Visa FAQs

Frequently asked questions

H-1B support

Sponsorship

Our department wants to hire a foreign national in H-1B status. How do we initiate an H-1B request?

Once an offer letter has been signed, the sponsoring department can initiate an H-1B request via Sunapsis, the electronic immigration database. If you do not currently have access to Sunapsis, please contact InternationalScholars@asu.edu for access and training information.

Can a beneficiary sponsor themselves for H-1B status?

No, an individual cannot sponsor themselves for H-1B status. H-1B status must be sponsored by employers after an offer of employment has already been made.

What is the process and timeline for obtaining an H-1B approval notice?

Please view the H-1B timeline for more information.

How long can a beneficiary hold H-1B status?

H-1B status is limited to a maximum of three years initially and up to a total of six years through extensions.

How do you check the status of an H-1B petition?

You can check the case status on the USCIS Case Status website (a receipt number is required).

Is ASU subject to the H-1B cap?

No. ASU is exempt from the H-1B cap as an institute of higher education.

What does it mean if an H-1B petition was filed for consular processing?

This means that the petition was filed with the intention that, once it is approved, the beneficiary will use it to apply for a visa stamp at a consulate abroad. This is opposed to filing for an extension or change of status from within the U.S.

Can an H-1B beneficiary who is sponsored by ASU accept employment with another employer?

No. The H-1B status is employer-specific and all employment must be specifically approved by the USCIS.

Once the H-1B change of employer petition has been filed, when can employment begin at ASU?

Employment can begin once the receipt notice is received but not before the H-1B start date.

Travel & Visas Back to top

What is the difference between an H-1B visa and H-1B status?

An H-1B visa is the stamped page in your passport placed there by a consular officer that will allow you to enter the U.S. The H-1B immigration status is granted once you enter the U.S. or once you have received an H-1B Approval Notice Form I-797 for a change of status to H-1B status without leaving the U.S. You can remain in the U.S. if your H-1B visa expires, but you cannot remain in the U.S. if you fall out of H-1B status. As a reminder, if you do not have a current H-1B visa and plan to depart the U.S., you will need to visit a U.S. consulate to apply for the H-1B passport stamp for purposes of re-entry to the U.S. Please contact the ISSC so that we can advise you on the required documents. We also recommend that after each entry into the U.S., you save an electronic copy and/or print a hard copy of your most recent I-94 record to keep with your immigration records.

Can a foreign national apply for a U.S. visa in a country other than their home country?

In general, the ISSC advises that the beneficiary apply for an H-1B in their home country. If they need to apply as a "third-country national" at a U.S. consulate not in their home country, we advise that the beneficiary confirm they will be able to apply for an H-1B visa at that consulate.

The ASU sponsoring department filed an H-1B change of employer petition. The H-1B visa stamp in the beneficiary’s passport is still valid for many months. Do they need to apply for a new visa the next time they travel?

In general, as long as the H-1B visa stamp is facially valid, it may continue to be used following a change to a different employer. It is important to show the latest H-1B approval notice to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection at the airport or other port of entry to obtain the I-94 record/visa stamp to match the latest approval notice.

Can an H-1B employee travel outside the U.S. while the H-1B petition is pending with USCIS?

The H-1B beneficiary is advised to contact the ISSC for further advice on complying with immigration regulation before any international travel.

Our department is filing an H-1B petition for consular processing. Once the H-1B approval notice is received and an H-1B visa has been issued, when can the employee enter the U.S.?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will allow entry to the U.S. in H-1B status up to 10 days prior to the validity start date on the H-1B approval notice.

I-94 Records, Driver’s Licenses and Green cards Back to top

An employees H-1B extension is pending but their driver license is about to expire. What can be done?

The H-1B beneficiary is advised to contact the ISSC. Once the receipt notice is received, we can write a letter to the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division on their behalf that will confirm their continued H-1B status.

The H-1B beneficiary has just received a green card. What are the next steps?

Please immediately send a PDF copy of the green card to ISSC at InternationalScholars@asu.edu, so that we can comply with immigration requirements and withdraw the remaining H-1B status.

The ASU sponsoring department filed an H-1B Change of Employer petition. If the employee starts working once the receipt notice has been received, and then the I-94 expires, how long can they continue working?

