Closeup of US visa in passport

USC Dornsife HR supports departments by coordinating and preparing work-related visa sponsorship applications for new or continuing staff members. We serve as your liaison to USC offices such as the Office of International Services (OIS) and Faculty/Staff and Visa Services (FSVS) to achieve the best possible results for your new hire or current employee’s visa sponsorship needs.

For new and extension requests, please contact us at least six (6) months prior the employee’s anticipated start date or visa expiration date.

Need assistance with faculty visa sponsorships? Please reach out to Faculty Affairs at farequests@dornsife.usc.edu.

Responsible USC Office


📣 USC FSVS Updates - 12/5/23

Read the latest update from USC Faculty/Staff Visa Services (FSVS). The update contains important information regarding:

  • Delays Expected – Initiate 2024 Hire Cases with FSVS Now

Learn more here >> 

Types of Positions Eligible for Visa Sponsorship

Basic Requirements for a Position to be Sponsored by USC
Federal regulations and USC policies and practices limit the types of positions we can sponsor for employment visas. In general:

  • The position must be full-time.
  • The position must be fully benefits eligible.
  • The position must meet the regulatory definition of “professional” and “specialized” i.e. it must require at minimum a Bachelor’s degree per the official USC job description form.
  • The position must pay as regulations require for that type of work visa, and the hiring department must meet or exceed the required wage. If a higher wage is determined during the Prevailing Wage determination process, the department must be willing to pay the prevailing wage in order to move forward with the visa sponsorship.

Processing Timeline

J-1 Visas
Processing time varies by case and on average takes a total of 16 weeks due to OIS’s requirements (see Initial applications below).

  • Three (3) weeks to prepare and submit the DS-2019 request to OIS
  • 10 business days for OIS to issue the DS-2019 form

Initial applications
OIS requires departments to select a start date two months from the date the application is submitted to OIS. This allows for adequate processing time with OIS (2-3 weeks), shipping the DS-2019 abroad, obtaining an appointment at the U.S. Embassy (3-4 weeks), receiving the J-1 visa (1 week), and travel to Los Angeles.


  • Two (2) weeks to prepare and submit the DS-2019 extension request to OIS
  • 10 business days for OIS to issue the DS-2019 extension form

H-1B Visas
Processing varies by case – approximately 18-22 weeks

Stage 1 – Processing at Department and USC Dornsife HR:
Initial request and completion of Case Initiation packet (2-4 weeks).

Stage 2 – Processing at FSVS:
Approximately 6 weeks from time requested materials are complete. Specific cases may require additional time to obtain prevailing wage, obtain an Export Control determination, or other extra processing due to the specifics of the case. Such issues can delay processing for 2 weeks to 3+ months.

Stage 3 – Government Processing:
All USC H-1B cases are submitted via the USCIS Premium Processing Program. Typically this takes 15 days.  However, in some cases the USCIS may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE).  This can delay processing.

Stage 4 – Approval Document Delivery:
The USCIS mails the original approval notice to FSVS.  This can take 7-14 days.  If the individual is abroad, the approval must be sent to them so that they can obtain a visa stamp in their passport and enter the USA in H-1B status.  This can take an additional 2 weeks or longer.

Visa Fees/Departmental Costs

When sponsoring a foreign national on a visa, please be advised that the sponsoring unit/department is responsible for the following visa related fees.


Please note that the fees listed below are subject to change based on the time of filing.


  • $250  – Internal Requisition for new and transfer applications
  • $150 – Internal Requisition for extension applications

Fees are payable to USC’s Office of International Services


H-1B Initial – USCIS Filing Fees

  • $2,805 – Premium processing fee
  • $460 – Petition for nonimmigrant worker fee
  • $500 – Fraud prevention and detection Fee


H-1B Extension  – USCIS Filing Fees

  • $2,805 – Premium processing fee
  • $460 – Petition for nonimmigrant worker fee


TN NAFTA Professionals – USCIS Filing Fees

  • $2,805 – Premium processing fee
  • $460 – Petition for nonimmigrant worker fee

Canadian nationals applying for TN admission through pre-flight inspection or at a designated U.S. Port of Entry and Mexican nationals applying for a TN visa directly at a U.S. Consulate without the filing of a petition will not require the fees noted above.

All fees are subject to change by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at any time. Please do not issue visa check fees until you have been asked to do so by your Visa Specialist or the outside legal team to whom Faculty/Staff Visa Services has outsourced a case.

Important Department Action When Sponsoring J-1 Visa Scholars

Immigration Status Verification (ISV) formerly J-1 Check-In/Passport Verification (PPV)

Formerly known as the J-1 Check-In or Passport Verification (PPV), all new international J-1 arrivals (initial and transfers) are required to complete the Immigration Status Verification (ISV) with the Office of International Services (OIS). ISV is a mandatory online check-in procedure for international students and scholars that verifies their entry to the U.S. as well as their immigration status to ensure the student/scholar is eligible to start an academic program/appointment at USC for their upcoming start date. Once all documentation is submitted, OIS will validate the SEVIS record. Failure to complete ISV in a timely manner will affect their eligibility to legally remain in the U.S. 

Department facilitators will no longer be responsible for J-1 Check-In task, but OIS has asked that you update your onboarding materials to reflect these changes.

  • Please assist your scholars to obtain a NetID in advance so they do not experience ISV delays.
  • Please make sure to remind anyone you are sponsoring on a J-1 visa to complete the ISV process.
  • Please advise your J-1 scholar that this is a mandatory and separate process directly with OIS.

Immigration Status Verification is mandatory and time-sensitive. New arrivals must submit no later than 15 days from their start date to ensure that their SEVIS immigration record is validated and in good standing. Failure to submit promptly may result in a loss of J-1 status. Learn more >

If the Exchange Visitor is not able to arrive within 15 days of their DS-2019 start date, a Correction Request must be submitted by the academic department. OIS will amend the start date and issue a new DS-2019 to reflect the changes.

Special Note: J-2 dependents do not need to submit documents through this new platform as their SEVIS record will be validated with the J-1 primary record.

For questions regarding PPV requirements email oisppv@usc.edu. For J-1 related issues, please email j1scholar@usc.edu or j1student@usc.edu.

Contact Us

For questions or visa sponsorship for a new or current employee, contact USC Dornsife HR at visas@dornsife.usc.edu.

For staff and postdoc visas, contact Kristine Caguin.

For faculty visas, contact Ida Morodome-Castilla.