H-1B Occupation

Lab WomanThe H-1B non-immigrant visa is an employment-based visa category intended for temporary employment in the US for a position that is considered a “Specialty Occupation;” that is, the position’s job description must require at least a Bachelor’s degree, and the employee must document meeting that minimum requirement.

Another requirement for the H1B documentation is a DOL issued Wage Determination needed to prove that the position salary meets or exceeds the DOL wage as determined for the position.

OISS will apply for this determination upon receipt of the Position Data Sheet. If there is not yet a selectee for the position, please indicate “unknown” in that portion of the Data Sheet - link below -

NOTE: As the wage determination takes over three months to obtain (not needed for the Postdoctoral Employee title however), it is best to start this request at least 6 months prior to the intended begin date.

Application Links

The application must be filed by the employer. In order to initiate an H-1B visa request, the sponsoring department compiles the application packet materials and OISS prepares the application packet with these.

  • Position Data Sheet - the H-1B visa status may be requested for up to three years at a time, and H-1B status may be held for no longer than six years, continuously - regardless of employer.
  • Employee Information Sheet - this is needed as soon as there is a selectee for the above position


NOTE: Immigration requires a U.S. equivalency evaluation of non U.S. degrees. The evaluation of the must be done by a third-party service. The following are two commonly used professional evaluation services.

  •  H-1B Checklist for Department - please keep this checklist for your records, and submit scans of the required materials to OISS to enable us to prepare the application packet. The fees for the application will need to be requested only when the other materials are ready to be finalized.

 Create a Department File:

Immigration requires that the employing department have certain materials available for presentation in case of an Immigration audit - please follow this carefully:

 Creating a Public Inspection File

Planning for the H1B process:

There are two options for changing to or extending the H-1B status: 

  • (1) in-country processing, or
  • (2) consular processing:

In-country processing is best used for situations where there is no need to travel and sufficient time for the application to be approved before the requested new period of H1B status.

NOTE: The applicant may not travel outside the U.S. until the H-1B request is approved, or the H-1B petition will be considered abandoned.

Consular Processing means that the employee obtains the new H-1B visa from the U.S. Consulate abroad, and then enters the U.S. in the H-1B status.

NOTE: The applicant must obtain the new period of H1B from travel and reentry. The approved consular processing H1B will not apply until it is used for U.S. entry from abroad.

H1B Travel and Reentry

For U.S. reentry, H-1B employees will need the following:

  • a valid H-1B visa stamp in their passport for re-entry,
  • original I-797 H-1B Approval Notice,
  • copy of I-129 petition, copy of Labor Condition Application,
  • a current Employment Verification Letter, provided by the Department.

Note: As with all visas, an H-1B entry visa may only be obtained from a US Consular Office outside of the United States. Please refer to detailed instructions from US Dept of State here.

For Further Information about the H1B status, please refer to the following link: Guidelines for H1B Employee