H-1B Sponsorship

H-1B status is an employer-sponsored non-immigrant status for employment in "specialty occupations", occupations that require the application of specialized knowledge that is normally attained through a bachelor's degree or higher in the field. Below is a list of eligibility requirements:

  • Occupation and position require the application of specialized knowledge (e.g. an accountant applies specialized knowledge of accounting in his/her work).
  • Occupation and position require a bachelor's degree or higher in a field that provides that specialized knowledge (e.g. a chemistry professor requires a PhD in chemistry)
  • Salary for the position is the higher of the actual wage offered to similarly employed persons in the department or the prevailing wage set by Dept of Labor.

Part-time, hourly, adjunct, and unpaid positions are typically not eligible. For more information on eligibility requirements, etc, see H-1B visa status

H-1B status is typically used for the following types of positions:

  • Post-doctoral research associates
  • Tenure-track (TE) faculty appointments
  • Visiting professors and lecturers (NTE)
  • Professional/Professional faculty appointments
  • Operational positions that require a bachelor's and application of specialized knowledge

The Reves Center works with the hiring department to secure H-1B status for its employees. H-1B status can be granted in 3 year increments for a total of 6 years. [[ehbailey, Emily Bailey]] will advise the department on the process, requirements, and timeline.

H-1B Sponsorship Process

For detailed instructions to submit a H-1B request or for initial access if you have not used iStart before, see H-1B Request iStart instructions (pdf).

Step 1: Department initiates process through iStart

  • Complete forms
    • Go to iStart
    • Select Administrative Services for University Departments and log in with your CAS
    • Under Departmental Services (on left sidebar), select Add New Person and complete form
    • Return to Departmental Services and select H-1B Request
    • Complete the forms titled H-1B Position Information and H-1B Personal Information, and upload a letter of support (doc)
  • Department Chair sign off: Once the department/sponsoring faculty member has completed its part in iStart, the department chair will receive an email to sign off on the request.

Step 2: Employee completes forms

  • When the department completes the H-1B Personal Information form, the employee will receive an email with instructions to access iStart. They will upload documents that include:
    • CV
    • Diploma and/or transcript - If the degree was earned outside the US, the employee must obtain a professional credential evaluation. This can be obtained from organizations such as ECE or WES
    • Copy of passport identity page
    • Immigration documents (related to current or previous US stays)

Step 3: Department of Labor: Reves Center secures a prevailing wage determination and files the LCA (Labor Condition Application). Two copies of a Notice of Intent to File will be sent to the department for posting for 10 business days.

Step 4: USCIS (Immigration): Once LCA is approved, Reves Center compiles and submits H-1B petition to US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Step 5: Once H-1B is approved, Reves Center notifies the department and employee. If the employee is abroad, he/she will need to apply for an H-1B visa at a US embassy/consulate.


Fees (US government filing fees)
  • Standard processing: $960 for an initial H-1B petition or $460 for an extension - are paid by William & Mary through the Reves Center.
  • Expedited processing (premium processing): $1410. This is paid by the department or employee by check or money order. This fee is in addition to the standard fee of $960/$460. Typically the department must pay this fee; the employee may only pay it if they want it premium processed for their convenience.
    •   Note: In many cases Premium Processing can be avoided. Reves Center can help assess whether it will be needed or not.
  • Reves Center charges no administrative or processing fees to departments.
Processing timeline (from time Reves Center receives all forms and documents)
  • Standard processing: 6-8 months*
  • Expedited Processing: 1 month*
    • Of these times, about 2 weeks is internal processing, the remainder is USCIS (Immigration) processing.
  • If the employee is abroad, one should plan an additional 2-4 weeks to secure the visa. Administrative processing (security checks) at the embassy or consulate can add several weeks to that timeline.

Note: Depending on the employee's current immigration/visa status, he/she may be able to begin employment even before the H-1B petition is approved:

  • Immediate employment may be possible, if he/she is in F-1 student status with valid Optional Practical Training (OPT), J-1 student status with Academic Training, or J-1 scholar status.
  • If the employee is currently in H-1B status at another institution, he/she can begin work for W&M once we have submitted the petition to Homeland Security (i.e. We do not need to wait for it to be approved). That can be as quick as two weeks.
Questions?

Contact [[ehbailey, Emily Bailey]]