Department Responsibilities

A departmental administrator (the HIO departmental contact) must be an individual who has the authority to act and accept certain responsibility on behalf of the department for University compliance with U.S. Government regulations. The HIO cannot assume overall responsibility without close cooperation from the departmental contact. These responsibilities include:

  • Being responsible for verifying the validity of funding of incoming scholars if they are bringing their own funding, whether it is personal funding or a fellowship. For personal funding, you must request a bank statement in U.S dollars.
  • Submitting required information via ISD, to the HIO for all non-U.S. citizens or U.S. legal permanent residents who will have academic appointments at Harvard even if a scholar is currently in the U.S. with a non-immirant visa status. Please allow at least a two-month lead-time before a scholar arrives. In some cases it may take longer based on the country of origin or the visa action required.
  • Monitoring scholars' arrival dates and informing the HIO of possible delays. Scholars must enter the U.S. within 30 days of the start date on the Form DS-2019, the certificate of eligibility of the J-1 visa.  The HIO may need to issue a new Form DS-2019 if a scholar arrives close to the 30 day mark.
  • Notifying the HIO if the scholar decides not to come to Harvard at all.
  • Sending scholars to register at the HIO as soon as they arrive in the U.S. If a scholar has entered the U.S., the HIO must register the scholar in SEVIS within 30 days of the start date of the Form DS-2019, or the scholar will be considered a "no show" and therefore may face negative consequences with their visa status.
  • Returning the eNED (Notification of Extension/Departure) to the HIO in a timely fashion so the HIO can take appropriate steps to extend the scholar's permission to remain in the U.S. The eNED is sent out to administrators 6 months before a scholar's permission to stay in the U.S. expires.
  • Notifying the HIO if a scholar leaves Harvard before the end of their appointment.
  • Making the appropriate arrangements for an academic appointment at Harvard. The HIO also provides visa sponsorship for researchers and faculty with joint appointments between the Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Cambridge Hospital, Joslin Diabetes Center, Brockton and West Roxbury VA Hospitals,  Mass Mental Health Center and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute.
  • Clarifying for scholars what facilities will or will not be available to them while at Harvard, e.g. prearranged housing, health coverage, office space, secretarial help, computer/email access, and the time and attention of departmental colleagues.

In general, the University does not provide visa sponsorship for non-academic staff positions.