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 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 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. Steve Sechrist, [[sjsech]], at the Reves Center will advise the department on the process, requirements, timeline.

H1B sponsorship process: 

Step 1: Department and employee complete necessary forms and submit to [[sjsech, Steve Sechrist]] at Reves Center.

    • Completed by the department:
      • H-1B Departmental Sponsor Form (pdf)
      • Letter of Support (doc) - Print on department letterhead with an original signature.
        • Note: This is a template. Please adjust the wording accordingly and please do not leave the segments that you substitute in bold or italics.
    • Completed by the employee:
      • W&M Scholar Information Form (pdf) -
      • 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 www.ece.org,www.wes.org
      • Copy of passport identity page and if the employee is currently in the US, his/her immigration documents (I-94 record, I-10 or DS-2019, I-797).The list will vary depending on the scholar's current situation.

Step 2: 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 3: USCIS (Immigration): Once LCA is approved, Reves Center compiles and submits H-1B petition to US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Step 4: Once H1B is approved, Reves Center notifies the department and employee. If the employee is abroad, he/she will need to apply for an H1B 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.
    •   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 and 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.

Contact Steve Sechrist, [[sjsech]]