Payroll Documents and Terminology

Visa
  • Stamp placed in the passport by an official of the Department of State at the U.S. consular office
  • Only necessary for entry into the U.S.
  • Can expire while in the U.S.
Status
  • Determines purpose, permissible activities, responsibilities and rights of the holder
  • Lawful status must be maintained for duration of stay in U.S.
Temporary Status
  • Non-immigrants
  • Time-limited
  • Restrictions on employment
  • Examples: F-1, J-1, H-1B
Permanent Status
  • Immigrants
  • Allowed to live and work in the U.S. permanently
  • Generally no restrictions on employment
  • Examples: Permanent Resident, Green Card
Permission to Stay versus Employment Authorization
  • Not always the same length of time
  • Someone can have permission to stay in the U.S., but not be eligible to work
  • Some statuses have grace periods
Passport
  • Proof that an individual holds citizenship in a country
  • Must be valid to enter the U.S.
  • Must remain valid while in the U.S.
  • Generally may be renewed inside the U.S.
DS-2019
  • For J-1 Exchange Visitors
  • Can be students or scholars
  • Issued by the J-1 program sponsor
  • Reflects dates of the J-1’s program and where they can work
I-797 Approval Notice
  • For H-1B, O-1, TN-1 Workers
  • Issued by USCIS when the H-1B petition is approved
  • Shows the location and dates employee is allowed to work
  • May include an I-94 at the bottom
I-20
  • For F-1 Students
  • Issued by the academic institution where the student will be completing a specific degree program in a specific field of study
  • Reflects dates of the F-1’s program
Entry Visa
  • Document placed in passport by U.S. consular office permitting holder to request admission to the U.S. in a specific status
  • Must be valid to enter U.S. in that status
  • OK if expires while in the U.S.
  • If expired, a new visa must be obtained prior to returning to the U.S. from international travel
I-94
  • Arrival/departure record denoting admission in a specific status and period of permissible stay
  • Should be “D/S” for F-1 and J-1s
  • Date-specific for H-1Bs
  • Issued electronically. Accessible at https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov
Employment Authorization Card
  • Issued by USCIS
  • Indicates the dates the employee is allowed to work
  • Employee is responsible for applying for a renewal/extension