Generally, the beneficiary can continue working for as long as the change of employer petition remains pending.

An H-1B change of status has been filed but the beneficiary’s I-94 will soon be expiring while the H-1B petition is still pending. Is this a problem?

One is normally considered in a period of "authorized stay" and is permitted to remain in the U.S. until a decision is issued on the pending change of status petition. Please contact the ISSC if you have additional questions.

An H-1B extension was filed in a timely manner. If the case is still pending when the I-94 expires, how long can the beneficiary continue working?

In general, if an H-1B extension is filed while the beneficiary is still in valid status, the H-1B worker can continue employment for up to 240 days beyond the expiration of current H-1B status, or until the H-1B petition is approved or denied, whichever occurs first. This is true even if the current I-94 has expired.

The I-94 date was cut short the last time the beneficiary entered the U.S. because the passport was expiring in a few months. The passport has now been renewed but the I-94 will be expiring soon. Is there a way to update the I-94 now based on the new passport?

If an I-94 is truncated because of a passport expiration, one would normally need to travel outside the U.S. and make a new entry in H-1B status, or file a petition for extension of status, before the I-94 expires. The beneficiary can also visit a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deferred Inspection Office with the hope that the I-94 record can be changed to a correct date.

The current I-94 is valid through next year but an H-1B change of employer petition is pending. Can the beneficiary travel outside the U.S. and return while the petition is still pending?

It is generally safer to wait for the petition to be approved to avoid any uncertainty at the port of entry upon your return to the U.S.

TN Mexican and Canadian NAFTA professional workers Back to top

How does the sponsoring department initiate a TN request?

Please contact the ISSC (InternationalScholars@asu.edu) for the most current TN Request Packet.

Where can I find the TN classification of approved job titles?

You can find the list of approved job titles at the NAFSA website.

Can the employee travel outside the U.S. while the TN extension petition is pending with USCIS?

Please contact the ISSC (InternationalScholars@asu.edu) for further advice and best course of action before any international travel.

Can an employee self-sponsor for TN status?

No, an individual may not sponsor themselves on TN status. TN status must be sponsored by employers after an offer of employment has already been made.

How can one check the status of a pending case?

You can check the case status on the USCIS Case Status website (a receipt number is required).

Can Mexican citizens apply for a U.S. visa in a country other than their home country?

Generally, one should have a good reason for applying for a U.S. visa at a U.S. consulate that is not located in the home country. A good reason might be participation in a professional conference in the third country. We advise that employees confirm with the U.S. consulate that, as a "third-country national" they will be able to apply for a visa at that consulate.

How long may an employee be in TN status?

TN status is granted for a period of up to three years and subsequent TN extensions of up to three additional years at a time can be requested. There is no regulatory limit on the number of extensions that are possible, but TN status is intended for temporary employment.

May a TN employee sponsored by ASU work for any employer?

No. TN status is employer-specific and all employment must be specifically approved by the CBP or USCIS.

An employee’s I-94 date was cut short the last time they entered the U.S. because the passport was expiring in a few months. The employee has now renewed the passport, but the I-94 will be expiring soon. Is there a way that the employee can update the I-94 now based on a new passport?

If an I-94 is truncated because of a passport expiration, one normally would need to either travel outside the U.S. and make a new entry in TN status, or file a petition for extension of status before the I-94 expires. The beneficiary can also try visiting a CBP Deferred Inspection Office with the hope that the I-94 record can be changed to a correct date.

E-3 Australian visasBack to top

How does the sponsoring department initiate an E-3 request?

The department must contact the ISSC at InternationalScholars@asu.edu for the most current E-3 Request Packet.

Can the beneficiary self-sponsor for E-3 status?

No, an individual cannot sponsor themselves on an E-3 status. E-3 status must be sponsored by employers after an offer of employment has already been made.

Can an E-3 employee travel outside the U.S. while the E-3 petition is pending with USCIS?

Please contact the ISSC for further advice and best course of action before any international travel.

How can one check the status of the E-3 case?

You can check the case status on the USCIS case status website using a receipt number.

How long can a beneficiary hold E-3 status?

