The Berkeley International Office (BIO) is the official campus office for submission of visa applications. BIO advises hiring units and ladder-rank international faculty on required documentation and provides advice and assistance.
Here is some general information for the hiring unit and the ladder-rank international faculty member in getting the process started.
- The department chair or dean may inquire if a prospective ladder-rank faculty member needs U.S. work authorization only after making an informal offer of employment. This information should not be shared with campus reviewers until a formal written offer of employment is made.
- All prospective ladder-faculty who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents need to obtain an H-1B visa sponsored by UC Berkeley before they can begin employment. This applies even if the new faculty member is already in the U.S. with a J-1 or H-1B visa sponsored by another employer.
- The hiring unit should contact the International Office (firstname.lastname@example.org), as soon as a prospective ladder-rank faculty member has indicated that he/she is likely to accept a formal offer.
- Even on the most aggressive timeline (at additional cost), it requires more than 2 months to get an H-1B visa approved from the time that the hiring unit submits the H-1B visa request packet and supporting materials to BIO.
- The H-1B visa application requires that the hiring unit and the new international faculty member submit a number of documents as described on the BIO website.
- Hiring units are encouraged to submit the application for Permanent Residency status immediately after submission of the materials for the H-1B visa application. The PR application must be submitted within 18 months of the date on the formal written offer letter of employment.
- The hiring unit is responsible for paying the fees for the visa application. The new faculty member is responsible for a few additional fees, as well as visa fees for family members.