H-1b Temporary Worker Status

H-1b Temporary Worker Status


The H-1B temporary worker classification is designated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for non-U.S. workers in specialty occupations - those which require a theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge to fully perform the occupation, and a bachelor’s or higher degree in a specific specialty as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the U.S.

It is recommended that H-1B petitions be submitted six to seven months before the requested start date of employment.

Faculty note: If you are hiring a new employee under an H1B visa,  they must be hired under a  Research Associate title or higher.
 

Principal Investigator Checklist

  • Notify Human Resources of  intent to hire person and submit job description for posting on the Children’s Hospital Website

  • Complete the Export Control Questionnaire. What is Export Control?

  • Sponsorship Letter (letter template to be provided by coordinator: request a letter template here)

  • Fees (Processing Fee: $325; Fraud Fee: $500; Premium Processing Fee: $1,225)

    Applicant Checklist

  • Apply on-line for job in the Children’s Hospital Website

  • H-1B Information Sheet

  • Copy of foreign national’s most recent diploma and transcripts, with a certified translation if not in English   (The individual’s credentials must meet the requirements as set forth in the job description. This link must be clear or USCIS will likely issue a request for additional evidence, delaying process of the case. Research staff may request credential evaluation services.)

  • Copy of the foreign national’s curriculum vitae

  • Copy of passport pages showing picture, expiration date and biographical information.

Foreign nationals in the United States (an employee transfer) must also complete the following:

  • Copy of both sides of the current Form I-94 – white card normally stapled in the passport.

  • If in H-1B status, a copy of all previous H-1B Approval Notices (Form I-797). Also proof of present H-1B employment through a letter of confirmation from the current employer and/or copy of the most recent pay stub. Individuals must maintain employment with the current H-1B employer at least until the CRI petition has been received by USCIS, as evidenced by a receipt notice issued to CRI by USCIS.

  • If in a dependent status (H-4, J-2, F-2), a copy of both sides of spouse’s Form I-94 and I-20s, DS 2019s, or I-797s, and any J-2 work authorization cards.

Additional Procedures

Length of Status
The maximum time permitted in H-1B status is six years, which is reduced by any prior periods of stay in any H classification, including H-4 dependent status. A maximum of three years may be requested at one time.

Dependents
Dependents of employees holding H-1B status may obtain H-4 (dependent) status. Those holding H-4 status may not work but are permitted to study. Dependent children may hold H-4 status until age 21.

Changing From One H-1B Position to Another
H-1B status is position-, location-, and employer-specific and is not transferable from one employer to another. However, if an employee for whom an H-1B is being filed currently holds H-1B status, under USCIS portability regulations, the employee can work in the new position as soon as the employer receives a receipt notice from USCIS for the new H-1B petition. No break in employment is permitted.

Maintaining Status
Employees holding H-1B status must maintain employment as described in the H-1B petition. Termination of employment ends H-1B status. There is no grace period for H-1B status holders. Any change in the terms of employment (reduction in salary, change in title or hours, new employer, etc.) requires the filing of a new H-1B petition.

Travel
H-1B employees who travel must borrow from The Research Instiute's International Employee Coordinator the original H-1B approval notice. The employee should present to a U.S. consulate (if a new visa stamp is needed in the passport) and to the officer at the port of entry, the original H-1B approval notice, a copy of the packet which was filed to obtain the H-1B, and a letter from the employing department indicating that the person is still employed at The Research Institute according to the terms of the H-1B. Traveling while an H-1B Petition is pending at USCIS may negatively affect the processing of the petition. 

Address Reporting Requirement
USCIS requires all H-1B status holders to notify them of any address change by submitting Form AR-11.

H-1B Extensions
The International Employee Coordinator can file H-1B extension paperwork within six months prior to the expiration of the current period of H-1B status. The Research Institute recommends filing no longer than three months before expiration.

Processing H-1Bs
A petition for H-1B classification for an International employee is filed with USCIS by Children’s Research Institute through the International Employee Coordinator.

H-1B processing times will be significantly longer due to two new changes in the U.S. Department of Labor portion of the process.

1.  The U.S. Department of Labor is making significant changes to the prevailing wage process for H-1B cases effective January 1, 2010. Prevailing wage determination may take as long as 60 days for the new national center to process.

2.  Likewise more time would be needed if prevailing wage problems arise such as getting a higher prevailing wage determination than the salary offered by The Research Institute or if the U.S. Department of Labor conducted an audit during the Labor Certification process. Thus, potentially an H-1B case can take a significantly longer time to go through the entire process before being approved by USCIS.  

It is recommended that H-1B petitions be submitted six to seven months before the requested start date of employment.

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