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International Visa Specialist (Hybrid)

University of California Merced
Merced, California
Closing date
Jun 27, 2024

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Global Affairs & Engagement
Position Type
Employment Type
Organization Type
College / University

International Visa Specialist (Hybrid)

University of California Merced

Job ID




Full/Part Time

Full Time

Hiring Range

The University of California, Merced is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the compensation range for this role. This range takes into account the wide range of factors that are considered in making compensation decisions including but not limited to experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, and other business and organizational needs. It is not typical for an individual to be offered a salary at or near the top of the range for a position. Salary offers are determined based on final candidate qualifications and experience. The full salary range for this position is $61,400- $109,200 The budgeted salary or hourly range that the University reasonably expects to pay for this position is $65,000- $74,000.

Job Closing Date

Initial applicant review will begin on or around June 14th, 2024. Posting will remain open until filled.

This position will be hybrid.

This position does not offer the opportunity for sponsorship.

About UC Merced

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system's 10 campuses and the first American research university built in the 21st century. With more than 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students, UC Merced offers an environment that combines a commitment to diversity, inclusion, collaboration and professional development. With bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs, strong research and academic partnerships, and community involvement, the UC Merced campus is continually evolving and requires talented, knowledgeable and dynamic educators, researchers, management and staff.

Ranked among the best public universities in the nation by U.S. News and World Report, UC Merced is uniquely equipped to provide educational opportunities for highly qualified students from the San Joaquin Valley and throughout California. The campus enjoys a special connection with nearby Yosemite National Park, is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design and supports the economic development of Merced and the region.

The Merced 2020 Project, a $1.3 billion public-private partnership unprecedented in higher education and completed in 2020, nearly doubled the physical capacity of the campus, enhancing academic distinction, student success and research excellence. UC Merced also operates the Downtown Campus Center, a $33 million, three-story administrative building located in the heart of Merced.

The university's mission of educational excellence and rigorous inquiry is powered by three schools and numerous research institutes and centers that seek scientific and social solutions for the Valley, California and the world. In partnership with UC San Francisco, UC Merced is preparing the way for a rigorous medical education program.

The course of UC Merced's evolution is piloted by a long-range strategic plan. Enacted in 2021, the 10-year blueprint is guiding how the values of equity and justice influence our pathway to earning Carnegie R1 research status, growing enrollment, upholding our identity as a minority-serving institution, and operationalizing how commitments to equity, diversity and inclusion are enacted in each campus unit.

About the Job

Employs professional skills with a full understanding of analytical practices and campus policies and procedures; researches, analyzes and develops solutions to a range of issues, particularly those that relate to visa issuance and compliance. Demonstrates good judgment in selecting methods and techniques for obtaining solutions. Primarily deals with international policies, programs and proposals which are complex and diverse in scope. Develops new programs, policies or procedures for possible implementation.


• Complies with Department of Homeland Security federal regulations as the Designated School Official (F visa) and Alternate Responsible Officer (J visa). Provides expert-level visa advising and support services for international students, researchers and their dependents in F and J visa classifications. Independently researches and interprets complex immigration regulations and exercises discretion in application to individual circumstances. Manages data in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Authorizes transfer to/from schools, change of levels, program extensions, employment (i.e. OPT/CPT, Academic Training), Leaves of Absence (LOA), Reduced Course Loads (RCL), concurrent enrollments, changes of status, intercampus exchanges, and travel endorsements. Conducts semester registration events and addresses maintenance. Facilitates resolution of problems regarding study, employment and legal status. Devises strategies and solutions applicable to campus needs. Assists students with logistical, academic and socio-cultural needs. Monitors expiration of visa status and notifies visa holders of upcoming deadlines.

• Maintains expert knowledge through research of regulations, system-wide communication and meetings, manuals, SEVP help desk, and web-based information. Publishes written procedures, processes, guidelines and forms for visa processes to ensure compliance. Compiles and analyzes data on international clients and projects related to internationalization. Researches and summarizes best practices in field. Maintains student data in ISSM database and reports mandated information to Department of Homeland Security's SEVIS database according to federal regulation and deadlines. Creates reports to monitor enrollment and reconciles data with Student Information System (SIS), ISSM and SEVIS databases. Investigates discrepancies and follows through with problem resolution with Department of Homeland Security. Maintains and updates on-line forms, guidelines, instructions, policies, procedures and information on ISS web site. Creates and maintains advisor check lists for visa holder processes and procedures. Updates the International Student Handbook, ISS Arrival Guide and other advisory publications.

