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Immigration Overview

The International Students and Scholars office helps visiting undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, and faculty secure and maintain visas as well as paths to permanent residency.

We will work with you and your academic department to make sure documentation is processed according to regulations set by the United States federal government through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

We have outlined some basic immigration information below. We understand that immigration and visa issues can be complicated. We're here to help! 

 

Temporary Visas

See below for an outline of the available temporary visa options:

  • Undergraduate and Graduate Students (F-1 Visa)
    • Academic Study Only (F-1 Visa)
      • F-1 Visas are the most common form of student visa in the United States and at UC Riverside.
      • Eligibility Requirements
        • Students must be admitted to a full academic degree program at UCR to qualify for an F-1 visa.
      • Employment
        • Students may work up to 20 hours per week on campus.
        • Students may be eligible to pursue an off campus internship related to their degree. This is referred to as Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
        • Students may apply for an  Optional Training Program (OPT). OPT provides F-1 students with an opportunity for practical work experience related to their degree. Students in STEM fields may be eligible to extend this practical training for an additional 2 years.
    • Dependents of F-1 Visa Holders (F-2 Visa)
      • The dependent spouse and or children under the age of 21 of the F-1 visa holder have the option of coming into the United States as F-2 visa holders.
      • Eligibility Requirements
        • Must be an unmarried child under 21 years of age or a spouse of an F-2 visa holder through UCR.
      • Employment
        • F-2 visa holders are not permitted to work but may study in the U.S.
      • Restrictions
        • F-2 status expires at the same time as the F-1 visa.
    • F Visa Details

 

  • Undergraduate and Graduate Students, Researchers, and Professors (J Visas)
    • Research, Teaching, and Practical Training (J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa)
      • Available to visiting scholars, researchers, professors, graduate students and some undergraduate students. This is the most common visa type for international graduate students and professionals at UCR. The J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa is divided into additional subcategories:
        • J-1 Short-Term Scholar
        • J-1 Research Scholar
        • J-1 Professor
        • J-1 Physician
        • J-1 Student
        • J-1 Student Intern/Student non-degree Program
        • Eligibility Requirements
          • See subcategories for additional details.
          • J-1 visas are not suitable for tenure track faculty.
          • Most J-1 visas require relevant academic or professional status and credentials.
        • Employment
          • See subcategories for additional details.
        • Restrictions
          • If the UCR position is tenure track, the scholar is not eligible for J-1 status.
          • If the scholar has applied for and received a Waiver of the Two-Year Home Residency Requirement, he or she is not eligible for a J-1 visa extension.
          • If the scholar has applied for an H class visa or U.S. Permanent Resident status (green card) he or she is not eligible to apply for J visa status.
          • If the scholar has completed a previous J program in the U.S. as a Professor or Research Scholar, he or she cannot start a new J-1 program as a Professor or Research Scholar for 24 months.
          • May be subject to a Two-Year Home Residency Requirement. (See Two-Year Home Residency Requirement details)
    • Dependents of J-1 Exchange Visitors (J-2 Dependent Visitor Visa)
      • Available to dependents of J-1 Exchange Visitors.
      • Eligibility Requirements
        • Must be an unmarried child under 21 years of age or a spouse of a J-1 visa holder through UCR.
      • Employment
        • J-2 dependents may begin working only after receiving an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
      • Restrictions
        • Subject to the same Two-Year Home Residency Requirement as J-1 visitors.
        • J-2 visas expire at the same time as the J-1 visa.
    • J Visa Details

 

  • Faculty, Professors, Researchers, and Staff (H, O, T, and E Visas)
    • Temporary Faculty and Staff (H1-B Temporary Worker – Specialty Occupation Visa)
      • The H-1B visa is available to qualified individuals with an offer of employment and sponsorship by a U.S. employer.
      • Eligibility Requirements
        • A qualifying employment position with UCR administration or academic department.
        • Must be paid either according to Union Salary or Prevailing Wage.
        • The position must be fully funded by the employing department (scholar cannot be self-supporting).
        • The position must require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and the scholar must hold that degree or its equivalent in the field required for the position.
      • Employment
      • Restrictions
        • Visas are issued in up to 3-year increments. This visa is renewable one time for a total stay duration of up to six years. 

