which visa is required for postdoc


My husband has come to US on H1 visa and I am on H4 visa. I have done Ph.D from India and want to persue Postdoc in USA. I was searching on internet which visa I will be needing. Can I do postdoc on H4? While searching I am confused between F1 and J1 which visa will work on my case.

You can study on H-4. If you want to work after completing your education, then it may be better to move to F-1 sometime during the course. This will enable you to apply for CPT, OPT and H-1 under advanced degree cap.

Dr. Priya,

Most universities approved by Department of State to issue a DS 2019 form will sponsor you for a J-1 visa. As Saurabh said, you can study on an H-4 but you cannot be paid a postdoctoral fellowship on that visa. F-1 is not a work visa and your fellowship salary is technically not a scholarship. Your J-1 will have a longer tenure (7 years plus) than an H-1. If your husband's H-1 contract ends for some reason, he can transition to a dependent J-2 with an EAD that has nationwide any employer validity as long as you are in status. If you are in biomedical sciences, you and your husband can transition directly from J-1 to a green card in the self sponsored EB-1 National Interest category provided you have publications.

All the best

Dr. Sandeep Shankar, Colorado Heights University, Denver, CO 80223, USA. www.chu.edu; sshankar@chu.edu

My case is slightly different. Suppose initially the university does not have fund to provide me but later on if they get fund from some projects and provide me. For this case which visa would work ? will it be F1 or J1?

A J-1 needs to be supported by a fellowship. What will you be doing on an F-1? Enroll as a full time student or engage in research? Have you considered H-4 volunteering until University has funds? A number of permissions will anyway be needed from University HR before you are approved to volunteer including proof of health insurance, an SSN and safety training. So why not get started instead of waiting?

If I go for F1 visa, in this case will I be eligible for getting scholarship if university provides in future?

No. F-1 scholarships are usually reserved for enrolled graduate students. You are better off on a J-1 linked fellowship

I am very much confused. If I start my postdoc on H4 visa then after say 6 months if the university gives me scholarship then would I be able to take that scholarship on H4 visa? Because somewhere I have read that we cannot take any scholarship on H4 visa.

You can volunteer on any visa including H-4. However, visa status has to change to J-1 for fellowship remuneration to be paid. You are NOT technically a postdoc on H-4 but a volunteer and will be categorized as such in papers.

Hello Dr. Shankar,
Is the spouse of a J1 holding person (who is now technically on J2) allowed to carry out reserach work in exchange of renumeration? Or will they have to get converted from a J2 to J1 visa?

Thanks in advance,

Yes, there are no restrictions on the type of work that a J-2 can undertake including projects that might involve research. An approved EAD is required.

A post was split to a new topic: H4 Jobs Post Doc - PhD