• Advises academic departments, colleges and administrative units regarding visa policies and federal regulations pertaining to international students. Analyzes, predicts and advises constituents regarding direction in the absence of clear external and internal practices. Proposes, leads and/or participates on policy and planning committees and working groups related to international students and/or international education initiatives. Serves as representative to campus units, and other UC campuses and US universities, professional organizations, and US Government and State agencies. Primary contact for University of California's Education Abroad Program's (UCEAP) reciprocity student exchange program (incoming J-1 visa students). Provides UCEAP student information to academic and administrative units. Consults with campus departments to independently prepare required verification letters and other supporting documentation as related to visa status. Represents ISS at campus, community and professional organizations (e.g. NAFSA, Advisors Group, BAPiers). Coordinates nomination of international student scholarship awards and other opportunities. Contributes to relevant media and outreach events. Assists other campus units with select recruitment, admissions and retention activities.

• Develops and presents new student orientations, workshops, educational and cultural events for international students, as well as workshops on visa regulations and related international student matters to academic advisors, administrators and faculty. Promotes and builds cross-cultural awareness, cooperation, and understanding among entire campus community. Contributes to the planning and organization of International Education Week (IEW). Conducts post-implementation analysis of workshops, orientations and processes to determine the need for further improvement, finer distinctions and/or additional process/policy components.



• Bachelor's degree in related area from an accredited institution. (Required)

• 5 years of progressively responsible related experience or equivalent related experience/training. (Required)


• Knowledge of common software applications, including Microsoft Office Suite, and student information systems or similar databases.

• Knowledge of SEVIS, ISSM and Banner. (Preferred)

• Strong attention to detail and problem-solving skills.

• Ability to communicate effectively, verbally and in writing, with people of different cultural backgrounds, personalities and levels of English proficiency in a professional, tactful manner

• Ability to develop and present workshops and orientations.

• Strong skills in analyzing and synthesizing large amounts of data to create sound and relevant proposals and reports.

• Ability to multi-task with demanding timeframes, shifting priorities and mandates.

• Ability to use discretion and maintain all confidentiality.

Licenses and Certifications

• Department of Homeland Security, Designated School Official for F-1 Student Visa Program.

• Department of State, Alternate Responsible Officer for Exchange Visitor Program.

Background Check

Background check will be required.

Policy Statement

How to Apply:

An online application is required for each position to apply. The University of California, Merced is aware that some web-based application processes may be cumbersome for differently abled applicants. Where appropriate, alternative accommodations will be provided. For applicants with disabilities who need additional assistance using TAM, or reasonable accommodations during the interview or search process, please contact

Equal Employment Opportunity:

The University of California, Merced is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, pregnancy, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam-era veteran, or other protected categories covered by the UC Nondiscrimination and Affirmative Action Policy. UC Merced intentionally promotes and maintains a discrimination- and harassment-free workplace by demonstrating it neither condones nor tolerates employment practices that discriminate against or harass any person or specific group of persons on the basis listed above. We seek candidates who will support our vision to cultivate a vibrant, equity-minded, inclusive excellence university community. When applying to UC Merced, we strongly encourage you to reflect on our Principles of Community and our 2021 strategic plan.

Vaccination Program Policy:

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. For new University of California employees, the applicable deadline is 14 days after their first date of employment.

Smoke and Tobacco Free Policy:

The University of California, Merced is a smoke and tobacco free workplace. Information and the Smoke and Tobacco Free policy is available at


All employers who receive Federal contracts and grants are required to comply with E-Verify, an Internet-based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA). E-Verify electronically verifies employment eligibility by comparing information provided on the I-9 form to records in the DHS and SSA databases. Certain positions funded by federal contracts/subcontracts requires UC Merced to notify job applicants that an E-Verify check will be conducted and the successful candidate must pass the E-Verify check.

Pay, Benefits & Work Schedule:

For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University of California visit:

To apply, please visit:

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