Visas

Visa holders should give the Molecular Biosciences’ Human Resources Office at least 120 days notice before expiration of a Visa.  Failure to adhere to this timeline may result in the inability of Visa holders to work if the new or renewed Visa is not received prior to the original Visa’s expiration date.  Please be advised that initiation of Visa requests is the responsibility of the individual named on the Visa, not that of the individual’s supervisor or the department.

MBS HR handles the processing of J-1 and H1-B visas. All paperwork for Visas are completed in myIO. More information on Visas in general can be found on the Texas Global website.

Nonresident Tax Compliance is completed in Glacier


J-1 VISAS

We can initiate a J1 on their behalf, which can be initiated for a maximum of five years. A J-1 will take about 3-4 months to process, but could possibly take longer depending on U.S. Embassy/Consulate processing times and COVID-19 restrictions.

 Please Note: On October 25, 2021, President Joseph Biden issued a proclamation specifying that proof of COVID-19 vaccination is now mandatory for travelers flying into the U.S. from abroad. This could potentially delay the process even longer.  

What COVID-related documentation is needed for air travel to the U.S.?

Effective Nov. 8, 2021, all individuals entering the U.S. by air must have the following when boarding their flight to the U.S.:

    • Vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and/or the World Health Organization (WHO) include: Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca/Covishield, Pfizer-BioNTech, BIBP/Sinopharm and Sinovac.
    • Accepted vaccines and types of documentation are listed on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.
    • Travelers must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to their flight.
  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than one day prior to the flight OR documentation of recovery from COVID-19. This is required for all travelers ages two and up.

Below are the current fees associated with a J1 (Paid by the Department/PI): 

  • J-1 Exchange Visitor (DS-2019): $400 charged by the International Student and Scholar Services at Texas Global via IDT

Fees Paid by the Foreign National:

  • $220 SEVIS Fee
  • $160 Visa interview fee

Please note: You may use your grants to pay for the J1 if it is a new hire and a new J1 petition. Otherwise, you must use a discretionary account.

 

H1-B VISAS

It takes about 6-8 months for an H1-B petition to be processed, but it could possibly take longer depending on U.S. Embassy/Consulate processing times and COVID-19 travel restrictions. We highly encourage premium processing, as USCIS guarantee’s processing within 15 calendar days to those who choose to use this service. It can assist in the processing of the petition, even though no set timeline can be guaranteed.

Please Note: On October 25, 2021, President Joseph Biden issued a proclamation specifying that proof of COVID-19 vaccination is now mandatory for travelers flying into the U.S. from abroad. This could potentially delay the process even longer.  

What COVID-related documentation is needed for air travel to the U.S.?

Effective Nov. 8, 2021, all individuals entering the U.S. by air must have the following when boarding their flight to the U.S.:

    • Vaccines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and/or the World Health Organization (WHO) include: Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Oxford-AstraZeneca/Covishield, Pfizer-BioNTech, BIBP/Sinopharm and Sinovac.
    • Accepted vaccines and types of documentation are listed on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.
    • Travelers must be fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to their flight.
  • Proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than one day prior to the flight OR documentation of recovery from COVID-19. This is required for all travelers ages two and up.

An employee can be on an H-1B for a maximum of 6 years under normal circumstances, however, each H-1B petition can only be processed for a maximum of 3 years. Thus, after the first 3 years, we would need to process an extension petition to extend the H1B for the remaining 3 years, which you may only use discretionary funds to pay for this extension. In the event that PI’s do not have the grant funds to cover the Visa costs and if they do not have discretionary funding, you can request that support from MBS Chair and Assistant Director by contacting them and letting them know of the situation. They will need a justification as to why this would be a good investment for MBS. 

Below are the fees associated with an H1B petition:
Visa/Petition ISSS Fee (Charged via IDT) USCIS Fee (A check is requested and sent to DHS)
H-1B Filing Fee (required for all H-1B petitions- NEW, TRANSFERS, and AMENDMENTS) -- Form I-129 $2,000 $460
H-1B Filing Fee (required for all H-1B EXTENTIONS)-- Form I-129 $1,500 $460
H-1B Anti Fraud (required for NEW AND TRANSFER H-1Bs only)-- Form I-129 $2,000 $500 (Not required for EXTENTIONS or AMENDMENTS
H-1B Premium Processing Fee (optional, shortens processing time) -- Form I-907 --- $2,500