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Visa Services at City of Hope

Visa Services at City of Hope
City of Hope offers visa assistance and sponsors to eligible foreign nationals that allow them to be eligible for employment. Please note: City of Hope does not sponsor green cards for nurses.

All About Visas
Understanding Visas
Find out about visas, the differences in a visa's period of validity and an applicant's foreign national status, and visa exemptions.
A variety of visa types are sponsored each year by City of Hope to meet the needs of our diverse work force and student body.
Obtain EAD and SSN Cards and Check Case Status
Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Card
Find out how to apply for a work permit that proves your eligibility to work at City of Hope.
Social Security Number (SSN) and Card
Find out how to apply for a Social Security number and obtain a Social Security card.
Check Case Status
Check on the status of your visa application through United States Citizenship and Immigration Services Case Status Service.
Explore City of Hope
Employment at City of Hope
Find out why the best and the brightest come to work at City of Hope.  Learn about open positions, campus and laboratory facilities, and library services.
Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences
Our unique interdisciplinary program awards Ph.D.s in basic and translational biomedical disciplines.
Postdoctoral Information
Discover the multiple resources and rewarding opportunities that City of Hope offers its postdoctoral fellows.
*These pages are provided as an informational resource only. Because immigration laws and procedures are complex and subject to change at any time, City of Hope cannot guarantee the ongoing accuracy of this information. Although City of Hope employs an immigration specialist, you may wish to consult your personal attorney regarding the immigration and visa process.

Visa Types

Non-immigrant visas establish work eligibility, and must be obtained prior to coming to the United States (U.S.). City of Hope offers assistance and sponsorship with the following visa types:
The J-1 visa is the most common type of visa sponsored for non-immigrants interested in coming to City of Hope to study or receive training, teach, research, consult or provide special skills. J-1 Exchange Visitor Program participants are permitted to work only at City of Hope.
F-1 visas are offered to non-immigrants wishing to pursue academic studies at the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences of City of Hope.
Certain professionals from Canada and Mexico are admissible to the U.S., on a temporary basis, under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the TN-1 visa status category.
The H1-B visa allows non-immigrants working in "specialty occupations" to be employed temporarily by City Hope. The foreign national must possess at least a bachelor's degree or its equivalent, and meet the definition of practicing in a specialty occupation.
The E-3 visa at City of Hope is for Australian nationals working in "specialty occupations." Although renewable in two-year increments, the E-3 visa holder is for those who intend to return to Australia when the job at City of Hope has ended.
O-1 status at City of Hope is available to foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences, education, business or athletics

Understanding Visas

Non-immigrant visas establish work eligibility at City of Hope.
A variety of visa types are sponsored each year by City of Hope to meet the needs of our diverse work force. Technically, a visa is:
A travel document issued by a United States (U.S.) consulate abroad that lets a foreign national travel to the U.S. to apply for admission at a U.S. point of entry. It permits this foreign national to board a plane, ship or train that will carry him or her to a U.S. point of entry to make the application to enter the U.S.
If a foreign national arrives at a U.S. port of entry without a visa, which could (and should) have been obtained prior to traveling, he/she may be returned at the carrier’s expense to the home country or to the port of departure.
All foreign nationals are expected to present valid visas for inspection by the Department of Homeland Security  that:
  • Are valid for purposes of travel to the U.S.
  • Comply with the classifications under which they seek admission to the U.S.
In some cases foreign nationals do not need to present visas for entry into the U.S.:
There are additional exemption categories not discussed here, and any questions may be directed to the City of Hope’s Immigration Specialist.
The difference between Visa and Status
It is important to understand the relationship between a visa’s period of validity and a foreign national’s status in the U.S.:
  • The visa serves as a travel document to let the foreign national to whom it was issued travel to the U.S. and apply for admission into the U.S.
  • The foreign national must apply for admission to the U.S. during the validity period of the visa.
  • The visa alone does not confer any immigration status or employment authorization, and the validity of the visa does not relate whatsoever to the period of time the foreign national is authorized to remain in the U.S.
  • The expiration of the visa following the foreign national’s entry into the United States does not necessarily affect the alien’s authorized stay in the U.S.
  • The period of authorized stay is indicated on the Form I-94 issued to the foreign national.
The period of stay is unrelated to the period during which a consular officer has authorized an alien to apply for admission to the U.S. under the classification indicated on the visa. The I-94 is issued at a U.S. port of entry after an interview by an immigration officer who will determine whether the alien is eligible for admission in that particular non-immigrant category.
The Form I-94 indicates the classification under which the foreign national is admitted and the period of authorized stay in the U.S. under that classification. Although the period of authorized stay is usually expressed with a beginning and ending date, for some non-immigrant classifications the authorized period of stay may be expressed as “D/S,” meaning, "duration of status."
Leaving the United States
If you plan to leave the United States for a temporary trip abroad, contact the Immigration Specialist to begin researching the visa requirements as early as possible. Certain visas require specific procedures that must be handled prior to your leaving the country. Failure to comply with these procedures may result in your not being permitted to reenter the United States.
For more information, visit the U.S. State Department.
If you are sponsored by City of Hope (e.g., J-1 status), make sure you obtain a signature from an authorized City of Hope representative (such as the Immigration Specialist) asserting that you are employed in good standing with City of Hope.

