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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the H-1B visa program?

The H-1B visa program is used by U.S. businesses to employ foreign workers in occupations that require theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher (or its equivalent), such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers.  See H1B visa page.

Does UAMS sponsor H-1B’s?

Yes, if the Department is willing to comply with all the requirements and responsibilities and the individual qualifies for H-1B status.  Prospective employees: please note that UAMS departments and divisions may have internal policies regarding H-1B sponsorship; please contact the hiring official regarding H-1B sponsorship options for a specific position. View H-1B eligibility details.

How long can a Department sponsor an H-1B?

A person may obtain H-1B status for a total of 6 years, but only in 3 year increments. If the person has a labor certification pending for 1 year, or a permanent residency application pending for 1 year, they can have their H-1B status extended beyond the 6 year limit on a yearly basis, until their permanent residency applications have been adjudicated.

What is the Exchange Visitor Program (J-1 Visa)?

The Exchange Visitor Program promotes mutual understanding between the people of the United States (U.S.) and the people of other countries by educational and cultural exchanges, under the provisions of U.S. law. Exchange Programs provide an extremely valuable opportunity to experience the U.S. and our way of life, thereby developing lasting and meaningful relationships.

How long can a Department sponsor a J-1?

For research scholars, the maximum amount of time is 5 years. For short term scholars, the maximum amount of time is 6 months without a possible extension.  View J-1 visa program details.

Will UAMS process my permanent residency paperwork?

The Immigration Office does not process permanent residency paperwork in house, but will work with the immigration attorney chosen to ensure the required paperwork from the employer is obtained. If Departments are interested in sponsoring someone for permanent residency, but is not familiar with the process, the hiring official should prepare a detailed position description and current C.V. for the immigration attorney to review for eligibility and category determination.  Current  employees in non-immigrant worker, exchange or student visa status seeking employer sponsored permanent residency, should contact their hiring official or HR manager regarding departmental sponsorship options.  Employees seeking self-petition options are strongly encouraged to obtain an Immigration Attorney as soon as possible.  View information on Permanent Residency “Greencard” Sponsorship.

What should Foreign National new hires bring with them to Immigration check-in?

  • Passport & I-94 Card
  • Copies of Immigration Documents, including all previously issued  DS-2019 / I-20 Forms and I-797 Notices
  • EAD (if applicable)
  • Copy of Insurance Policy (non-benefits eligible)
  • Completed Payroll Forms
  • Local Residence Address

Is UAMS New Employee Orientation different from Immigration check-in?

Yes,  it is UAMS policy that all new hires go through an orientation and receive the required training. Please visit the New Employee Orientation webpage for information on exceptions, to view the orientation agenda and to view samples of documentation requirements.

What should I do if my I-94 is lost, has incorrect information, or was not stamped by a CBP Officer when I entered the United States?

If your I-94 was not stamped with a departure date or was filled out incorrectly, you may go to a local CBP Deferred Inspection Site (DIS) or port to have it corrected. Many offices have limited hours for administrative work, so call ahead to make sure there will be someone available to help you. A list of DIS locations, office hours and contact information can be found at: CBP Deferred Inspection Sites

What should I do if my I-94 that was issued by USCIS is lost, destroyed or has incorrect information?

If the Form I-94 was issued by USCIS (at a local USCIS office or from a USCIS Service Center) and it has an error,  has been lost, stolen, mutilated, or destroyed, you will need to contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at 1-800-375-5283 and apply for a replacement Form I-94 by filing a Form I-102.  You can download the Form I-102 from www.uscis.gov.

Where can I find USCIS forms and up-to-date fees?

View all forms, fees and download the current version of the form on the USCIS website (forms can be filled out using the latest version of Adobe Reader).