Visa & Immigration Services Administration


The Visa & Immigration Services Administration (VISA) office provides a wide array of services to departments and over 200 international employees and visiting scientists coming to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (CSMC). VISA, a division of Academic Human Resources, is dedicated to providing comprehensive immigration advising services, programs and informational resources that facilitate the hiring of international employees in support of CSMC’s departments and research units mission as well as international scholars and their families in achieving their academic, professional and personal goals.

In addition to our oversight of the CSMC's immigration services, the VISA office also oversees I-9 compliance for the entire Medical Center.

Information on this site pertains only to employment or sponsorship by CSMC and is not intended to be nor should it be used as immigration legal advice. In addition, individual experiences may differ and procedures may vary as the information is subject to change at any time.



Current News and Announcements

USCIS Offers Enhanced Online Change of Address Tool

In response to customer feedback, USCIS has created a Change of Address Tool that allows customers to register an address change by completing one online form. The tool is compatible with a variety of browsers and confirms the address change by e-mail.  As a reminder, all foreign nationals in H-1B, TN, O-1, E-3 statuses should notify USCIS of your address change as soon as possible, no more than 10 days after your move, especially for individuals with pending applications.  In addition, please update our office as well as HR Personnel Records with your new address.  For J-1 visa holders, our office will update the Department of State’s SEVIS system of your address change.

2015 Diversity Visa Lottery Program

The U.S. Department of State has recently announced that the online registration period for the Diversity Visa Lottery Program for Fiscal Year 2015 (DV-2015) will be from October 1, 2013 until November 2, 2013. The official online application form is available only on the Department of State Diversity Visa online entry website at which will be accessible on the first day of the registration period. The Congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes available 50,000 diversity visas (DV) annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. For DV-2015, no countries have been added or removed from the previous year’s list of eligible countries.

Click here for more information.


The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency recently began automating the Form I-94 process at air and sea ports by eliminating the paper Form I-94.  CBP will no longer require nonimmigrant visitors (H-1B, H-4, F-1, J-1, J-2, O-1, TN, etc) to fill out a paper Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record upon arrival into the U.S. by air or sea.  CBP will continue to issue a paper I-94 to travelers crossing at land ports of entry i.e. border crossing in Mexico or Canada.

Foreign national travelers should retain their travel documents after entering the U.S., as CBP officers will stamp an admission stamp in the passport. This admission stamp will show the date of admission, nonimmigrant class of admission (e.g., H-1B, F-1, J-1, etc.), and the expiration date of the status, or the designation “D/S.”  The paper Form I-94 will no longer be provided to most non-immigrant visitors.  However, a copy of the I-94 card can be printed out from CBP’s website

Please continue to notify our office of your travel plans.  A copy of the I-94 card is still required when applying for certain immigration benefits such as extension of stay, change of status, EAD application, etc. therefore we highly recommend printing a copy of the I-94 card after each trip to ensure that your admission stamp is correct.  

Click here for more information.



Previous News and Announcements

U.S. Federal Government Shutdown Impacts Certain Immigration Processes

As many of you know, parts of the US federal government officially shut down on 10/01/2013 because of a lapse in appropriations. This means that certain US government offices and services may be impacted such as DMV, SSA benefits, H-1B, E-3 and Permanent Residence filings. Click here for further information on how this may impact CSMC international employees and visitors based on currently available information.  Please continue to check our website for updated information or contact your Immigration Partner, Renata Giron or Hao Nguyen if you have any questions.

International Blends Coffee Series, October 16, 2013

Academic HR’s Visa & Immigration Services is developing a series of Cross-Cultural endeavors to promote social and cultural activities within the Cedars-Sinai community while providing opportunities for intellectual exchange and community engagement.
We’re hosting our first coffee hour to provide you with a platform to present ideas for recreational activities to our staff that will allow you to immerse yourself in American culture as you simultaneously share your culture with us.

International Blends
Date: October 16, 2013
Location: AHSP PEC 8
Time: 1:30pm-2:30pm

Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) Site Visits

What you should know…. Fraud Detection and National Security Site Visits


Reminder Regarding Travel Outside of the U.S.
Are you planning a trip outside of the U.S. during the upcoming holidays? Don't forget to notify our office prior to your travel to obtain the necessary travel validation documents and/or an updated employment verification letter.

  • J-1 scholars and J-2 dependents need a valid signature on your DS-2019 form along with other supporting documents to re-enter the U.S.
  • Other visa status holders (e.g. H-1B, H-4, E-3, O-1, etc.) must carry the original I-797 Approval Notice and an employment verification letter.
  • If you need a travel signature or employment verification letter, please contact our office to schedule an appointment with your Immigration Partner at least 2 weeks prior to your trip abroad.

For more information about travel and reentry, please visit our international travel page. For more information about travel warnings from the U.S. Department of State, please click here. For more information about re-entry into the U.S., please click here.


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