Visas and Residencies Overview J-1 Exchange Visitor H-1B Temp. Worker O-1 Person of Extraordinary Ability TN Visas Permanent Residency Fees Consulate Locations Payment to International Visitors Notes to Chairs
H-1B H-1B Overview Sponsorship Process Changes in Employment Traveling outside the U.S.
Permanent Residency Permanent Residency Overview 3 Paths to PR Sponsorship Process Advertising and Recruitment Adjustment of Status

H - 1B Visa

The H-1B visa is issued to noncitizens in “specialty occupations.”[1]  GC applies for the visa and the prospective employee is named as the “beneficiary.”   The visa then authorizes the employee to work only for that one employer.  The visa petition must establish full licensure of the prospective employee to practice in the occupation, and completion of any degree required for entry into the occupation in the United States or experience in the specialty through progressively responsible positions.

 The following steps are required to obtain an H-1B visa:

a. GC must gain approval by the Department of Labor of a labor condition application (LCA), by attesting that the hire of a noncitizen will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of citizens, and that the working conditions of the noncitizen are not exploitive.[2] 
b. GC must gain approval by the USCIS of the visa petition, supported by the approved LCA.
c. The visa must be issued by a U.S. consulate if applicant is overseas or by USCIS if applicant is in the United States.

The USCIS takes from 45-60 days to process an H-1B visa petition. It is possible to use “premium processing” to expedite the application. This processing requires payment of an additional fee.  GC pays the H-1B filing fee and the anti-fraud fee. The employee is responsible for any costs associated with hiring an attorney and any other visa-related costs. Depending on the circumstances, GC may or may not pay the premium processing fee.  Authorization to seek an accelerated process is required from the Provost’s Office.

The H-1B visa may be approved for a maximum initial three-year period.  Extensions of that stay may be obtained for a total maximum period of six years.  In computing whether a noncitizen has held an H-1B visa for the maximum period of six years, the USCIS looks at all employers of the noncitizen under which s/he held an H-1B visa, not just the current employer.  An employee holding an H-1B visa may be employed in a permanent position as long as s/he departs the United States at the end of the authorized stay.

There is no obligation for GC to obtain this non-immigrant visa status for any noncitizen employee. GC may facilitate the visa application process based upon employment, but GC cannot become responsible if a visa is denied or if the employee falls out of status. GC cannot pay for the employee's attorney fees.  H-1B visa holders may seek permanent residence status concurrently with petitioning for or holding the H-1B status.

Additional documents and information is needed for all visa(s) and PERM applications:
Additional Documents/Information (doc.)

Important: For those hoping to transition to Permanent Residence, it is important to be aware of filing deadlines. A PERM application must be submitted within 60 days of hiring a staff person or 180 days of hiring faculty members. If submitted after the applicable time limits, GC would need to recruit for the position again.  H-1B employees should contact the Office of Legal Affairs for further information.

[1] For more information about the H-1B visa, see:

[2] For further information about the LCA process, see:




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