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H-1B Employees

H-1B is an employer-sponsored status designated for individuals coming temporarily to the US to work in a specialty occupation.

H-1B Eligibility and Sponsorship

The H-1B sponsorship is always initiated by the hiring department and the Office of International Students, Scholars & Programs (ISSP) is responsible for filing H-1B petitions for positions at  William & Mary and VIMS. See H-1B sponsorship for more information.

[[ehbailey, Emily Bailey]] oversees the H-1B program for the university.

Time Limits for H-1B Status
  • William & Mary may sponsor an employee for H-1B status for up to six years. We can sponsor for a maximum of three years at a time.
  • If the employee is being sponsored by the university for permanent residency (Greencard) and the application for permanent residency is not yet approved by the time the six years are up, the employee may be eligible to receive an extension of their H-1B until the permanent residency is approved.
    • The employee may be eligible for an extension of the H-1B in one-year increments if they have an Alien Labor Certification or a petition for immigrant worker (Form I-140) that has been pending for 365 days or more.
    • The employee may be eligible for an extension of the H-1B in three-year increments if they have an an approved immigrant worker (Form I-140) petition.
  • If an employee has been in H-1B status for six years and departs the US for at least 12 consecutive months, they will be eligible for another six years of H-1B status.
  • The six years of H-1B status are cumulative. For example, if the employee worked for another employer in H-1B status for two years, they would only have four years of H-1B remaining for W&M.
  • Time spent outside the US can be "recaptured" and added on at the end for an H-1B extension.
    • For example, if an employee in H-1B status spent 2 weeks visiting family abroad during winter break, a month abroad in the summer, a week at a conference abroad, they would have accumulated 7 extra weeks which could be added to the 6 years.
H-4 Dependents
US immigration law defines a dependent as a spouse or unmarried child younger than age 21. H-4 dependents’ status is valid only when the H-1B employee maintains their legal status and are physically in the US.
Honoraria, Outside Employment, and Institutional Joint Ventures
  • H-1B status is specific to the sponsoring employer and to the specific dates and activities as listed on the petition.
  • H-1B employees may not accept honoraria, wage or salary from outside institutions or employers.
  • H-1B employees may not accept employment from outside institutions or employers unless they have filed a concurrent H-1B petition for such employment. Any outside employment must be approved by the Provost Office first.
  • H-1B employees may not receive external funding (e.g., grants, fellowships, etc.) from outside organizations, institutions or employers. However, the employee may receive the funding if the funds are administered through the university or if a concurrent H-1B petition has been filed by the other organization or institution.
  • In cases where a formal joint venture, relationship, or sponsorship exists between the university and another organization or institution, an employee sponsored for H-1B status by W&M may work on projects pursuant to that joint venture; however, the employee may only receive remuneration for such services directly from the university unless a concurrent H-1B petition has been filed by the other organization or institution.
  • H-1B employees may receive payment or reimbursement for travel expenses associated with occasional speeches, lectures, conferences, or consultations at other institutions, if these activities are incidental to the H-1B employment.
Address Changes in H-1B Status
  • Persons on H-1B status are required to notify USCIS of any change in their residential address within 10 days of moving.