Frequently Asked Immigration Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Who is responsible for U-M sponsored immigration fees?
2.  Who is responsible for the International Center fees?
3.  Are Lecturer positions considered a "permanent position" for the purposes of immigration processes?
4.  How do I know if someone is subject to the two-year home physical presence rule (relevant to J-1 visa holders)?
5.  How should I determine what type of visa to use for a visitor?
6.  Where do I start to initiate a J-1 visa?
7.  Can faculty on H-1B visas receive payments from other Universities for giving lectures?
8.  Someone has accepted our tenure-track (or tenured) offer, what do I do now?
9.  I have a GSI on an F1 student visa who wants to do some extra grading, what is allowed?
10.  If the person I am working with has a SINOA number, do I also need a social security number?

 1. Who is responsible for U-M sponsored immigration fees?
The University of Michigan now requires that the University handle all U-M sponsored H-1B and Permanent Residency applications directly. This means that the University must pay the fees and retain the legal counsel. The department must contact the U-M International Center before initiating an H-1B or PR process.  Information on this program is available at: http://www.umich.edu/~icenter/immig/retatty/retatty_roles.html  A set of frequently asked question is also available at: http://www.umich.edu/~icenter/immig/retatty/retatty_faq.html

 2. Who is responsible for the International Center fees?

The Dean's Office will cover the International Center processing fee for the H1-B and H1-B renewal for TENURE or TENURE TRACK cases only. The Dean’s office will provide $1,125 for each new case or renewal petition (the department can expect that the total costs will be approximately $1,400-$2,400 for each case). Dual career cases will be handled on a case by case basis. Please note that visa processing fees cannot be passed on to the employee. For details on these fees please review the U-M International Center website.

The Dean's Office will also cover the International Center PR fee of $1,825 for TENURE OR TENURE TRACK cases only regardless of the PR category (the department can expect that the total costs will be between approximately $2,500-$4,200 for each case depending on the type of PR petition processed).

You will need to request these funds from your LSA Financial Analyst on a case-by-case basis.

 3. Are Lecturer positions considered a "permanent position" for the purposes of immigration processes?
 Someone with a Lecturer II or IV title can be processed for an H-1B visa. However, the LSA Dean's Office will not contribute to the costs of the visa processing.

Lecturer I and IIIs are not permanent positions so a J1 visa is appropriate. An H-1B is also allowed in some circumstances if the person has an additional status they can move to if their appointment is not renewed (i.e. H4 with a spouse).

The College of LS&A does not generally sponsor permanent residency applications for Lecturer positions. Sponsorship is defined to include financial support for fees associated with a residency application as well as the managing of the application materials and serving as the petitioner for the residency application. This policy follows the recommendation of the Provost and General Counsel Offices and is based on the level of contractual obligation implied in such support.  

Any consideration of a department-sponsored permanent residency application for a Lecturer within LSA would require a compelling case to the Dean's Office for a uniquely qualified individual in an essential area of instruction that could not be met in any other way. Departmental requests to sponsor a Lecturer's permanent residency application may be considered on a very limited case-by-case basis and should be submitted in writing to the LSA Associate Dean for Budget. The request should present the case for departmental support of the permanent residency application and describe the special circumstances that define the ways in which the individual is uniquely qualified for the position.  

 4. How do I know if someone is subject to the two-year home physical presence rule (relevant to J-1 visa holders)?

Under specific circumstances, the Exchange Visitor may incur a "two-year home physical presence requirement, HPPR." This means that when an EV completes his/her J-1 program, he/she may not change immigration status to H-1, L-1 or Permanent Residency without first returning to his/her country for 2 years, or obtaining a waiver of this requirement. The J-2 dependents are subject to the HPPR if the J-1 principal participant is subject to that requirement. IF HPPR applies, change of status to another non-immigrant classification such as F-1 in the United States is prohibited.
Information about the J-1 visa can be found at the U-M International Center website and on the Department of State Website.

5. How should I determine what type of visa to use for a visitor?

Please see the decision tree for determining visa type at:  Immigration Chart

 6. Where do I start to initiate a J-1 visa?
Information about the J-1 process can be found at the U-M International Center website

UM departmental responsibilities for hosting J-1 exchange visitors:
https://private.www.umich.edu/%7Eicenter/icprotect/j1visitor/Dept_Responsibilities.pdf

General Information of J-1 Exchange Visitor Program and Instructions for Departments Requesting Form DS-2019s:
https://www.internationalcenter.umich.edu/icprotect/j1visitor/j1visitor.html#process

DS-2019 request form:
https://www.internationalcenter.umich.edu/icprotect/j1visitor/DS2019_Req_New.pdf 

7. Can faculty on H-1B visas receive payments from other Universities for giving lectures?
Yes, but only if you have included the proper language in their job description when applying for the H-1B.   Otherwise they are legally only allowed to receive payment for travel expenses.   Suggested wording: employee may do outside consulting or give invited lectures at universities, businesses or industry outside of the University of Michigan.

 8. Someone has accepted our tenure-track (or tenured) offer, what do I do now?
Discussion regarding visa needs should start with the Chair, prospective employee and the International Center as soon as an offer letter goes out.  In many cases you will immediately apply for an H-1B visa for an initial three-year period.  As soon as the person arrives you will determine if you will be applying for permanent residency (most likely).  If this is the case, you will then immediately begin the paperwork for the permanent residency.  You must have this paperwork to the UM International Center within 15 months of the OFFER LETTER DATE (not the start date).  Information about the H-1B visa is available at the International Center website at: http://www.umich.edu/~icenter/immig/h1bvisa/

If a new hire has just completed their PhD and is on an F1 visa, they may be eligible for one year of practical training.  The new hire would contact the institution that sponsored them on F-1 status to apply for practical training at UM.  Six months before the expiration of their practical training you would apply for an H-1B visa and then permanent residency (remember the 15 month window from the offer letter date for permanent residency applications).

 9. I have a GSI on an F1 student visa who wants to do some extra grading, what is allowed?
Employment Options for F-1 Students
http://www.umich.edu/~icenter/immig/fvisa/f_emploption.html

10. If the person I am working with has a SINOA number, do I also need a social security number?
The answer to this question depends on what the person you are working with is going to be doing at the University.  Someone who will not be receiving salary would not need to have a social security number issued (i.e. visiting scholar).  If it is expected that salary will be paid, a social security number must be obtained.   Information on social security numbers can be found on the UM International Center website at:  http://www.umich.edu/~icenter/taxes/taxssnabout.html


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