E-3 status is granted for a period of up to two years and subsequent E-3 extension up to two years at a time can be requested. There is no regulatory limit on the number of extensions that are possible, but E-3 status is intended for temporary employment.

Can an E-3 beneficiary who is sponsored by ASU accept employment with another employer?

No. E-3 status is employer-specific and all employment must be specifically approved by USCIS.

The beneficiary is applying for an E-3 visa for employment at ASU. After they receive the E-3 visa, when can they enter the U.S.?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will allow you to enter the U.S. in E-3 status up to 10 days prior to the validity start date on the E-3 Approval Notice.

Can a foreign national apply for a U.S. visa in a country other than their home country?

In general, the ISSC advises that the beneficiary apply for an E-3 in their home country. If they need to apply as a “third-country national” at a U.S. consulate not in their home country, we advise that the beneficiary confirm they will be able to apply for an E-3 visa at that consulate.

What is the difference between an E-3 visa and E-3 status?

An E-3 visa is the stamped page in your passport placed by a consular officer that will allow you to enter the U.S. E-3 immigration status is granted once you enter the U.S. or once you have received an E-3 Approval Notice Form I-797 for a change of status to E-3 status without leaving the U.S. You can remain in the U.S. if your E-3 visa expires, but you cannot remain in the U.S. if you fall out of E-3 status. As a reminder, if you do not have a current E-3 visa and plan to depart the U.S., you will need to visit a U.S. consulate to apply for the E-3 stamp in the passport for purposes of re-entry to the U.S. Please contact the ISSC at InternationalScholars@asu.edu so that we can advise you on the required documents. We also recommend that after each entry into the U.S., you save an electronic copy and/or print a hard copy of your most recent I-94 record to keep with your immigration records.

The I-94 date was cut short the last time our beneficiary entered the U.S. because the passport was expiring in a few months. The passport has now been renewed but the I-94 will be expiring soon. Is there a way to update the I-94 now based on the new passport?

If an I-94 is truncated because of a passport expiration, one normally would need to either travel outside the U.S. and make a new entry in E-3 status, or file a petition for extension of status before the I-94 expires. The beneficiary can also visit a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deferred Inspection Office with the hope that the I-94 record can be changed to a correct date.

The beneficiary’s current I-94 is valid though next year but there is an E-3 change of employer petition pending. Can the employee travel outside the U.S. and return while the petition is still pending?

In the current environment, it is generally safer to wait for the petition to be approved to avoid uncertainty at the port of entry.

The current I-94 is valid through next year but there is an E-3 change of employer petition pending. Can the beneficiary travel outside the U.S. and return while the petition is still pending?

In the current environment, it is generally safer to wait for the petition to be approved to avoid uncertainty at the port of entry.

O-1 individuals with extraordinary ability or achievementBack to top

How does the sponsoring department initiate an O-1 request?

The department must contact the ISSC at InternationalScholars@asu.edu for the most current O-1 request packet.

Can the employee travel outside the U.S. while the O-1 extension petition is pending with the USCIS?

Please contact the ISSC for further advice and best course of action before any international travel.

Can an employee self-sponsor for O-1 status?

No, an individual cannot sponsor themselves on O-1 status. O-1 status must be sponsored by employers after an offer of employment has already been made.

How can one check the status of a pending case?

You can check the case status on the USCIS Case Status website (a receipt number is required).

How long can an employee be in O-1 status?

There is no limit to the time you can hold O-1 status. The USCIS will adjudicate the extension, with updated documentation, and determine the necessary length of stay.

Can an O-1 employee sponsored by ASU work for any employer?

No. O-1 status is employer-specific and all employment must be specifically approved by the CBP or USCIS.

An employee’s I-94 date was cut short the last time they entered the U.S. because the passport was expiring in a few months. The employee has now renewed the passport, but the I-94 will be expiring soon. Is there a way that the employee can update the I-94 now based on a new passport?

If an I-94 is truncated because of a passport expiration, one would normally need to either travel outside the U.S. and make a new entry in O-1 status, or file a petition for extension of status before the I-94 expires. The beneficiary can also try visiting a CBP Deferred Inspection Office with the hope that the I-94 record can be changed to a correct date.