Social Security

All individuals must obtain a Social Security number (SSN) and card to be employed by  City of Hope. To obtain an original number and card, a foreign national needs to complete an application for a Social Security card (Form SS-5) and provide documentation that proves his or her identity. There is no charge to get a Social Security card.
There are three (3) ways to get an SSN application:
  • Visit the Social Security Administration online.
  • Call 800-772-1213. 
  • Go to the local Social Security office located at 104 North Mentor Ave., Pasadena, CA 91106
When applying for a SSN and card, the applicant will need to prove his or her age, identity and visa status. Here are some of the documents the Social Security office accepts as proof of identity:
Valid foreign passport with I-94 card and immigration documents
  • Driver's license
  • Employer ID card
  • Marriage or divorce record
  • Health care insurance card (not a Medicare card)
  • Life insurance policy
After processing, a Social Security card will be physically mailed to the foreign national applicant. Once it is received, the foreign national employee needs to present the card to the human resources and payroll departments as quickly as possible so that employment paperwork can be finalized.


This section provides detailed information on using INSZoom, the web-based, case-processing system used to process visas at  City of Hope.
Departments and Current Employees
Prospective Candidates
INSZoom Online Simulations
The online simulations are designed to show you how to perform specific actions in the INSZoom system. There are three simulations available: Checking Status (for employees), Checking Status (for departments), and Answering Questionnaires.
These simulationsare not interactive. the simulation pauses in the middle of a process, it will resume the process automatically without your intervention. You can rewind and fast-forward the simulation if you find the pacing too fast or too slow.
Note: To view the online simulations, you must have Flash Player installed on your computer; Flash Player may be downloaded free of cost from Adobe by you or your system administrator. Version 7.0 or higher is recommended.

Immigration Resources

City of Hope Related Immigration Forms
Used for All City of Hope Visas
B-1 Visa
F-1 Visa
H-1B Visa
  • H-1B Visa Document Checklist
  • Travel Slip Confirmation (Department Use Only)
J-1 Visa
T-N Visa
Government Resources

U.S. Department of State
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ( USCIS )
Other Helpful Immigration Resources

