Extending Visa Status

Once a year, the department administrator noted in ISD will receive an eNED, Notification of Extension/Departure Form, for each scholar who has registered with the HIO, usually six months before the scholar's authorized stay in the U.S. will expire. The department administrator should complete the eNED and return it to the HIO as soon as possible. Please note that the eNED must be completed by the department administrator, not the scholar. The HIO can only send eNEDs out for scholars who have registered with us. Therefore, it is very important that all new international scholars register with the HIO as soon as they arrive at Harvard.

If a scholar will be continuing their appointment with the faculty sponsor, the department must complete the relevant section of the eNED, providing all details requested. The department should be sure to provide accurate funding information for the entire requested period of time and exact dates of the extension. If any of the information changes after the form is returned to the HIO, please call your HIO advisor to discuss the changes. In some instances, the university is required to inform the government of changes.

It is important to return the eNED in a timely fashion to ensure that there will not be disruption of an individual's salary or immigration status. Once the HIO receives the completed eNED, it will process the extension and send the scholar a newly updated visa document such as the Form DS-2019. Extensions must be processed before the current visa status expires. Depending on the visa type, processing time can take up to 30 working days (J-1 status) or up to 6 months (H-1B or O-1 status). After the extension is processed, the Form I-9 must be updated if the person is on payroll, as required by the payroll office.

Please note that completing the eNED does not extend the academic appointment, which is also necessary.  Extending an academic appointment is handled by sending the appropriate information to the corresponding Dean's office.

The eNED must also be completed when a scholar's appointment has ended (both as planned and earlier than planned), when the individual has left the university or obtained U.S. legal permanent residence (a green card). When the HIO receives this type of NED, the scholar's record will be withdrawn from the HIO database as well as any corresponding government databases.

Visa Stamps

Visa stamps, a full page sticker placed in the individual's passport, are issued by U.S. embassies or consulates outside the U.S. and are used only to seek entry and re-entry to the U.S. in a particular immigration category. The visa stamp does not determine how long a scholar may remain in the U.S. A visa stamp has an expiration date and may be valid for one, two, or multiple entries. Once inside the U.S., it is not necessary to keep the validity of the visa stamp in the passport in order to maintain legal status in the U.S. Should scholars and family members plan to travel outside the U.S. after their visa stamps have expired, they will need to apply for new visa stamps in a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the U. S. in order to return to the U.S. Extending a scholar's visa status in the U.S. does not automatically extend the visa stamp in their passport.

Usually, scholars apply for visa stamps in their home countries. It is possible to apply for a visa stamp at any U.S. embassy or consulate outside the U.S., however, scholars may find that a consular official in a country other than their countries of citizenship may not issue the visa and may require that scholars return to their home countries for visa issuance. Scholars should consult with their HIO advisors prior to making travel plans. Please note that it is not possible to apply for a U.S. visa inside the U.S.