International Scholar displaying research poster

International Students & Scholars Frequently Asked Questions


General Questions

  • Q: What is a VISA?

    A: There are different types of visas that have different rules for your stay in the U.S.

  • Q: What is an I-94 card?

    A: The I-94 is also known as the I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. The I-94 is your proof of legal entry into the U.S. When you enter the U.S. as a non-immigrant, the Customs Border Protection (CBP) officer examines your passport and visa and then issues either a passport admission stamp. The passport admission indicates how long you are allowed to stay in the U.S. and proves you arrived in the country legally.

    If you have received a passport admission stamp, you will also have an electronic I-94 record. To access this record, visit: If you were issued a paper I-94 card, you will not have an electronic I-94 record.

    • The Admission Number: Every I-94 record has an eleven-digit admission number. You may need to use this number for Department of Motor Vehicles and employment purposes, but it is not a number you need to memorize. In fact, you will receive a new I-94 number each time you re-enter the U.S.
    • More Information: For more information on the new I-94 automation process and passport admission stamps, please review the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Fact Sheet.
  • Q: Where can I or a dependent get access to medical care in Riverside?

    For students, we encourage you to utilize Student Health Services for service and referrals when possible. However, you may encounter a time when you require urgent medical attention. Please refer to the information below regarding local Urgent Care and Emergency Services. For any medical service, you must show proof of health insurance coverage or be prepared to pay for this service out of your own pocket.

    Urgent Care
    An urgent care clinic provides medical services to treat an illness or accident which is not life threatening but cannot wait for a scheduled appointment during regular doctor's office hours. Services are available during regular office hours, in the evening, and on weekends. Both the Riverside Community Hospital and the Riverside County Regional Medical Center have an Urgent Care Clinic on site.

    Some insurance companies (for example, Health Net or Kaiser) may designate certain medical facilities for non-emergency treatment. Be sure to verify any restrictions on your coverage and payment for medical services.

    In the event of a life-threatening illness or accident, call 911 on your phone and ask for an ambulance. The injured person will be taken to the nearest hospital emergency room. Services are available every day of the week, 24 hours. (If you use the emergency room of a hospital for non-emergency treatment, you will have to pay higher fees for services.) The following are the Emergency Room facilities closest to UCR:

    Riverside County Regional Medical Center
    (Urgent Care and Emergency Services)
    26520 Cactus Avenue
    Moreno Valley, CA 92555
    Main Phone Number:
    Emergency Room:

    Riverside Community Hospital
    (Urgent Care and Emergency Services)
    4445 Magnolia Avenue
    Riverside, CA 92501
    Main Phone Number:
    Emergency Room:

    Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center 
    (Emergency Services) 
    10800 Magnolia Avenue 
    Riverside, CA 
    Emergency Room: 951.353.3800 

    Parkview Community Hospital 
    (Emergency Services)
    3865 Jackson Street
    Riverside, CA 92503
    Main Phone Number: 951.688.2211

J-1 Questions

SEVIS Questions

  • What is "SEVIS"?

    A: SEVIS stands for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. It is a web-based system that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses to maintain information on Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified schools. 

  • Q: What is the “SEVIS” Fee?

    A: The SEVIS I-901 fee is mandated by Congress to support the program office and the automated system that keeps track of students and exchange visitors and ensures that they maintain their status while in the United States. Each student or exchange visitor issued an initial Form I-20 or DS-2019 on or after October 27, 2008, is responsible for paying this fee to SEVP. The current fee is $180 for J-1 exchange visitors.

  • Q: Who must pay the SEVIS?

    A: If you are applying to become a new exchange visitor, you must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee for your initial DS-2019.

  • Q: When must the SEVIS be paid?

    A: New international scholars must pay a SEVIS fee and obtain a receipt prior to applying for a J-1 visa to enter the United States. Or, in the case of Canadians, the fee must be paid prior to arriving at the airport or border for admission to the United States.

    Individuals applying through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) service centers for "change of status" to J-1 status must pay the SEVIS fee before the service center will approve their applications.

  • Q: How Do I Pay the SEVIS Fee?

