UAB is a world-class academic medical center with over 94 accredited residency and subspecialty programs across our five medical campuses. IFSIS is here to help departments and international medical graduates navigate the immigration process.

At UAB, residency and fellowship Program Directors determine which immigration status to offer, in consultation with IFSIS and ISSS. The institutionally preferred option is for residents and fellows to complete their training in J-1 status sponsored by ECFMG to allow them the maximum time to remain in the US after training to pursue faculty posititions and, ultimately, permanent residence. If you are offered J-1 sponsorship for your medical training at UAB, you and your Program Director will work with UAB's ECFMG Training Program Liaisons in the Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). You can learn more about the J-1 sponsorship process at UAB here.

If, after consulation with IFSIS and ISSS, your program offers H-1B sponsorship for your medical training, you and your Program Director will work with IFSIS to begin the immigration process. Please see below for important information concerning next steps. It answers many common questions.

Initial H-1B – New Hire/First Time in H-1B Status

  • What documents do I need to provide?

    IFSIS must receive legible pdf copies of your educational and prior immigration documents to begin the H-1B process. You will receive an invitation email from our database, LawLogix Edge, asking you to log in and securely upload pdf copies of ALL relevant documents. Please do not upload pictures or screen shots. IFSIS needs clear, legible copies to file with USCIS. We cannot file the H-1B petition without ALL necessary documents.

  • When can I start working at UAB?

    All petitions are filed as far in advance as possible to ensure work authorization in advance of the start date for your program (generally July 1). All H-1B petitions in the Heersink School of Medicine are premium processed to obtain notification of USCIS approval (or a Request for Evidence) within 15 calendar days. While IFSIS will give you a courtesy notification of approval when USCIS emails us, you cannot begin working until the official, hard copy USCIS approval notice (Form I-797) arrives at our office via US Mail. It can take 5-7 business days for US Mail to be delivered from California to Birmingham. You and your department administrator will receive an automated email from the LawLogix Edge database the day the hard copy USCIS approval notice arrives in the mail. Please do not contact your department administrator or IFSIS for updates in the meantime. This email will contain instructions about the very important next step of completing Section 2 of your Form I-9 with Human Resources, located in the John Whitaker Building at 500 22nd Street South, Birmingham, AL 35233. You cannot begin working until Section 2 of I-9 is completed; after it is complete, several downstream onboarding processes (email, patient record access, parking, etc.) can proceed.

H-1B Extension

  • What documents do I need to provide?

    A few weeks before your current H-1B status expires, you will receive a second email from the LawLogix Edge database to log in and upload documents necessary for an H-1B extension, such as your current CV, most recent Form I-94, and three most recent pay statements. Please upload legible pdf copies of ALL relevant documents to the Edge database. Please do not upload pictures or screen shots. We need clear, legible copies to file with USCIS. We cannot file the H-1B petition without ALL necessary documents.


    To view your pay statements from UAB: To view your pay statements from HSF:
    • Go to the Lawson system.
    • Enter your LAWSON ID and password (which may be different than your UAB Blazer ID and password).
      • Generally speaking, your ID is your first initial and then your last name.
      • Generally speaking, your password is: hashtag, first and last initials, the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number, hashtag
      • Example: 
        Your nameJohn Smith
        ID - jsmith
        Password - #jsxxxx# (with the x’s representing the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number)
    • Once you have logged in, click on “Bookmarks” at the top left of the screen to access the drop-down menu. Next, place your cursor on “Employee Self-Service” in the drop-down menu. Then move your cursor over “Pay” and click on “Pay Checks.”
  • Do I need to wait until the extension is approved to continue working?

    No. Once an extension petition is timely filed with USCIS, you are authorized to work for up to 240 days beyond the end date of your current H-1B expiration date. The Alabama DMV should also accept your USCIS receipt notice as a valid document to extend your driver license, but IFSIS cannot control their policies. All H-1B petitions in the Heersink School of Medicine are premium processed for USCIS approval (or Request for Evidence) within 15 calendar days.

  • Credentialing and Alabama Medical Licensure

    The UAB Medical and Dental Staff Office (MDSO) processes the paperwork necessary for you to obtain permission to work as a physician in UAB and HSF clinical spaces. This process runs in parallel with the H-1B process to the extent possible, but at the very least IFSIS must have proof that you have applied for an Alabama medical license before we can file an H-1B petition. If you are coming to the US for the first time, you will not be able to receive an Alabama medical license until you arrive here and obtain a Social Security number. This is an Alabama rule, not a UAB, USCIS, or IFSIS rule.

    If you hold a restricted or special Alabama license, we can extend your H-1B work authorization in one-year increments. Once you hold an unrestricted license, we can extend your H-1B work authorization in up to three-year increments.