Greetings from the International Students and Scholars Center.

Bringing international faculty and scholars to Arizona State University in a timely manner requires specialized advice and preparation. We know that staying connected and informed is important, especially because immigration regulations, legislation and interpretations are constantly changing. Our staff is here to provide guidance and support for all questions related to the J-1 Exchange Visitor Program, employment-based visa categories, permanent residency and other immigration-related issues.

COVID-19 vaccination requirements

COVID-19 vaccination requirements for international air travel ended May 11, 2023. Nonimmigrants traveling by air to the U.S. are no longer required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, according to a White House statement. Please review travel information on our website at issc.asu.edu/j-1-scholars/travel-outside-us.

Application resources

We have seen an increase in questions about applications and want to remind you about our Canvas courses. These resources provide information on the application process for international hires and visitors, including eForm processes, immigration regulations and timelines. The resources are specifically for you and not the beneficiaries, so please do not share them.

Canvas departmental training links: 

 

We plan to launch new and improved courses this summer, so stay tuned.

Upcoming webinar series 

We hold webinars for department contacts interested in sponsoring international faculty or staff. If there are any topics we haven’t covered that you are interested in, please let us know, our contact information is below..

Save the date: Attracting and Hiring International Talent Seminar 

The International Students and Scholars Center will hold a seminar on hiring and attracting international talent and the visa processes associated with inviting foreign nationals to the university on Friday, Sept. 15. The process can be quite simple. There will be several sessions and Jena Decker-Xu, our outside legal partner from Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP, will discuss current immigration trends and other employment visa categories applicable to your employees.

J-1 scholar updates

Student and exchange visitor visa fee

As of May 30, 2023, the student and exchange visitor visa fee has increased from $160 to $185. 

Housing 

We have compiled a list of housing options for our scholars, and the list is found on our website. These are places that the ISSC has ensured will accept DS-2019s as part of the lease application process. 

Medical insurance 

We’ve noticed that some J-1 scholars are having problems enrolling in medical insurance. The J-1 Exchange Visitor Program has specific insurance requirements that J-1 scholars and J-2 dependents must meet in order to maintain their immigration status, including:

  • Medical coverage of at least $100,000 per accident or illness.
  • Medical evacuation coverage of at least $50,000.
  • Repatriation of remains coverage of at least $25,000.
  • A deductible not to exceed $500 per accident or illness.

Paid ASU employees can choose the Triple Choice Plan and will meet the requirements as long as they maintain tier 1 coverage. ASU medical insurance does not cover medical evacuation or repatriation of remains to a home country, so exchange visitor employees choosing ASU health insurance will also need to purchase a separate plan for this. Visit our website for a list of companies past scholars have used.

Funding documentation updates

Due to cost of living increases in Arizona, funding for J-1 scholars and dependents has changed for any new scholar coming to ASU or scholars applying for DS-2019 extensions.

Monthly living expenses:

  • $2,500 per month for the J-1 scholar.
  • $1,000 per month for each J-2 dependent. 
 

Employment-based immigration updates

USCIS fees

I-129 petition fee (H-1B)

$460

H-1B fraud prevention and detection fee

$500

Premium processing fee 

$2,500 

I-539 or I-539A application fee    

$370

I-140 petition fee

$700

Biometrics fee (for each applicant)

$85

 

Temporary Final Rule

Effective May 4, 2022, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a Temporary Final Rule that increases the automatic extension period for employment authorization and Employment Authorization Documents, available to certain EAD renewal applicants, to up to 540 days. This will help avoid gaps in employment for noncitizens with pending EAD renewal applications and stabilize the continuity of operations for U.S. employers.

Please consult with the ISSC faculty and scholars team if you have any employees who are listed under these EAD categories.

H-1B reminders

  • Fall extensions: Many faculty members start and end in August; please review your H-1B employee end dates to make sure you submit an extension request in a timely fashion. A reminder that it takes a few weeks for the ISSC to complete the initial review before a petition can be drafted and submitted to USCIS.
  • Premium processing: For new hires starting August 2023, we highly recommend using premium processing to expedite the visa processing time.
  • End of employment for H-1B: Please remember to notify the ISSC if your H-1B employee has resigned, will soon resign, will be terminated or will not have their contract renewed for the upcoming year. Employers (the ISSC) must notify USCIS when an employee no longer works for them, or no longer holds H-1B status because they have been granted Legal Permanent Resident status. 
  • Change of department: Please also notify the ISSC if your H-1B employee leaves your department for a position with another department at ASU. We need to know where they are and if the employment has significantly changed, requiring an amended petition to be filed with USCIS. 
  • Original approval notices: The ISSC will no longer require that original I-797 Approval Notices for H-1B to be kept on file in our office. Emails have been sent to all beneficiaries that they are welcome to keep their notices if they have them, or to pick them up from the ISSC. 
  • ISSC processing time: Complete applications will be reviewed and processed in seven to 10 business days. Please plan accordingly.
  • Information and training for departments and employers can be requested here. The ISSC strives to provide better services for our stakeholders, and to continue supporting the successes of our students, scholars and faculty members. 

The ISSC faculty and scholars office is available during business hours at issc.scholars@asu.edu and 480-727-7125. We are located in Discovery Hall, room 172, on the Tempe campus and can arrange for document pick-up.