    A: SEVIS fee payment must completed on Form I-901.

  • Q: Can a department or third party pay the SEVIS fee on behalf of a Scholar?

    A: Yes, a third party may pay the fee by mail or electronically. The third party submits payment, with the correct SEVIS ID number as listed on the scholar's Form DS-2019 (in the upper right corner of the document). The third party must be sure to list the scholar's name exactly as it appears on the Form DS-2019 and in the passport.

H1B Questions

  • Q: What is an H1B visa?

    A: The H-1B is available for those who seek to enter the United States for the purpose of working in a "specialty occupation." According to immigration regulations this means:

    "…the theoretical and practical application of highly specialized knowledge requiring completion of a specific course of higher education."

    • The position must require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and the scholar must hold that degree or its equivalent in the field required for the position.
    • The position must be fully funded by the employing department (scholar cannot be self-supporting)
    • Must be paid either according to Union Salary or Prevailing Wage
      • If position is within a union – Union Salary Scale is used
      • If non-union position – Department of Labor Prevailing Wage Salary is used
  • Q: What is Labor Condition Application (LCA)?

    A: Labor Condition Application - The LCA is a document submitted to the Department of Labor by UCR presenting the salary offered in the stated position, the prevailing wage, length of employment offered, and work location. UCR also makes attestations that it will provide working conditions for nonimmigrants that will not adversely affect the working conditions of workers similarly employed. It must be posted in two (2) conspicuous locations for a period of 10 consecutive business days. Proof of posting must be returned to International Students and Scholars office at the end of the posting period.

  • Q: What is a Prevailing Wage?

    A: Prevailing wage is a Department of Labor determination of the average wage earned by employees with comparable jobs working in the area of intended employment for a specific geographic area.

  • Q: I am currently working at another institution on an H-1B, but have been offered an appointment with UCR; when can I start working at UCR?

    A: Once International Students and Scholars office has filed the H-1B petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and receives the receipt notice from USCIS, you may begin your appointment with UCR.

  • Q: Can I change jobs after I get my H-1B?

    A: An H-1B approval is employer-specific. It permits an H-1B status holder to work only for the employer that filed the petition. If you decide to change employers, the new employer must apply for the H-1B on your behalf.

ISS Online Questions


Department Questions

Scholar’s Questions

  • Q: I want to get the process started. What documents do I need?

    A: H1-B applicants should start gathering the following documents:

    • Current resume or curriculum vitae
    • Copy of all diplomas / degrees and / or licenses. Included certified English translations if not originally in English
    • Copy of transcripts for each diploma / degrees. Included certified English translations if not originally in English
    • Credential Evaluations. If candidate received degrees outside the United States
    • Copy of front and back of current Form I-94 (i.e., Departure Record)
    • Passport ID page (showing passport number, issue and expiration dates)
    • Visa stamp in passport
    • Only If you are currently on F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT) copy of Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Card and copies of ALL Forms I-20 AB
    • Only if you are currently on a J-1 visa, provide the following copies of ALL Forms DS 2019; and a copy of J-1 waiver approval if subject to 2-year home residency requirement (if applicable).

    If you are a current H1-B visa holder, please provide the following documents in addition to the items listed above:

    • Three (3) recent copies of pay stubs
    • Copies of all prior approval notice(s) (I-797) for all prior visas to work in the U.S.

    If applying for H-4 visa for dependents provide the following:

    • Copy of Marriage/Birth Certificate(s) Included certified English translations if not originally in English
    • Copy of Passport(s) showing passport number, issue and expiration dates
    • Copy of I-94 card(s) Front and back
    • Copy of any previous approval notices (i.e. I-797, I-20, & DS 2019 forms)

    J-1 applicants should start gathering the following documents:

    • Current resume or curriculum vitae
    • Copy of Passport
    • Copy of visa stamp and I-94 if currently in the U.S.
    • Copy of dependents passport, if accompanying J-1 applicant
    • Financial support income documentation from home institution not financially supported by UCR.
  • Q: I forgot my password.

    A: You can reset your password by typing in your email address. A new password will be sent to you.