H-1B status is a non-immigrant, employment-based status which allows foreign nationals to come to the U.S. and temporarily perform services in a specialty occupation. Specialty occupations are defined as requiring the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge to perform the occupation.
- H-1B status is used to employ professionals temporarily for a maximum period of six (6) years, filed in two (2) increments of no more than three (3) years.
- Each H-1B petition may be for a period of time up to three (3) years; not to exceed six (6) years in total. However, an employer may not sponsor a FN for a period of time that exceeds guaranteed funding. If funding can only be guaranteed for one (1) year, then the hiring department may seek to extend the FNs status each year based on available funding. A petition will not be filed unless the department guarantees funding for the period requested.
- The position must require a minimum of a bachelors degree and the FN must possess at least a bachelors degree or its equivalent in the field in which s/he is seeking employment. FNs with a bachelors equivalent in work experience will be required to provide a credentials evaluation, at their own expense, documenting work experience equivalent to a bachelors degree.
- H-1B status is employer specific; therefore, the FN may only work for the UA who is sponsoring their status. However, the FN may have H-1B status for more than one (1) employer, which will allow concurrent employment.
- H-1B status recognizes dual intent. This means that the FN may apply for permanent residency (PR) while in H-1B status.
The following documents are available for download in PDF format:
Fee Structure and Services Provided for Employment-based Non-Immigrant and Immigrant Petitions
Effective July 2nd, 2012, IFS increased office processing fees.
*Please be aware that federal and subfederal grants and contracts are not allowed to pay for internal processing fees assessed by the University of Arizona’s International Faculty & Scholars Office for immigration services.
Subject to the federal allowability rules, external processing fees paid to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for sponsoring non-immigrant status such as H-1B or J-1 may be allowable on grants and contracts. Fees for sponsoring immigrant status (permanent residency) may never be paid by grants and contracts.
Service fees assessed by International Faculty & Scholars Office or external attorneys may be paid from a non-federal source of fund (i.e. departmental, state, or local accounts.)
Expense (department account) = (4290) Miscellaneous Services - Other Internal: Charges for all other services, which are not specifically addressed in the preceding list of object codes.
Income (OIFS accounting) = (0936 and 0940) Miscellaneous Income: Income received from sources other than those described above. Use 0936 Miscellaneous Income – Internal when revenues are being received for sales to other university departments on and Interdepartmental Billing (IB) document. Use 0940 Miscellaneous Income – Other when income is received from an external source.
Services Provided at No Cost by IFS
Initial consultation and/or referral to a UA approved attorney.
Services Included in Fees
- Processing of petition (I-129, I-140 & DS-2019).
- Federal Express to USCIS.
- One (1) copy of petition.
Associated Expenses Not Included in IFS Fees
- SEVIS and visa fees.
- Translations, copies, educational and/or credential evaluations associated with initial petition and/or Request for Evidence (RFE).
- Review of employment-based PR applications filed by a UA approved outside attorney.
- All USCIS fees, including, but not limited to:
- Application fee (varies by petition).
- $500 Anti-Fraud fee (H-1B’s only).
- Premium processing fee ($1,225 optional).
- List of current USCIS fees.
There are numerous regulations that must be met with applying for and maintaining H-1B status. The regulations place requirements and responsibilities on both the sponsoring employer and the beneficiary; the H-1B employee.
There are several issues that the sponsoring department needs to be aware of when employing an H-1B worker. The obligations of the employer do not end once the Approval Notice is received. By submitting the Labor Condition Application to the Department of Labor and the I-129 petition to USCIS, the UA has agreed to stay in compliance with several regulations and laws. You have agreed to employ the H-1B employee at a certain salary for a specific period of time, engaging in specific duties, with a certain title at a specific location(s). Deviations from the I-129 and/or LCA or infractions of these laws could have harsh consequences for The University of Arizona, the hiring department, and the employee. The following information has been compiled to assist the hiring department in maintaining compliance with H-1B regulations.
Material Changes Require Amendment
H-1B employees are only authorized to perform the duties stated in the I-129 petition & LCA. A new LCA and H-1B, amending status, is required before a change in duties, salary, hours (FTE), and/or job location(s), including departments, can be made. Contact IFS before any changes are made.
Part-Time H-1B Employees
H-1B employees are only authorized to work for the number of hours indicated on the I-129 petition. If the hiring department has stated on the Notice of Labor Condition Application that an employee is less than 1.0 FTE, then that employee is only authorized to work part-time (i.e. .75 FTE = 30 hrs.; .50 FTE = 20 hrs., etc.). DOL regulations require that employers keep records of the actual hours worked by the part-time H-1B employee, regardless of whether or not they are paid on an hourly or annual salary basis. Likewise, you cannot reduce a FT employee’s hours below FT without amending first.
Leave of Absence
H-1B employees must be paid the salary stated in the LCA & I-129 petition during their entire period of employment. An H-1B employee may only take unpaid leave if it is truly voluntary and for reasons unrelated to employment (maternity leave, family emergency, etc.). Contact IFS before any unpaid leave of absence.
Extending H-1B Status for Your Employee
You must begin the extension process early (4-6 months before the expiration of your employee’s current status). DOL and USCIS processing times frequently change and on average take 3 or more months to process. While petitions submitted to USCIS can be expedited, DOL does not expedite and operates on a strict “first in - first out” rule.
When H-1B employment ends, you must contact OIFS immediately. H-1Bs are only authorized to stay in the U.S. through the expiration date on their I-94 or their termination date, whichever is sooner. When changing employers, be sure that their new employer has filed a petition with USCIS before terminating their employment with the UA. There should not be any gaps in dates when changing employers. There is no grace period for H-1Bs.