Postdoctoral training in the United States advanced the career of millions of talented women and men from around the world. However, it can be challenging to navigate the visa application process for postdoc in US. Allow touriago to help you through each phase.
Our experience as postdocs, working in the US and as a foreign applicant helped us compile this guide to help you make a claim for a Postdoctoral Research Visa.
The form of visa required by a non-citizen seeking to enter the United States under the terms of the Exchange Visitor Program is specified in each event agreement as part of the procedure for applying for training. In particular, details regarding the visa procedures must be specified by the sponsor. Generally, a J-1 visa is required for postdoctoral research or training at laboratories or universities. Every applicant must submit a DS-2019 form issued by their designated sponsor (if applicable) and any other required forms, such as IAP-66 or G-1145.
Xiamen University (XMU) is one of the top universities located in China. It is a public research university and also a Chinese Ministry of Education Class A Double First Class University. It is a member of Project 985,3 A-Grade Universities that are subsidized by the national government, and it is also listed into several talent programs including “Thousand Talents Plan”, “China’s 211 Project” and “Double First-Class University Plan”. Xiamen University enjoys over 50 years’ history and is committed to providing high quality international education
If you are a postdoctoral scholar, you may be able to apply for a visa to work in the United States. The first step is to determine which type of visa you can apply for. There are several types of visas that postdoctoral scholars may be eligible for, including H-1B and J-1 visas. If you have an offer of employment with an employer in the United States, you may be eligible for an H-1B visa. In order to qualify for this type of visa, however, you must have at least a master’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution in the U.S. or abroad (or foreign equivalent). If your degree was obtained outside of the U.S., it must be evaluated by an approved credential evaluation service provider before submitting your application for an H-1B visa. J-1 visas are available for individuals who have completed their studies at a foreign university and want to work in America as part of their exchange program; however, these programs must be sponsored by a government agency or organization such as one affiliated with the Department of State or Peace Corps International Volunteer Programs Division (IVP).
If you are a postdoctoral researcher and want to work in the United States, we can help. We specialize in visa processing for postdoctoral researchers, as well as other types of visas.
Our process is simple:
- Fill out our online form.
- We will review your request and get back to you within 24 hours with a quote for processing your visa.
- You pay 100% of the cost up front (via credit card or PayPal). We do not require any additional payments or deposits during the process because we know that every dollar counts when it comes time to move overseas!
- We process your visa and send it directly to you within 7 business days of receiving payment from us (or less if possible).
If you are a postdoctoral research fellow looking to travel to the United States for academic purposes, you will need a visa. The best way to explain how this process works is to break it down into three parts:
Part 1: Who Needs a Visa?
Any person who wishes to enter the United States as a nonimmigrant needs a visa. A nonimmigrant is someone who enters the U.S. for a temporary period of time and does not intend to become an immigrant and live in America permanently. Nonimmigrants include students, visitors on business trips, and international representatives from foreign governments or international organizations working in the U.S., among others.
Part 2: How to Apply for Your Visa
If you’re planning on applying for a visa while abroad, your first step is contacting the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country (you can find yours here). You’ll need to schedule an appointment with an American Consular Officer (ACO), who will review your application and determine whether or not it meets all requirements for issuing a nonimmigrant visa. If your application meets these requirements, then ACOs will issue you a letter known as an “advisement” letter that explains what documents need submitting before they can issue their recommendation that
If you’re a postdoctoral researcher in the US and need to apply for a visa, we can help. We have years of experience helping postdocs and PhD students with their visa applications, and have helped over 10,000 people since our founding in 2014. We know what it’s like to be on the other side of this process—we were once postdocs ourselves!
The postdoctoral position is a bridge between the academic world and the professional one. It allows you to gain new skills and experience in the workplace, while you continue your research and grow as an individual.
In order to get a visa for postdoctoral studies in the United States, you must be nominated by a university or company that has been approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as an employer of international students. Once accepted by your department, apply for a student visa at the US Embassy or Consulate closest to where you live.
After receiving your student visa, you can begin working on your research project at your university or company. If your project lasts longer than the validity period of your visa (usually six months), you will need to apply for an extension from USCIS.
OPA H-1B Visa Processing Guidelines
- The requested H-1B visa dates must match the postdoctoral appointment dates.
- Only the end dates will match for existing appointments transitioning to a new H-1B visa.
- If the postdoc will be out of valid work status while awaiting issuance of the H-1B visa, the appointment/extension may not take effect without a valid H-1B approval.
- For existing appointments, the postdoc must be placed on an unpaid leave of absence until the H-1B visa is issued.
- For new appointments, the appointment start date must be delayed until the H-1B visa is issued.
Please make every effort to submit timely visa requests to avoid an unpaid leave for your postdoc!
- Petitions submitted with the intention to use USCIS premium processing MUST be submitted at least 3-5 months before the requested H-1B start date.
- See the Review Board Meeting Schedule below.
- Bechtel recommends all H-1B visa petitions use USCIS premium processing.
- Late submission of petitions:
- OPA may be able to review last-minute petitions if staffing and work volume permit.
- There is no guarantee that the H-1B Review Board is available on an ad hoc basis; departments must make every effort to avoid last-minute requests.
No matter if you plan on staying in the USA for a couple years or the rest of your life, it is a really great experience to do an internship or postdoc abroad. If you plan on going for an extended period of time, you should start early. You are going to need money and probably a visa, depending on your citizenship. But don’t let this scare you off from your dream. These things can be handled in different ways and processed rather quickly if done properly.