Information: Non-US Citizen Transition from a Post-Doctoral Appointment to a Staff Position

Six months prior to the end of the post-doctoral appointment:

  • The PI, in coordination with their Department, will need to create the new staff position.  This can be facilitated by contacting the Grants Business Coordinator for the College.
  • The Post-doc/new staff employee should contact General Counsel for a list of outside attorneys with which to work if the employee is in J1 immigration status and needs to file a change of status to H-1B immigration status.
    • If the J-1 is subject to the 2-year home residency requirement, he/she must first file for a waiver of the requirement through the U.S. Department of State.  The waiver request must be approved prior to being eligible to change status to H-1B.
  • The new staff employee, the PI, and the Department should discuss who will be responsible for paying the fees associated with filing for H-1B immigration status.


General Visa Information:

  • J1 immigration status is appropriate for research positions that are of a limited duration such as and post-doctoral research appointments, but is not appropriate for staff positions which are more permanent in nature.  J1 status is also limited to a maximum of five continuous years.
  • H-1B status can be granted for an initial term of three years, with an optional three year extension.  Extensions should be applied for six months prior to the initial three year expiration to allow sufficient time for the extension petition to be approved by USCIS.  H-1B status is limited to a total of six years (with certain exceptions if a green card petition has been pending for at least one year when the six year maximum is reached).
  • If the staff position with the University is to exceed six years, the employee will need to apply for a more permanent immigration status, such as a Green Card.  Per University policy, staff positions are not eligible to be considered for a petition for an employment-based green card to be filed on their behalf until the employee has been in that position for a minimum of three years.
  • Fees associated with visa filing are:
    • Attorney Fees
    • USCIS Filing Fees
    • Anti-Fraud Protection Fee (always paid by the University)
    • Expedite Fee (if expedited processing is required)
  • If it is less than six months before visa expiration, please contact General Counsel immediately.


Other General Information:

  • Human Resources will send a reminder via email to update the employee’s I-9 documentation.  This notice is sent three months prior to the end of employment eligibility.
  • Maintaining proper and current immigration status is ultimately the responsibility of the employee.