Non-immigrants are responsible for understanding and complying with U.S. regulations governing their visa category and status. Below is a summary, but not all, of the important regulations international scholars and faculty must follow in order to maintain their immigration status.
J-1 Exchange Visitor | TN Employee | H-1B Employee
Responsibilities of J-1 Exchange Visitors at Oregon State University
Exchange Visitors (EVs) in J-1 status are responsible for understanding and complying with U.S. regulations governing the J visa status. The Exchange Visitor’s responsibilities (22 C.F.R. Part 62) include but are not limited to the following:
- Engage only in the Activities Permitted for the Exchange Visitor Category Type: Each category has a definition and expectations for the activities of the exchange visitor, which must be met. For example a Research Scholar or Professor is here to perform research or teach; a Student Intern is expected to follow the Training/Internship Placement Plan.
- Report Address Changes to the Office of International Services (OIS): All J-1 EVs must report changes of address within 10 days of the address change to OIS. OIS needs to report the address for all J-1 EVs to the US Department of Homeland Security through SEVIS.
- Maintain Adequate Health Insurance: EVs must have health insurance for themselves and all J-2 dependents throughout the entire program participation period and stay in the US. EV’s health insurance policies must meet the health insurance requirements of the Department of State. Failure to maintain appropriate insurance coverage will result in termination of the EV’s J-1 program. Refer to attached Health Insurance Information Form for details.
- Report Any Changes in Program to OIS: J-1 programs are specific to the program description, department, and sponsor approved at OSU on the initial J-1 application. EVs must notify OIS whenever there is a change in their program.
- Receive Transfer Authorization Prior to Leaving OSU: In some cases J-1 EVs may be eligible to transfer their J-1 program to another US SEVP program. EVs must receive transfer authorization from OIS before leaving OSU; contact OIS one month in advance for transfer procedures.
- Apply for a Program Extension Prior to the DS-2019 Expiration: If the OSU sponsor would like to extend the J-1 program beyond the end date listed on the DS-2019, they must apply for an extension with OIS. The maximum program length depends on the EVs category: Research Scholars or Professors have five years, Short-Term Scholars have 6 months, Student Intern or Specialists have 12 months maximum.
- Maintain a valid DS-2019, Passport, and I-94 card while in the US:Exchange visitors and any dependents are at all times expected to maintain a valid DS-2019, valid passport, and I-94. The passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the DS-2019 end date.
- Employment ONLY with OIS Authorization: J-1 Exchange Visitors may only work with authorization from OIS and the OSU sponsor. The employment must be directly related to the objectives of the exchange visitor program, be incidental to the primary program activities, and must not delay the completion date of the J-1 program. Unauthorized employment is a violation of program status; an exchange visitor's participation is subject to termination when he or she engages in unauthorized employment.
- Obtain Travel Signature Prior to Traveling Outside the US: If an EV will travel outside the US and then return to the US to resume his/her J-1 program, an International Scholar Advisor must sign the DS-2019 prior to travel. In addition, the EV’s passport must be valid for a minimum of six months from the date the EV will re-enter the US, and the scholar must have a valid J-1 US visa that is valid on the date of re-entry. EVs should be aware that they must not leave their J-2 dependents in the US for a period longer than 30 days.
- Depart the U.S. within the 30-Day Grace Period and Report Departure to OIS: EVs must inform OIS when they have concluded their program and will be leaving OSU. EVs with Duration of Status (D/S) listed on the “Until” field of their I-94 must depart the US within 30 days of the Program End Date listed on the DS-2019. If an EV completes their J-1 program earlier than the Program End Date, the 30 day grace period applies to the date that the J-1 program was completed and the EV needs to report this early completion of program to OIS.
- Two Year Home Residency Requirement: EVs subject to the Two Year Home Residency Requirement (212(e)) will be required to return to their country of Legal Permanent Residence for a total of 2 years OR receive a waiver of the 212(e) before they will be eligible to obtain a work visa (H-1B, L-1) or Permanent Residency in the US. After a waiver of the 212(e) is recommended by the U.S. Department of State extensions and transfers are NOT permitted. Before applying for a waiver, discuss your case with OIS.
- Bars to Further Program Participation:
- 24 Month Bar: EVs in the J-1 Researcher or J-1 Professor categories cannot return to the US in the category of J-1 Researcher or J-1 Professor until 24 months have passed since the EV completed his/her J-1 program.
- 12 Month Bar: EVs who have been in any J status (J-1 student, J-2 dependents, etc.) for at least 6 months cannot become a J-1 Research Scholar or Professor until they have been outside the US for at least 12 months.
