International Scholar Visa Specialist
University of California Merced - Merced, CA

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The University of California, Merced is the newest and tenth campus of the University of California system and the first American research university built in the 21st century. With more than 5,600 students, UC Merced has planned for additional student growth until we reach an enrollment of approximately 25,000 students. With undergraduate, graduate, and PhD programs, plans for a future medical school program, partnerships and community involvement, the UC Merced campus is continually evolving, requiring talented, knowledgeable and dynamic educators, researchers, management and staff.

The International Scholar Visa Specialist (ISVS) is an experienced professional with expertise in the areas of federal and institutional visa policies and procedures in support of academic research and instruction. The ISVS supports and promotes institutional compliance with state, local, and federal laws and regulations as it relates to the immigration status of international scholars and analyzes and develops solutions to a wide range of issues related to UC Merced-sponsored visas in the J-visa classification. The ISVS serves as UC Merced's Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) to manage all aspects of its Exchange Visitor (J-visa) Program. Use SEVIS RTI and FsaAtlas/Elucian software to prepare and process immigration documents. Prepare related document s and letters such as travel signatures, certificates of status, verification, etc. Maintain accurate paper and electronic records to comply with regulatory reporting in SEVIS , Open Doors and other requests for information.

Develops and presents campus-based training and federally-mandated cultural activities for international scholars, including orientation sessions. The ISVS collaborates closely with schools, research units, colleagues, and outside immigration counsel to develop shared procedures for streamlined and time-sensitive cases and processes.
This position is responsible for ensuring institutional compliance in accordance with federal visa and labor regulations and maintaining required institutional certifications and designations. Is a Designated School Official (DSO) for the F visa classification and serves as back-up to International Student Visa Specialist as needed. Contributes to the mission and success of the Office of International Affairs through ad hoc duties as assigned.


• Bachelors degree in related area and/or equivalent experience/training.

• Demonstrated knowledge of federal visa regulations and procedures pertaining to the J-1 (scholar) and J-2 (dependent) classifications. H and F visa knowledge desired.

• Ability to forecast outcomes of actions and evaluate for best direction. Evaluate solutions in support of visa cases and refine and improve program and campus best practices.

• Ability to exercise good judgment and discretion, particularly in matters relative to sensitive or confidential personnel or organizational matters.

• Ability to cope with ambiguity, shifting priorities and mandates, and to perform accurately and efficiently in a fast-paced environment.

• Organizational and time-management skills sufficient to independently set priorities to coordinate and complete a number of competing assignments within established deadlines.

• Familiarity with the roles of an academic support office in an international higher-education setting.

• Ability to cope with a wide range of cultures and personalities in a professional and diplomatic manner and to tactfully communicate with persons having varying degrees of English proficiency.

• Demonstrated proficiency in computing including windows and Mac platforms; MS Office Suite; database applications; and internet applications.

• Strong public speaking skills and experience developing and presenting orientations and workshops.

• Excellent project management skills; problem-solving abilities; and strong organization & attention to detail.

• Must be US citizen or permanent resident as required by US Department of State in order to be certified as Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) and/or Designated School Official (DSO).