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Visa Processing Procedures

Congratulations & Welcome to Case Western Reserve University!

We hope you’ll find Case Western Reserve University to be a supportive and diverse community, characterized by exceptional people doing important and satisfying work. We are glad you are here!

A brief overview of the visa process is below.

Step 1: Your department, hiring unit, or campus will submit a New Sponsorship Request in our Terra Dotta Case Management System, also known as the TDS Scholar Portal. Following University best practices, Immigration & Human Resource Services (IHRS) will assist in determining the appropriate status to pursue based on the position you have been offered.

Step 2: Once the Sponsorship Request is approved, IHRS will send an email inviting you to the TDS Scholar Portal at that time.  DO NOT use the login button in the upper, right-hand corner or in the center of this website’s homepage (while you may be able to successfully login there, those are administrative sites only and will not take you where you need to go).
  • TDS emails sometimes get filtered into junk/spam (especially Gmail accounts). The subject line for TDS emails will contain “[Caution: External]”. Those emails are safe to open.
  • H-1Bs and E-3s Only: IHRS will approve H-1B New Sponsorship Requests no earlier than 7 months prior to the requested H-1B start date to ensure we have the most up-to-date information at the time the H-1B application is prepared.

Step 3: After you and your department or hiring unit have filled the required information and uploaded all documents, an IHRS advisor will review and process the immigration request.  You will be alerted via email when either your DS-2019 is ready for shipment or when your petition is filed with USCIS. You will be kept up-to-date as your USCIS petition progresses through its adjudication. 

Note: The TDS Scholar Portal is only a case management system which assists IHRS in completing visa requests. For any requests outside of an initial visa or extension request, please email  All other requests are divided into “Departmental Requests” (for departmental administrators) and “Employee/Scholar Requests” (for employees and scholars).
  • IHRS processing times vary. For example, January – July are busy for H-1Bs so expect longer IHRS processing times. While options for premium processing exist on the H-1B applications, that does not speed up IHRS processing. Premium processing only speeds up USCIS processing.
  • Generally, we ask for 5-6 months notice on H-1B applications and 3-4 months notice on J-1 applications.