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Visa options for NSERC PDF holders in USA

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Hi there,

I am curious to hear back from NSERC PDF holders who decided to do postdoc in USA. Which University and what kind of visa did you go for? How long did it take to to arrange all visa documents? Was it TN, J-1 or H1B visa?

I just had to cancel my first appointment in California because there was no TN or H1B option, and I can not apply for J-1 right now (used it during my PhD). Apparently H1B and TN visas were available only to postdocs who were sponsored by the University. Would be curious to hear back from others.



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I have a question for you since I might be in the same situation as you in the future! I'm on a J-1 right now for my PhD and from what I understand, this means I have to return to Canada for 2 years before I can get an "immigrant class" visa to the USA (not really in the plan for the future though). However, I thought this means I would be able to continually get non-immigrant class visas (e.g. more J-1s) indefinitely? If you know for a fact that you won't be able to get a J-1, then could you let me know why? It would help me greatly!

By the way, I learned that J-1 status can vary from University to University. The US Immigration requirement is just simply that the majority of our funding comes from "non-personal" funds, i.e. paid a stipend, fellowship from either Canadian or US government, etc. However, it's up to each University's International Students/Scholars Program to decide whether or not to issue that DS-2019 that we need to apply for J-1 status. Although I had both funding from the University and NSERC (for PhD studies), U. Arizona refused to issue a DS-2019 (and they told me that they almost never issue J-1s to PhD students) while plenty of other schools were glad to issue a DS-2019 for me!

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