International Professional and Student FAQs

The following answers to frequently asked questions provide an overview of the assistance available through Immigration Services.

A variety of non-immigrant visa types are sponsored each year by City of Hope.  City of Hope’s Immigration Services offer immigration assistance and visa sponsorship to eligible foreign nationals. 

Non-Immigrant Visa and Time Limits

Eligible Positions

Processing Time/When to Start

F-1

Time limit depends on time needed to complete Ph.D.

Only available to international students of Irell and Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences (Ph.D. program) and the International Student Research Training Program (certificate program).

  • If outside the U.S., allow at least 12-16 weeks for processing and entry to the US.
  • If in the U.S., allow at least 8-12 weeks for processing (depending on previous immigration status).

 

F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT)

Limit: 12 -29 months

 

  • Individual holding OPT may work in any capacity at City of Hope as long as it’s related to major field of study.  No City of Hope sponsorship is required.
  • Individual currently working at Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope (E-verify # 302451) who has a degree in STEM field may apply for a 17-month extension.

 

  • Individual prepares and files own OPT application for up to 3 months prior to completion of degree program.
  • Average USCIS processing time for OPT application is 3 months.
  • OPT extension can be filed for up to 4 months before expiration.

J-1

Limit: 5 years for Research Scholar Visa Category and 6 months for Short-Term Scholar Visa Category

Postdoctoral Fellow, Pre-doctoral Fellow, Trainee, Visiting Investigator, Visiting Professor, Visiting Faculty and Non-Faculty, and other visiting titles etc.

 

  • If outside the U.S., allow at least 12-16 weeks for processing and entry to the US.
  • If in the U.S. in a J-1 status, allow at least 3 weeks for J-1 transfer process.
  • If in the U.S. in another non-immigrant status, allow at least 5 months for a change of status process.

 

H-1B

Limit: 6 years

Must be a “Specialty Occupation” position.  For example, Professor series, Research professor series, Staff Scientist, Research Associate I & II, Senior Research Associate, Postdoctoral Fellow, Regulatory Affair Specialist, Biostatistician, Nurse Practitioner, and similar.

(Please note that Registered Nurse and technician positions are not eligible for H-1B sponsorship.)

  • If in the U.S. and presently holds H-1B, 8-10 weeks processing for a change of employer process.
  • If in the U.S. but in another non-immigration status, allow 2-6 months.
  • If outside the U.S., allow at least 12 -16 weeks for processing and entry to the U.S.

 

 

TN

Limit: indefinite with proof of non-immigrant intent

 

Only available to citizen of Canada and Mexico holding a position on NAFTA list.  For example, Professor series, Research Professor series, Registered Nurse, IT positions, Research Associate I & II, Senior Research Associate, Lab Technician, Social Worker, Pharmacist, etc.

 

  • If outside the U.S., allow 4-6 weeks for processing and entry to the U.S.
  • If in the U.S., allow 2-6 months.

E-3

Limit: indefinite with proof of non-immigrant intent

Only available to citizen of Australia holding a “Specialty Occupation” position similarly to H-1B.

  • If outside the U.S., allow 6-8 weeks for processing and entry to the U.S.
  • If in the U.S., allow 2-6 months.

 

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

Individual with valid unrestricted EAD may also work at City of Hope in all capacity without a need for sponsorship.

 

  • Individual must be in the U.S. to apply.  Average USCIS processing time is 3 months.
 

Yes, we sponsor foreign nationals who receive a job offer from City of Hope for H-1B visa.  However, the offered position must be considered a “Specialty Occupation” and requires at least a bachelor’s degree or higher.  For example: Professor, Research Professor, Staff Scientist, Research Associate, Postdoctoral Fellow, Regulatory Affair Specialist, Biostatistician, Nurse Practitioner, and similar.

Unfortunately, Registered Nurse and other technician positions are not considered “Specialty Occupation” for H-1B visa purposes.  City of Hope can only sponsor nurses from Canada and Mexico for a TN visa. 

Unlike Registered Nurse, Nurse Practitioner and other nursing leadership positions are considered a “Specialty Occupation” and are eligible for H-1B sponsorship.

Processing of immigration sponsorship is complicated and varies by type of visa, where the foreign national is coming from, where the foreign national was born, whether the foreign national is in the United States (U.S.) or outside the U.S., etc. The recruiter and hiring manager will consult with City of Hope’s Immigration Services regarding each candidate’s specific processing time.

Yes. Spouse and children under 21 years of age may apply for a dependent visa.  Other family members may apply for visitor (B-1/B-2) visa or any other visas that they may be eligible for.

Only if that person has a valid work authorization or work status, regardless of whether the position is paid or unpaid.  Dependent of J-1 (called J-2) and E-3 (also called E-3) may apply for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).  This process can take 3-4 months in the United States.  On the other hand, dependents of F-1 (called F-2), H-1B (called H-4), and TN (called TD) are not eligible for EAD. 

Important - If the spouse wishes to gain research experience at City of Hope, the spouse should be sponsored for a visa as a principal applicant from the beginning, not a dependent.

Only if that person has a valid work authorization or work status, regardless of whether the position is paid or unpaid.

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