Employment Taxes

Employment taxes apply for all non-citizens of the United States who work in the U.S. There are three classes of payroll deductions that may apply:
  • Social Security (OASDI), Medicare (HI) and California State Disability Insurance (CASDI)
  • Federal income taxes
  • California state income taxes
Social Security, Medicare and CASDI
Generally, all alien (non-U.S. citizen) earnings are subject to the following deductions:
  • Social Security
  • Medicare
  • California State Disability Insurance (CASDI)
However, there are exceptions:
F-1 VISA: Non-resident aliens with a valid F-1 visa (students) are exempt until reclassified as a resident alien. An alien with a valid F-1 visa is considered a non-resident for five (5) calendar years from date of entry into the U.S. An alien with a valid F-1 visa is considered a resident in the sixth calendar year if they are present in the U.S. for a minimum of 183 days in the sixth calendar year. If this test is met, withholding is effective with the first day of the sixth calendar year. For example, if you enter the U.S. on December 1, 2007, and are present in the U.S. for 183 calendar days in calendar year 2012, all wages beginning January 1, 2012, are subject to taxation.
J-1 VISA: Non-resident aliens with a valid J-1 visa (professors, researchers) are exempt until reclassified as a resident alien. An alien with a valid J-1 visa is considered a non-resident for two (2) calendar years from date of entry into the U.S. An alien with a valid J-1 visa is considered a resident in the third calendar year if they are present in the U.S. for a minimum of 183 days in the third calendar year. If this test is met, withholding is effective with the first day of the third calendar year. For example, if you enter the U.S. on December 1, 2007, and are present in the U.S. for 183 calendar days in calendar year 2009, all wages beginning January 1, 2009, are subject to taxation.
See Internal Revenue Service Publication 519, “U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens” for more information on how to determine the status of a non-resident, resident or dual status alien, and on the physical presence test.
Federal Income Taxes
A non-resident alien is subject to U.S. income tax only on U.S. source income. However, there are exceptions:
F-1 VISA: Non-resident aliens with a valid F-1 visa (students) may be exempt from a fixed amount of earnings per calendar year if the home country has a tax treaty with the U.S. The amount of exempt wages, if any, varies by country. For example, non-resident aliens from China on an F-1 visa are exempt from federal income taxes on the first $5,000 of earnings per calendar year while on an F-1 visa.
J-1 VISA: Non-resident aliens with a valid J-1 visa (professor, researcher) may be fully exempt (all earnings) for a number of calendar years if the home country has a tax treaty with the U.S. The number of years varies by country. For example, non-resident aliens from China on a J-1 visa are fully exempt from federal income taxes for three years from date of entry into the U.S.
A non-resident alien's income is subject to withholding after the tax treaty exemption has been reached. City of Hope 's Payroll Department can provide additional information concerning federal income tax withholding.
California State Income Taxes
All employees, regardless of visa type, country or residency status, are subject to California income tax withholding.
Change of Visa Type
If your visa type changes from F-1 or J-1 to a resident alien (e.g., H1-B) you will be subject to all taxes in the same manner as a U.S. citizen.
To administer the tax laws, City of Hope's Payroll Department requires that the foreign national provide the following documents at the time of hire:
  • DS-2019 (Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1 Status))
  • I-20 (Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1 Student)
  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Social Security card (if not available, provide a receipt from Social Security as evidence of application)
For More Information
City of Hope Payroll Department
Kathleen Bleizeffer
626-256-HOPE (4673), Ext. 62183
Fax 626-301-8114
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
General Information: 800-829-1040 (ask for tax law assistance)
International Division: 215-516-2000

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

An Employment Authorization Document (EAD) proves that you are eligible to work for any employer in the United States. The EAD card is not employer-specific and allows a foreign national to seek employment with any employer.
Financial need does not have to be shown to obtain employment authorization. In fact, in some cases the applicant will be required to establish that his or her income will not be used to support the primary visa holder. Employment authorization must be renewed annually and expires the same time that the authorized period of the primary visa holder's stay expires.
Spouses and/or children of E-3 Australian, J-1 Exchange Visitor and O-1 visa holders in the United States may work under E-3D, J-2 and O-3 visa status upon application and receipt of the appropriate work visa.
E-3D, J-2 and O-3 visa holders must file an application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ( USCIS ) and be approved prior to beginning employment in the United States. A Form I-765 Application for EAD Card must be filed with the local USCIS office that serves the area where they live.
How to Apply for an EAD Card
You may be eligible to file for an EAD card electronically through the USCIS or by submitting your application physically to the applicable service center. For more information, visit "How Do I Get an EAD Card?".





Case Status

Each application filed through a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ( USCIS ) service center will receive a receipt number (e.g. WAC 07-005-52678) issued by the USCIS. Please contact the immigration specialist at City of Hope to obtain this number. Once received, please retain this number to check on the status of your case directly through the USCIS Case Status Service. You will need your receipt number to check your application status.
USCIS Processing Times
The USCIS visa application processing times vary by service center. For more information, visit the service center in which your application was filed.

Announcements & Upcoming Events

Please check often for upcoming Visa Services events and announcements.
Request for Visa Sponsorship
Effective May 3, 2010, the “Request for Visa Sponsorship” form is no longer available. Please use the INSZoom to process all visa request.

INS Zoom login - For authorized individuals only.
J-1 Visa Research Scholar Orientation and Information
For additional information, click here for the J-1 Visa Research Scholar Orientation PowerPoint presentation.
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We have career opportunities in nursing, research, allied health, business support and many other areas.
City of Hope employees enjoy excellent benefits and an environment that inspires wellness.
In addition to our main campus in Duarte, CA, we have several locations throughout the Los Angeles vicinity.
Current employees and external candidates are invited to explore our career opportunities.
Learn more about City of Hope's institutional distinctions, breakthrough innovations and collaborations.
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