Travel as a Non-U.S. Citizen
Travel requirements for noncitizens vary based on your destination and the country of citizenship of the traveler. Please follow the link below for general information, and contact Human Resources Compliance and Immigration Services (HRCIS) if you need further clarification for specific travel plans.
Security screenings, known as Administrative Processing, of foreign nationals at U.S. Consulates abroad are a potential issue of concern to foreign national employees who are traveling. The U.S. Department of State (DOS) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) conduct reviews of international visitors at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad, at airports, and at border crossing posts with Canada and Mexico. The U.S. State Department processing time for a security screening at a consulate can be as long as 12 weeks, with no option available for expediting the process.
Please be aware that if a foreign national is selected for additional security screening, the University of Virginia has no ability to appeal, expedite, or conduct a status inquiry regarding processing of the case.
Foreign nationals, in consultation with their department if appropriate, should make their own decisions regarding travel. HR Compliance and Immigration Services advises undertaking travel abroad with the understanding that return to the Unites States may be significantly delayed, and that all foreign nationals traveling should be certain to carry documentation supporting their current visa status.
Dependents With You
Dependents of H-1B visa holders may apply for H-4 status as spouses and minor children. For dependents outside the United States, application for H-4 status is completed at the appropriate U.S. Consulate or Embassy. No prior approval is needed, and dependents should apply following application instructions on the Consulate nonimmigrant visa website.
Dependents of H-1B visa recipients currently in the United States may apply for H-4 change of status or extension by filing the I-539 form, available on the USCIS website.
H-4 dependents are not allowed to be employed, and their duration and eligibility of stay is governed by the status of the H-1B visa recipient through which they attained their dependent H-4 status.
Family Visiting You
Short, temporary visits by relatives to foreign national employees holding nonimmigrant visas are considered tourism visits, and may require application for a tourist visa at the available U.S. Consulate. Application requirements vary widely by country, and interested travelers should consult the local U.S. Consulate website for guidance on visiting the United States.
Applying for an H-1B Visa
If you are coming to the University of Virginia from abroad, you will need to apply for an H-1B visa to enter the Unites States. To do so, you will need to make an appointment with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please refer to the website of the U.S. Embassy where you intend to apply for more information on the application process and required documents. The exact visa application procedures and timelines vary from country to country, therefore the website of the consulate is the best reference for current application information.
NOTE: Canadian citizens are exempt from the visa requirement. Canadian citizens should present themselves at a Port of Entry for admission to the Unites States in H-1B status.
Compliance and Immigration Services
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