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. [[sjsech, Steve Sechrist]] 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:
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.
- 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.
Contact [[sjsech, Steve Sechrist]]