Immigration, Services & Visas

USC Immigration Clinic

The clinic provides representation to adults and children from all over the world, including Mexico, Central and South America, and Africa. Each student will typically have the opportunity to work on five or six different matters, including representing clients in Immigration Court hearings or drafting appellate briefs for the Board of Immigration Appeals or U.S. Court of Appeals. Students may also work on advocacy and research projects, such as documenting conditions in immigration detention facilities or access to medical care for detained immigrants.

USC Office Of International Services

The Office of International Services (OIS) supports international students and scholars as they strive to achieve their educational, professional, and personal objectives. OIS is a resource center that provides advising, information, and opportunities for involvement to help members of the USC international community make the most of their USC experience. Recognizing the many benefits of international educational exchange, OIS advocates for these benefits on campus, locally and nationally.

USC J-1 Student & Research Scholars

The J-1 Exchange Visitor program aims to increase intercultural understanding between the local and international communities through education and cross-cultural exchange.

The University of Southern California has a long and proud tradition of facilitating such exchanges. We welcome more than 1,100 J-1 exchange visitors annually from 70 different countries in the J-1 visa category. They include graduate students taking advantage of USC libraries to complete thesis or dissertation papers, post-doctoral researchers supporting USC research efforts while furthering their own education, or tenured faculty from prestigious foreign universities coming to share their experience with our students and faculty.

Regardless of their individual pursuits, J-1 scholars greatly contribute to the rich and diverse Trojan Family. Their experience at USC allows them to achieve their goals, as well as enriching the university’s global initiatives.

Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII)

The mission of the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) is to remake the narrative for understanding, and to shape the dialogue, on immigrant integration in America.

CSII intends to identify and evaluate the mutual benefits of immigrant integration for the native-born and immigrants and to study the pace of the ongoing transformation in different locations, not only in the past and present but projected into the future.

CSII brings together three emphases: scholarship that draws on academic theory and rigorous research, data that provides information structured to highlight the process of immigrant integration over time, and engagement that seeks to create new dialogues with government, community organizers, business and civic leaders, immigrants and the voting public.

USC F-1 Student Employment

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provide a variety of opportunities for F-1 international students to be employed in the United States. Students must first seek approval for the appropriate work authorization type. Working without proper authorization is a serious violation of the F-1 student status. Questions? Contact OIS at

USC OIS Visa Forms

As a top-ranked private research institution, the University of Southern California offers everything you are looking for: an interdisciplinary education informed by a global perspective, more academic opportunities than any other American university, a vibrant campus life, a location in the heart of a dynamic world center and the lifelong support of the Trojan Family.

USC International Research

USC is engaged in research around the globe, studying health, culture and environment in other countries, collaborating with scholars in foreign institutions, creating corporate research partnerships, and attracting students from overseas. USC supports participation of all students, regardless of their national origin or religious affiliation, in our research and educational programs, and encourages our researchers to contribute to the needs for research that occur around the world.

Entrepreneur’s Parole Option (Partner Research)

On January 17, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a new immigration avenue for foreign entrepreneurs who benefit the U.S economy. The “International Entrepreneur Rule” will serve as a pathway for qualified investors and foreign entrepreneurs to develop business enterprises which have significant public benefit in the United States.

This exciting news for start-ups and foreign entrepreneurs comes as a much welcomed development for those frustrated by the lack of immigration options available through the existing U.S. visas, which generally are not oriented to companies that are still in start-up mode.

H-1B Specialty Occupation Visa (Partner Research)

H-1B: For foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields. Initial Stay: 3 years, with 3-year renewal. Availability: 65,000 cap (subject to lottery); first 20,000 for Master’s degrees exempt from cap. Apply April 1 of each year. Requires job offer from a U.S. employer + U.S. Bachelor’s degree/foreign equivalent. Employer may sponsor for Green Card. H-1B1 for Chilean & Singaporean citizens.

B-1 & B-2 Business or Tourist Visa (Partner Research)

B-1 & B-2: For foreign workers participating in commercial or professional business activities in the U.S., (i.e. consulting, conference attendance, settling an estate, negotiating a contract, or short-term training). Maximum stay: 6 months, with 6 month renewal (total 1 year). Cannot earn an income on this visa. Availability: no cap. No deadline to apply.

TN Employment Visa (Partner Research)

TN: Permits Canadian & Mexican citizens to engage in business activities for qualified professions, such as: accountants, engineers, lawyers, pharmacists, scientists, and teachers. Requires proof of Canadian citizenship, job offer letter from employer, credentials evaluation, and applicable fees. Maximum stay: up to 3 years.

O-1 & O-2  Extraordinary Ability Visa

An O visa is a classification of non-immigrant temporary worker visa granted by the United States to an alien “who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements,” and to certain assistants and immediate family members of such aliens.

L-1 Transfer Visa (Partner Research)

L-1A: Enables a U.S. employer to transfer an Executive or Manager from one of its affiliated foreign offices to one of its offices in the U.S. Maximum stay: 1 year to establish new office/all other qualified employees: initial 3-year stay + 2-year extensions (up to 7 years). Must show applicant worked for the company outside of the U.S. for 1 continuous year out of last 3 years. No cap. No deadline. Employer may sponsor for Green Card.

L-1B: Enables a U.S. employer to transfer a professional employee with specialized knowledge of organization’s product, service, research, equipment, techniques, or management, or organization’s processes and procedures to new or existing U.S. office. Maximum Stay: one year to establish new office/all others: initial stay of 3 years; renewal of 1-2 years (max 5 years). Employer may sponsor for Green Card.

EB-5 Investor Visa (Partner Research)

EB-5: Available to foreign nationals who invest $500,000 in a “Targeted Employment Area” (high unemployment or rural area) or Regional Center in the U.S. For direct investments, must invest $1 million and create or preserve at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers. Maximum stay: 2-year conditional residency, followed by unrestricted Green Card/Legal Permanent Residency. Availability: 10,000 annually. Deadlines: Apply within 2 years of investment; must show business is viable and direct investment created 10 U.S. jobs within that time.

E-1 Treaty Trader Visa (Partner Research)

E-1: For nationals of a trade treaty country that carry a “substantial” (~$200,000+) continuous flow of trade (more than 50%) between U.S. and treaty country (goods, services, international banking, insurance, transportation, tourism, technology, and some news-gathering activities). At least 50% of business owned by citizens of a single treaty country. Essential employees/executives/manager eligible. No cap. No deadline. Initial stay 2 years/indefinite 2-year extensions.

E-2 Investor Visa (Partner Research)

E-2: For nationals of countries that maintain a treaty with the U.S. and who invest a “substantial” amount of capital in a bona fide U.S. enterprise, while controlling at least 50% interest. Maximum stay: 2-5 years with unlimited renewals for sustainable businesses. Key employees eligible for visa. Requires: viable business plan, U.S. job creation, and average minimum investment of $100,000+. Visit for list of eligible countries. No cap. No deadline. Fastest path to a work visa (60-90 day review). Interview at consulate.

Diversity Immigrant Visa (Partner Research)

Diversity Immigrant Visa (Green Card Lottery): Available to nationals of eligible countries that the U.S. considers being under-represented in U.S. immigration. High school diploma and 2 years of work experience within the last 5 years in a field required. Maximum stay: Green Card/Legal Permanent Residency. Availability: 50,000 annually. Each country limited to 7% of Green Cards available per region. Apply in October. No filing fees.

Immigration Clinic