Employment Visas and Work Authorization

F-1 and J-1 Visa Categories

Employment in the United States is restricted by law for individuals in F-1 and J-1 visa categories.  A nonimmigrant who is permitted to engage in employment may engage only in such employment when authorized.

The Office of International Students and Scholars and the International Center provide a full range of services to international students attending school and working at the University of San Diego on an F-1 Student Visa.  They also manage the university’s J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, for visiting professors, research scholars or short-term scholars. Please visit the OISS website for information about either the F-1 student visa or the J-1 Exchange Visitor program.


H-1B and Other Employment-Based Visa Categories

Human Resources coordinates all employment-related immigration issues at the university (with the exception of the F-1 and J-1 visas mentioned above). Once the hiring department learns that a candidate may require visa sponsorship, the hiring department should contact Human Resources for guidance in determining whether, if employed, the individual can provide appropriate evidence of authorization to work in the United States. If the individual will need a visa to work here for work authorization purposes, Human Resources can help determine what visa(s) (if any) that the individual may be eligible to receive, and what options the university has in terms of sponsoring the individual.  
One option may be the H-1B temporary worker classification. Generally, the H-1B classification is for professionals or those qualified in a “specialty occupation” as defined by the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). This is an employer-specific visa, meaning the H-1B worker may be employed only by the sponsoring employer (USD). The H-1B is valid for up to three years initially and may be extended to a maximum of six years.

Currently, the typical processing time for an H-1B petition can fluctuate anywhere from 3 to 8 months, so hiring departments need to plan ahead.  In addition, the renewal process to extend an H-1B beyond the initial three year period should be started six months prior to expiration of the current status.

Other employment based visas categories include TN (Canadian or Mexican citizen), E-3 (Australian nationals), or O-1 (Alien of Extraordinary Ability). Please contact Human Resources for information on these options.

Determination of university sponsorship or payment of legal and other fees is made on an individually negotiated basis by the hiring department and Human Resources.