- Student Interns: are limited to one internship per degree level.
Responsibilities of a TN Employee at Oregon State University
TN employees at Oregon State University must comply with U.S. federal laws and regulations governing TN status. Please contact an International Faculty & Scholar Advisor at International Scholar & Faculty Services if you have any questions.
- Report Address Changes to the Office of International Services (OIS).
- Report Employment Changes to the OIS: The terms of employment in TN status are very specific. The US Department of State (DOS) approves the TN program for the specific department, salary, duties, and dates listed on the initial TN letter of offer. The TN recipient is NOT authorized to change employment without authorization from OIS. This restriction includes changes in position duties, changes in pay rates, and changes of sponsoring departments within OSU. If the TN employee anticipates a change in the research or employment, the sponsoring department should notify OIS immediately, prior to the change in employment.
- Apply for an Extension Prior to Expiration of Current TN: The TN employee and host department will be responsible for extensions of the TN employee’s status. TN status can be extended either by returning to the home country and re-entering the US or by applying for an extension of status in the US. Applications for extensions should be filed 4 months before the end date of the original TN status. For more information on extending TN status from within the US contact an International Scholar Advisor.
- Report TN Extension to OIS and OHR: The TN employee should send a copy of the new I-94 card to OIS upon renewing TN status at the border. The TN employee and host department must fill out an I-9 update form to update the employee’s work authorization status, the I-9 should be sent to the Office of Human Resources (OHR).
- Report Departure Date and Reason to the OIS: The TN employee and host department are responsible to notify OIS of the TN employee’s departure when the scholar leaves OSU. If the employee’s record is not properly closed with Immigration, it could lead to complications for the scholar in future visits to the United States.
- Depart the U.S. Immediately at End of Employment: TN employees must depart the U.S. by the date noted on the I-94.
Responsibilities of an H-1B Employee at Oregon State University
H-1B employees at Oregon State University are responsible for learning, understanding, and complying with U.S. federal laws and regulations governing H-1B status. Please contact an advisor at International Scholar & Faculty Services if you have any questions.
- Obtain Travel Documents When Traveling Abroad: H-1B employees who will travel abroad should contact OIS to receive copies of documents which will be necessary for re-entering the US. OIS will retain the original I-797 Approval Notice in the employee’s file.
- Report Address Changes to US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS): U.S. federal regulations require all H-1B scholars to report a change of address to USCIS within 10 days (of the address change) by filling out the AR-11 form online. See www.uscis.gov; click on “FORMS” on green menu bar.
- Report Employment Changes to the OIS: The terms of employment in H-1B status are very specific. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approves the H-1B program for the specific department, salary, duties, and dates listed on the initial H-1B petition. The H-1B employee is NOT authorized to change employment without authorization from OIS. This restriction includes changes in position duties, pay rates, and/or sponsoring departments within OSU. If the H-1B employee anticipates a change in conditions of employment, notify OIS immediately.
- Participate Only in Unpaid Consulting: H-1B employees are permitted to make occasional speeches and lectures at other institutions or at conferences, as long as the activities are not paid (either monetary or any other material gain), and are incidental to the employee’s employment at OSU. H-1B employees can be reimbursed for expenses incurred in connection with travel to other institutions for conferences. This is not considered employment, as long as the payments are truly reimbursements for expenses and not disguised compensation.
- Apply for an Extension Prior to Expiration of Current H-1B: The H-1B employee and host department will be responsible to file applications for extensions on behalf of the H-1B employee. Applications for extensions should be submitted to OIS 5-6 months before the end date of the original program. If OIS does not receive an extension application 2 months before the end date of the original H-1B approval, there are likely to be gaps in employment eligibility.
- Report Departure Date and Reason to the OIS: The H-1B employee and host department are responsible to notify OIS of the H-1B employee’s departure. This is especially important if the employee leaves OSU prior to the end date of the H-1B approval. If the employee’s record is not properly closed with Immigration, it could lead to complications for the individual. If the department is unable to employ the H-1B employee for the duration of the H-1B status, the department is responsible for offering to cover the responsible cost of return transportation to the employee’s home country.
- Depart the U.S. Immediately at End of Employment: H-1B employees must depart the U.S. by the date noted on the I-94 record. Usually the employee must leave the US the same day that the H-1B approval expires, though in some cases a 10 day grace period is noted in the passport. The H-1B employee may ask for the “10 day grace period” at the Port of Entry when re-entering the US from a trip abroad.