    • Dependents of H1-B Visa Holders (H-4 Visa)
      • The dependent spouse and or children under the age of 21 of the H1-B visa holder have the option of coming into the United States as H-4 visa holders.
      • Eligibility Requirements
        • Must be an unmarried child under 21 years of age or a spouse of a H1-B visa holder through UCR.
      • Employment
        • H-4 visa holders are not permitted to work.
      • Restrictions
        • H-4 visas expire at the same time as the H-1B visa.
    • H Visa details
    • Extraordinary Ability (O-1 Visa)
      • O-1 Visas are for qualified individuals of extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, or athletics who are in the United States to work. 
      • Eligibility Requirements
        • Applicants must demonstrate sustained national or international acclaim and recognition for achievements in their field of expertise.
      • Employment
        • O-1 visas are employment-based and holders are expected to work for UCR during their stay.
      • Restrictions
        • Initial appointment duration may be up to three (3) years. This visa is renewable indefinitely in three-year increments.
    • Dependents of O-1 Visa Holders (O-3 Visa)
      • The dependent spouse and or children under the age of 21 of the O-1 visa holder have the option of coming into the United States as O-3 visa holders.
      • O-3 visa holders are not permitted to work.
    • O Visa details
    • Mexican and Canadian Nationals (TN Visa)
      • Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Mexican and Canadian citizens may work as professionals in the U.S. under the TN visa.

      • Eligibility Requirements
        • Must be a Mexican or Canadian citizen.
        • Professional status and qualifications as an accountant, engineer, lawyer, pharmacist, scientist, or teacher.

      • Employment
        • TN visas are employment-based and holders are expected to work for UCR during their stay.
      • Restrictions
        • The initial duration of stay in the U.S. is up to 3 years with possibility of extension or renewal
    • Dependents of TN Visa Holders (TD Visa)
      • Eligibility Requirements
        • Must be an unmarried child under 21 years of age or a spouse of a TN visa holder through UCR.
      • Employment
        • TD visa holders are not permitted to work.
      • Restrictions
        • Duration of stay is contingent on the TN visa holder’s visa status.
    • T Visa details
    • Australian Nationals (E-3 Visa)
      • The E-3 is a visa for Australian nationals who wish to work in specialty occupations in the U.S. It has many advantages over the other types of working visas, including the ability for spouses and other dependents of E-3 recipients to apply for work authorization.
      • Eligibility Requirements
        • Must be an Australian citizen.
        • Relevant professional status and qualifications.
        • Will fill a position that qualifies as a specialty occupation.
      • Employment
        • E-3 visas are employment-based and holders are expected to work for UCR during their stay.
      • Restrictions
        • Initially granted for 2 years, but may be extended indefinitely.
    • Dependents of E-3 Visa Holders (E-D Visa)
      • Eligibility Requirements
        • Must be an unmarried child under 21 years of age or a spouse of an E-3 visa holder through UCR.
        • Do not need to be Australian citizens.
      • Employment
        • E-D visa holders may work after obtaining work authorization.
      • Restrictions
        • Duration of stay is contingent on the E-3 visa holder’s visa status.
    • E Visa details

 

Permanent Residency

 

The following options are available to staff and faculty pursuing permanent residency:

Outstanding Professor or Researcher Immigrant Petition

Available to professors and researchers who are recognized internationally as outstanding in a particular academic field. To qualify, the faculty member must:

  • have at least three years of experience in teaching or research in the academic area
  • and must be offered a tenured position, tenure-track position or comparable position within UCR.

 

Experience in teaching or research while working on an advanced degree is acceptable only if: 

  • the faculty member has acquired the degree
  • and if the teaching duties were such that he or she had full responsibility for the class taught
  • or if the research conducted toward the degree has been recognized within the academic field as outstanding.

More information on the Outstanding Professor or Researcher Immigrant Petition

Special Handling Labor Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) Labor Certification

Available to international candidates who are awarded positions after a formal recruitment process including:

  • A job posting made available on campus or on the web for at least 30 days
  • At least one print advertisement in a national journal
  • A formal selection committee

More information on the Special Handling Labor Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) Labor Certification

 

General Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) Labor Certification

In order to qualify, the professor or researcher must have acquired his or her position through good faith competitive recruitment efforts. UCR must demonstrate this to the U.S. Department of Labor by following more specific procedures for job posting and candidate selection than those required by the Special Handling Labor Certification.

More information on the General Program Electronic Review Management (PERM) Labor Certification

 

Learn More

 

ISS Office Hours

The International Students and Scholars office is open from 8:00am - 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. 

Location: Skye Hall, Room 321

 

Daily Walk In Hours Available

10:00 am to 12:00 pm, and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
*Appointments are also available, please call 951-827-4113 or email to schedule an appointment:

International Students:  internationalstudents@ucr.edu           

International Scholars, Researchers, and Faculty:  internationalscholars@ucr.edu

 

H-1B and J-1 Visa Training Workshops

Each quarter we offer visa training workshops on campus. The workshops focus on the visa categories from both the employer (UCR) and the employee's perspective. Along with discussing the basics of the visa process, the workshops cover maintaining status, options when employment ends, responsibility of the employer, and rights of the employee. It also covers UCR department roles and responsibilities as well as guidance for using ISS Online system.

Who Should Attend: Visa holders as well as faculty and staff who have direct contact with or oversee the visa process for our scholars.

J-1 Orientation Schedule

J-1 orientation sessions are offered twice a month. 

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