J-1 Exchange Visitor

3-5 weeks processing, more time needed (4 months) if already in U.S and applying for a change of status

5 year maximum

6 month maximum for short term scholar

Two year home residency requirement in some case limits future visa options of visitors

Usually not benefit eligible at University of Illinois

Must purchase health insurance before arriving in the USA. Unable to start working until insurance is purchased

If "substantial presence" is met after the 2-year period it retroactively starts on January 1st of of that year

If a scholar feels he will meet substantial presence, it is still a good idea for scholar to purchase a policy for a month until University of Illinois insurance goes into effect

H-1B Temporary Employee

4-6 months processing

6 year maximum

Must be full time per University of Illinois policy

No two-year requirement

Full benefit eligible

All applicants must be approved by the USCIS

Time consuming applications, prevailing wage assessment, Labor Condition Application and 10-day posting required

Premium Processing an option for $1,410 fee

Employer must pay return transportation if employment ends early


  • J-1 visa Processing fee $150, extension $100
  • H-1B visa ISSS processing fee $750, extension $500
  • H-1B visa Dept of Homeland Security Filing Fee $460
  • H-1B visa Dept of Homeland Security Anti-Fraud Fee $500
  • H-1B visa Dept of Homeland Security Premium Processing fee $1,410 (Optional)