immigration Services Office ISO Website: http://intranet.bcm.edu/index.cfm?tmp=hr/iso/home 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 occupation. 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 higher. 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 regulations. 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 applicable) • 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 pages) • $1000 premium processing fee • If applicable, H-4 dependent (optional) documents H-1B Applicant Checklist http://intranet.bcm.edu/index.cfm?tmp=hr/iso/home H-1B Employer/ Sponsor Checklist http://intranet.bcm.edu/index.cfm?tmp=hr/iso/home 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 consulting) 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 holders. 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 visa. 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. Reminders 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 U.S.) • Form I-94 (proof of legal entry and permission to remain in U.S.) • Visa documents (Form I-20, DS-2019, I-797, or EAD) Form I-20 for F-1 Students Form DS-2019 for J-1 Exchange Visitors I-797 Approval Notice For H-1B and TN Employment Visas Travel 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 Recommended: 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 source All previously issued visa documents After Travel is Completed • You must present to ISO your new visa stamp, if applicable. • 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 (NSEERS) 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. 655.731) 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 employee. 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 period. Okay to be on LOA without pay with approved FMLA. 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 nationality. 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 (http://exchanges.state.gov/jvisa/jexp9.htm) 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. Review 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 level. 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 certificate. 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 position. 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 Questions Thank you!
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