Information for UAF Departments
Issue Common to All Immigration Categories Sponsored by UAF Departments
- Immigration 101 Training Manual
- Individuals in each immigration category are sponsored by UAF
- Each category must be resident in Fairbanks
- 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 once the individual has entered the U.S. It 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.
Department of State Exchange Visitor (J-1 Visa Category)
- J-1 Visa Category
- Sponsoring document is a Form DS-2019
- Has 13 categories of which we are authorized four: student, professor, short term scholar and research scholar – there are different rules for each category
- J-1 student may not be self-supporting: must have some type of sponsoring funds that allow the individual to participate in the exchange
- J-1 professor/short term scholar/ research scholar may be self supporting but there must be some reason for the University to be sponsoring them to be here
- 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.)
Specialty Occupation Employee (H-1B Visa Category)
- H-1B Visa Category
- Sponsoring document is a Form I-797 “Notice of Action” approving the H-1B
- Position must qualify first – on a national level the field requires a degree to begin the profession
- Then the skills of the applicant may be considered to determine if the applicant is eligible for the position and related status
- Employer’s visa…the employee is the beneficiary of the employer’s application – a non-resident may not apply for an H-1B on his/her own behalf
- Dependent is an H-4 who is eligible to enter a degree program and study full or part time. There is NO employment authorization available.
Trade NAFTA (TN Visa Category)
- TN Visa Category
- Available for Canadian and Mexican citizens ONLY
- Mexicans follow an application process similar to an H-1B and must have the TN visa to enter the U.S.
- Canadians must have a signed and accepted letter of offer, proof of citizenship, proof of education (transcripts/ diplomas) at the Port of Entry to apply for admission to the U.S. in this category.
- Dependent is a TD who is eligible to enter a degree program and study full or part time. There is NO employment authorization available.
Student (F-1 Visa Category)
- F-1 Visa Category
- 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 and Optional Practical Training which must be authorized in advance of the employment beginning
- 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 after each degree level
- CPT must be an integral part of the student’s curriculum, for example a required internship or practicum
- OPT is available after each degree level
- 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
- Sample UAF departmental employment and recommendation letters for students
Business and/or Visitor (B-1 or B-2 Visa Category)
- B-1 or 2 Visa Category
- Individuals may be invited to, rather than officially sponsored by, UAF, as such there is no UAF-issued immigration document. 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
Helpful U.S. Department of State websites: