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 H-1B 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 Nationwide 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)
- Apply online for job in the Nationwide Children's Hospital employment 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.
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 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.
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.
H-1B employees who travel must borrow from The Research Instiute's Paralegal - Immigration Specialist 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.
The Paralegal - Immigration Specialist 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.
A petition for H-1B classification for an International employee is
filed with USCIS by The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's
Hospital through the Paralegal - Immigration Specialist.
H-1B processing times will be significantly longer due to two new changes in the U.S. Department of Labor portion of the process.
- 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.
- 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.