Important SISS Updates: Recharge Fees; Processing Times; Taxes; Scholar Travel; Staff Changes; Med Center Reminder


SISS is still working with Budget and Institutional Analysis to approve new recharge rates. We anticipate new rates to be in effect July 1, 2015. Current rates will remain the same until then. We expect to provide approved rate amounts by the beginning of May. SISS encourages departments to continue submitting requests as early as possible. Please feel free to contact us with any questions. 


We are accepting H-1B new and extension requests with start dates of November 1, 2015 and earlier. We strongly recommend that departments submit H-1B requests at least 6 months in advance. Please note: 
1. Beginning April 1 each year, the regular processing time for H-1B petitions tends to slow down to 4-6 months. If you need an H-1B approval in a shorter timeframe after April 1, you should submit your H-1B request with an additional check to DHS for $1225 to cover their premium processing fee. 
2. Please be aware that March to June each year is our busiest season for international scholar requests. We experience an increase in requests in all immigration categories and as a result, our processing times may slow down. 
3. Due to the volume of requests we receive, we cannot guarantee that requests to expedite processing can be accommodated. 

To avoid any problems in the timely arrival/start date for your international scholars, we recommend you follow these guidelines: 

For J-1 scholars, please submit requests at least 2 months in advance of arrival. 

For H-1B scholars, please submit requests up to 8 months in advance of the start date. USCIS allows filing of H-1B cases up to 6 months in advance of the start date but we also need to allow preparation time, in order to be ready to file 6 months in advance. We are currently filing H-1B petitions for people who will begin or extend their H-1B status up to September 9, 2015. 

Permanent resident cases are also very time-sensitive. Please contact Kim Haky at as soon as you are aware that your department would like to sponsor a non-immigrant employee for permanent residence. 


International students and scholars who were in the US for all or part of the calendar year 2014 will need to file some type of tax form. This is a complicated area and SISS does not have the expertise to assist with tax matters. However, we will be offering the use of an online tax program called Sprintax, designed to assist international students and scholars in filing their tax returns. Sprintax use is free for Federal tax filing and requires a small fee for state tax filing. Emails have gone out to international students and scholars present in 2014 regarding the use of Sprintax. Please ask international students and scholars to visit our website for more information and on-going updates: We also have a handout on our website entitled Tax Support Services for those international students and scholars who would like to seek further assistance in filing their taxes. 


Spring break and summer travel season is upon us. Please remind J-1 scholars that they will need a signature on their DS-2019 document for re-entry to the US if they have not had a signature on the DS-2019 in the last 6 months. J-1 scholars will need to complete the "J-1 Scholar DS-2019 Travel Signature Request Form," following instructions on the form. We recommend doing this as early as possible. It takes one business day to process. The form is found in the J-1 table at 

H-1B employees will need a variety of documents if they will travel and re-enter the US as an H-1B. In some cases, they may also need to apply for an H-1B visa stamp in their passport. If an H-1B petition is pending, travel can seriously affect the outcome and in some cases, is not allowed. H-1B scholars can review the information on our website at: In all cases, H-1B employees should contact Gayle Oberlies when planning travel. Email for further information. 


If there have been any changes in the staff who work with international scholars in your department, we need to know! Please report any changes to Chris Porter at With close to 2200 international scholars at UCD each year, we rely on automated systems to send department contacts important reminders about dates and deadlines. If your staffing has changed, those reminders will not go to the right person and important deadlines can be missed! Please inform SISS so we can update our systems whenever staffing for international scholars changes. We appreciate it! 


Gayle Oberlies will be at the UC Davis Medical Center, Education Building, on March 26, 2015, from 7:30am to 5:00pm. She will conduct a new J-1 scholar orientation at 9am. and arrange appointments with any department contacts or international scholars who would like to meet with her. Please contact Gayle to make an appointment or to sign up a new J-1 scholar for orientation