Your passport must be valid at all times for identification, extension of stay, and re-entry to the U.S. Renew your passport at least six months in advance of the expiration dated. You can renew your passport from within the U.S. by bringing or mailing your passport to your country’s Consulate.
The visa is a physical document affixed to a page in your passport that allows you to request entrance to the U.S. Visas are obtained abroad at US Consulates or Embassies. Visas cannot be obtained from within the U.S. Every time you enter the U.S. you must have a valid visa. An expired visa does not affect your immigration status while in the U.S. Canadian citizens do not require a visa.
The standard Form I-94 is a white rectangular card that measures about 4 inches by 3 inches and is stapled inside your passport by the Port of Entry officer when you enter the U.S. The I-94 card permits you to enter the US until the expiration date noted. It is especially important to check the expiration date on this card because it is (not the visa) determines the length of stay within the US.
You surrender your I-94 card every time you leave the country and you will receive a new I-94 card each time you re-enter (except when traveling to/from Canada, Mexico or the contiguous islands of the Caribbean
Visa status refers to how long you can remain in the U.S. and the length of your work authorization. Your visa status is noted on your I-94 arrival/departure record (based on your enabling documents).
J-1, H-1B, TN, E-3, and O-1 visa holders should contact the Immigration Services team for questions related to extensions of stay.
Departure Period is the period of time which scholars may remain in the United States after completing their objective.
J-1 Scholars: 30-day Departure Period: J-1 Exchange Visitors and their J-2 dependents have a 30-day departure period. This departure period begins the day after you complete your program at the Center or SCCA. This can be the end date indicated on the DS-2019 form or earlier if you complete the program before that date. The departure period is provided to allow time to pack, move, and/or travel around the U.S. No payment, authorization for incidental activities, or travel out of the U.S. and re-entry with the same status is allowed during the departure period. Please notify the Responsible Officer or Alternate Responsible Officer in advance of changes in your completion and departure dates.
H-1B, TN, E-3, and O-1 Visa Holders: No Departure Period. H-1B, TN, E-3, and O-1 visa holders and their dependents must leave the U.S. by the date listed on their I-94 cards
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (USICE) charges a $180 fee to new J-1 scholars. This fee is in addition to the visa fees charged by the U.S. consulate or embassy. The SEVIS fee must be paid and a receipt obtained before you apply for the visa if you are outside the U.S. or before you apply for change of status if you are in the U.S. The fee can be paid over the internet by credit card, and you must have a printer ready to print the electronic receipt immediately. The fee can also be paid by mail with Form-I-901. See the ICE website or DHS website for more information. Dependents do not have to pay the SEVIS fee, but they do have to pay the visa fees.
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In order to obtain a visa you will need contact your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to obtain application information. Plan ahead as the visa application may take longer than in the past. Visa applicants are required to schedule a personal visa interview in advance, and security checks can delay visa issuance by several weeks or months.
Check the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate you are planning to visit for hours and instructions for obtaining a visa. Canadian citizens are visa-exempt and do not need to apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate. Canadians do need to pay the SEVIS fee and present the DS-2019 and passport to enter the U.S. with J-1 status.
Each U.S. Embassy or Consulate has different requirements for a visa application. It is very important that you verify with the consulate what is needed to complete the process. Make sure your passport is valid for 6 months from date of visa application, be prepared to show evidence of your financial resources, and bring the offer letter of employment from the Center or SCCA.
The following is a list of items that are also needed to obtain a visa:
In addition to these documents and others required by the U.S. embassy or consulate where you intend to apply for your visa, be prepared to present the following supporting documents:
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In order to bring your spouse or children to this country, provide the following information to the Immigration Services Team: Dependent's name as it appears on the passport, birth date, city and country of birth, country of legal residence, country of citizenship, gender, and relationship (spouse or child) to you. We will use this information to process appropriate immigration documents and/or paperwork.
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Information on what to expect at the port of entry is available at the ICE Website.
United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is an agency within the Department of Homeland Security. CBP officers must screen all arriving people, goods and vehicles to make sure they meet all requirements for entry into the United States.
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The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s Main Campus and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is located approximately 16 miles north from the Seattle—Tacoma International Airport. A taxi to the Center/SCCA costs approximately $50 for a one-way trip. Please visit the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
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