International services

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Providing services for international students and scholars

We are dedicated to facilitating the arrival and temporary stay of foreign students and scholars in eligible research positions, determining appropriate immigration/visa classifications, and ensuring institutional compliance with applicable immigration-related regulations at Sanford Burnham Prebys.

International Services staff administer Sanford Burnham Prebys’ F-1 Student and J-1 Exchange Visitor/Bridge USA Programs by serving as the Institute’s F-1 Designated School Officials (DSOs) and Responsible Officers (ROs).

We provide information regarding appropriate visa/nonimmigrant classifications, eligibility for sponsorship by Sanford Burnham Prebys in a particular immigration/visa classification, necessary documentation for visa application and entry to the US, pre-arrival information to assist with getting settled and adjusting to life in San Diego and the US, immigration onboarding and orientation, and guidance on how to maintain their nonimmigrant status while at the Institute, including traveling abroad and reentering the US during their stay.

To find out if a foreign national is eligible to train or work at Sanford Burnham Prebys in a particular research-related position, consult Sanford Burnham Prebys International Services:
Note: Labs should consult International Services at least 3 months in advance, whenever possible, if they plan to invite or hire a foreign national. However, processing times for visas and immigration benefits can take much longer depending on various factors.


Important factors in determining the appropriate nonimmigrant classification includes:

  • Anticipated position title
  • Purpose of visit (e.g., to engage in research on an on-going Sanford Burnham Prebys project
  • Activities/Research the individual will engage in
  • Physical locations(s) of activities/research
  • Length of anticipated stay at Sanford Burnham Prebys
  • Funding source(s)
  • Current/previous stay(s) in the U.S., if any, and in what nonimmigrant status
  • Country/ies of citizenship and legal permanent residence

General Disclaimer

Information contained on the International Services website is for the use of the Sanford Burnham Prebys community and should not be used as the sole source of information for making decisions that may affect one’s legal status in the U.S.