MAINTAINING YOUR STATUS
Regardless of nonimmigrant status, the documentation secured for your employment at Augusta University and stay in the United States is only valid while you are employed at Augusta University. IPSO must be notified of any plans for change to employment to avoid being considered out of status. Failure to notify IPSO can result in the termination of your employment and/or your Exchange Visitor program and can negatively impact future petitions for nonimmigrant status and/or permanent residency.
EXTENDING YOUR STATUS
(For those in H-1B, E-3, O-1 or TN status)
Processing for the extension of your status can begin six months prior to expiration of your current status. Your college/department will be notified of your pending expiration by IPSO. It is the college’s/department's decision whether or not to extend sponsorship of your status. Once IPSO has received a Processing Request Form to extend your status, we will contact you to advise what documentation will be needed for your extension.
Current employees at Augusta University in H-1B, TN, E-3, or O-1 status should notify IPSO in advance of making any international travel plans to ensure chances of travel delays due to immigration issues are minimized.
OBTAINING AN H-1B VISA
Once you are in H-1B status, you will need a valid H-1B visa to enter or re-enter the United States. If you do not have a current valid H-1B visa, you will need to apply for a new one at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate which processes H-1B visas. To find more information on specific embassies and their services and procedures, consult the U.S. Department of State's List of Embassies and Consulates.
Please carefully make note of the documents and fees required by the embassy/consulate. You must prepare and pay for these documents yourself prior to your meeting with the consular officials or submission of your application. When you notify IPSO of your plans to travel, a complete copy of your H-1B petition as it was submitted to USCIS will be given to you to bring to your visa interview.
Please be aware that your visa application may be selected for a security check. Some scientists and clinicians will be subject to this check because of the nature of their research and skills. These security checks might delay the granting of your entry visa for 30-60 days or more. This is a U.S. Department of State security clearance and cannot be influenced or expedited. Please plan your travels and advise your department accordingly.
THIRD COUNTRY VISAS
Applicants for H-1B status will sometimes read on websites that it will be easier for them to secure their initial H-1B visa in Canada or Mexico. This is not always the case: It's usually best for foreign nationals to apply at the U.S. embassy/consulate in their home country. A variety of factors can complicate Third Country National visa applications. Consular officers may decide that the home country consulate is better able to assess eligibility (home country ties, etc.), deny the application, and suggest that they apply at home.
ENTERING THE U.S.
In H-1B status, you may enter the United States with a valid H-1B visa and the original I-797A approval notice. In most cases you should be admitted for the duration of the approval notice.
Upon entry into the United States, you will be issued an I-94 Arrival and Departure stamp by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It is important the date stamped on your passport matches the expiration date on your I-797A approval notice. If the date stamped is earlier than this date, please have the officer check to make sure this has not been done in error.
SEEKING PERMANENT RESIDENCY SPONSORSHIP?
IPSO processes LPR petitions for current eligible nonimmigrant employees at the request of Augusta University officials, such as college deans, department chairs, institute or center directors. For further information, please see our webpage about Permanent Residency Sponsorship.