Individuals in each immigration category may be sponsored by UAF.
Each category must be resident in Fairbanks, some exceptions may apply but MUST be authorized in advance.
Dependents must remain with the primary visa holder.
All must maintain a valid (unexpired) passport, I-94 Departure Record and sponsoring document.
The visa itself is not a governing document and is only needed to enter the U.S. Once the individual has entered the U.S., the visa can expire and not impact the legal status of the individual as long as the other documents have not expired.
Under current immigration regulations, Canadians are not required to obtain a visa in order to enter the U.S. in any immigration status.
Must be unconditionally admitted – controlling document is a Form I-20.
Must enroll full-time every semester unless approved in advance by a UAF immigration Designated School Official (International Student Advisor, IPI Director or Associate Director).
Eligible for on-campus employment only
Employment exceptions are Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and Optional Practical Training (OPT) which must be authorized before the employment starts.
OPT is 12 months of employment authorization, anywhere in the U.S. for any employer in the student’s field of study and is available during (pre-completion) and/or after (post-completion) each degree level.
CPT is employment authorization that must be an integral part of the student’s curriculum, for example a required internship or practicum during the academic program.
Dependent is an F-2 who is not eligible to enter a degree program/study or work. Part-time study that is avocational or recreational in nature is permitted.
Has 13 categories of which UAF is authorized four: student, professor, short term scholar and research scholar – there are different rules for each category.
J-1 students may not be self-supporting: must have some type of sponsoring funds that allow the individual to participate in the program unless they are participating in a recognized exchange governed by a written agreement.
J-1 professor/short term scholar/research scholar may be self supporting but there must be UAF collaboration facilitating the visitor's stated purpose for the work and research.
Dependent is a J-2 who is eligible to study full time/enter a degree program, and work with USCIS employment authorization. At no time may the funds of the J-2 be used to support the J-1 (separate checking/saving accounts; cannot buy food or pay utilities, etc.).
O-1: Person of Extraordinary Ability - when no other category will work. This is employer-sponsored and requires the I-129 Petition for Alien Worker filed with USCIS. The petition must be filed by an outside immigration attorney.
Individuals may be invited to, rather than officially sponsored by, UAF. As such there are no UAF-issued immigration documenst. The above common issues do not apply to people in this status.
Controlling document indicating status is the I-94 received on entry to the U.S. Immigration authorization to take courses is very limited.
No employment authorization is available.
Visa waiver, also referred to as ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is the waiver of the actual visa in the passport. The person still has the Visitor for Business (B-1) or Visitor for Tourism (B-2) status as reflected on the I-94 arrival record.
Understanding immigration and employment: Immigration presentation discussing hiring foreign nationals from start to finish, including employment extensions. A recording of the session held on October 12, 2018 accompanied with the slides is available.
Note: Fees are current as of October, 2018.
Processing fees The list includes internal processing fees and USCIS filing fees by immigration status as of May, 2017.
Note: as of October 1, 2018, Premium Processing fee has increased to $1,410 from $1,225. USCIS is currently reviewing fees and has proposed increases. The list will be updated once USCIS has published any approved increases.