Immigration Services

Geophysical Institute faculty or staff members interested in bringing in a visitor from outside the United States should review Sponsor Information to learn how to initiate the process.

Due to increasing immigration requirements and processing times, we must be notified regarding an upcoming visitor several months in advance. This will allow sufficient time for processing and approval, saving you time and money. Please review Visa Options for more details on visa types and their processing times.

Sponsor Information

Initiating the Process

There are several steps Geophysical Institute faculty or staff members need to take in order to bring in a visitor from outside the United States (links to forms and templates in the following list can be found below).

  1. GI International Visitor Request Form - Complete and submit the GI International Visitor Request Form using the hyperlink provided.
  2. Visa status confirmation - Upon receipt of your completed form, GI Visa Services will contact you to confirm the most appropriate visa status and required processing times (see Visa Options for more details).
  3. Invitation Letter - Once a start date and visa type have been determined  an invitation letter will be drafted for you to review.
  4. Submit Invitation Letter for Signature and Approval - Once you have reviewed and completed the draft invitation letter, you will need to submit it to GI Visa Services at uaf-gi-visa@alaska.edu for final edits and the director's signature.
  5. Visitor will be contacted - GI Visa Services will then contact your visitor to initiate the process.

Funding

International Visitor on GI Payroll

For visitors being hired as Geophysical Institute employees, please immediately contact Human Resources to initiate the hiring process at 907-474-5880, via email at uaf-gi-hr@alaska.edu, or Room 614B, Elvey Building.

International Visitor NOT on GI Payroll:

For visitors who are externally funded but will be receiving monthly stipends from the Geophysical Institute, please contact Purchasing Department in Room 608 at least one month in advance. This method can only be used if they are working on a collaborative project.

Visa Options

H1B Specialty Worker
The HB visa is meant for visitors being hired with specific skills for a particular project. This is the visa that is required when you are planning to employ an international researcher.

A maximum of six years is allowed. Please allow a minimum of four month's notice to allow for document collection and delays in processing. Expedited H1B visa processing is available for a fee; there must be a legitimate reason for a rush hire.

Fees:

  • Premium Processing (Rush Fee / Optional) = $1,225.00
  • Initial Processing / Extension Fee  = $150.00
  • I-129 Petition Filing Fee  = $325.00
  • Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee = $500.00

 

J1 Visas
The J1 Visa is not intended for employee hires. This is meant to be for temporary workers only. The purpose is to promote mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange.

Can be subject to the two-year home-stay provision or the two-year out of U.S. provision.

J1 Research Scholar
A maximum stay of five years is allowed. Please allow three month's notice to allow for document collection and delays in processing.

Fees:

  • SEVIS Fee = $180.00 (Can be paid by hosting unit or visitor)
  • Initial Processing Fee = $300.00 (Must be paid by hosting unit)
  • Extension / Change Fee = $150.00

J1 Short-Term Scholar
A maximum stay of six months is allowed. Please allow three month's notice to allow for document collection and delays in processing.

Fees:

  • SEVIS Fee = $180.00 (Can be paid by hosting unit or scholar)
  • Initial Processing Fee = $300.00 (Must be paid by hosting unit)
  • Extension / Change Fee = $150.00 (Must be paid by hosting unit)

J1 Student Intern:
A maximum stay of 12 months is allowed. Please allow three month's notice to allow for document collection and delays in processing.

Fees:

  • SEVIS Fee $180.00 (Can be paid by hosting unit or intern)
  • Initial Processing Fee = $150.00 (Can be paid by hosting unit or intern)
  • Extension / Change Fee = $150.00 (Can be paid by hosting unit or intern)

 

TN Visa:
The visitor can apply for one- to three-year terms. Please allow two month's notice to allow for document preparation.

 

Additional information on UAF visa options and requirements is available from the UAF Office of International Programs and Initiatives.

Visitor Information

Preparing for Arrival

  1. Please provide GI Visa Services with a copy of your flight itinerary prior to your departure for the United States at UAF-GI-Visa@alaska.edu. 
  2. Upon your arrival in Fairbanks you are asked to check in as soon as possible with the Geophysical Institute Human Resources Office, Room 614B, Elvey Building, and the UAF Office of International Programs and Initiatives, Room 215 Eielson Building. Please be sure to bring your visa documents so that we can collect the necessary copies.
  3. An orientation with the UAF Office of International Programs and Initiatives is mandatory for all foreign visitors. Orientations are scheduled on Thursdays at 9 a.m. and last approximately two to three hours. The OIPI office is located in 215 Eielson Building.

 

Travel Outside the U.S.
Prior to Departure
When preparing for travel outside the United States while on a U.S. visa you will need to collect a "Travel Packet." If you are a Geophysical Institute employee here on a U.S. visa, this packet will include the following items:

  1. Your original DS2019 (signed by OIPI) or I-797 depending on the type of visa you hold. (These items would need to be collected from the UAF Office of International Programs)
  2. An employment verification letter.
  3. A copy of your contract letter.

A copy of your flight itinerary needs to be provided to GI Visa Services for any international travel during your stay in Fairbanks. To request documents for travel please complete the International Travel Notification Form. A copy of your flight itinerary can be conveniently submitted through the form at the hyperlink provided.

Upon Return from Travel
Once you have completed your travel and returned to Fairbanks, GI Visa Services will need copies of the following items:

  1. All passport stamps collected during travel.
  2. Your digital I-94 card.

 

Preparing for Departure

  1. Please ensure that you have provided GI Visa Services with a copy of your flight itinerary prior to your departure from Fairbanks.
  2. If you are leaving prior to your visa's expiration date please provide GI Visa Services with a memo stating the reason for your premature departure.