Temporary specialty worker (H-1B)
The H-1B status grants temporary nonimmigrant work
authorization. This status is based on a petition submitted by the employer to
the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Service
The basic requirements for H-1B status are:
- the position qualifies as a specialty position,
requiring a specific educational background
- the wages and working conditions comply with
Arizona employment regulations and the U.S. Department of Labor foreign labor
Northern Arizona University will seek H-1B status for
- tenure-track positions
- research positions with funding for the period
of intended employment
- staff and
other positions (such as instructor and lecturer) that meet the specialty requirements
H-1B status allows the employee to work for a United States employer in a
specific location for a certain period of time. Multiple employers are allowed
as long as each employer submits a separate H-1B petition for USCIS approval.
At Northern Arizona University, H-1B petitions are prepared
by the Center for International Education (CIE) on behalf of departments that
- interested in hiring an international applicant
- continuing the employment of an individual who
needs to change from a current or expiring work eligible status to this work
Because there are several types of work authorizations available to
international employees, the International Scholar Adviser will assist
employers in deciding which is best for the department’s and individual’s
The maximum initial period of authorization is three years.
A three-year extension is possible for a total of six years in H-1B status.
- I-129 Petition: USCIS filing fee paid by the Northern
Arizona University hiring department
- USCIS anti-fraud fee ($500) for each new
petition (not extensions): paid by the hiring department
- I-907 Request for Premium Processing Services: paid
by the hiring department or employee (depends on the timing of the filing)
- I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant
Status: USCIS fee for dependent to change or extend status paid by the employee
Responsibilities of the International Scholar Adviser
When the determination is made that H-1B status is
appropriate for the individual and the department, the International Scholar
- request information from the department and the
- seek a determination from the Arizona Department
of Employment Security that the salary offered meets the prevailing wage for
similar workers in this geographic area of the employment
- file a Foreign Labor Certification Request with
the U.S. Department of Labor
- upon approval of the request, file the petition
and fees with USCIS to classify the individual as a temporary worker in the specialty occupation
- request that the individual be authorized to
seek an H-1B visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad or, if the individual is
physically present in the United States and is eligible for a change of
nonimmigrant status, be granted H-1B status for employment at the university (the
process is the same for H-1B extension requests)
Filing an H-1B petition
An H-1B petition may be filed up to six months prior to the
start of employment.
The processing time at the USCIS Service Center varies from one to six months, so the earlier filed, the more likely the adjudication will arrive in time for the start of employment.
If a petition must be submitted close to the time of intended employment, expedited processing can be requested with a USCIS premium processing fee of $1,225. When the petition with the additional fee is submitted, this processing guarantees adjudication within 15 days, unless USCIS requires a security check.
If the employee is outside the United States, adequate time must also be allowed to obtain an H-1B visa at a US embassy or consulate. The visa application process varies from country to country, as does the time it takes for the visa to be issued.
Dependents of the H-1B may submit an application for H-4 dependent status at the same time the application for H-1B status is submitted.
An H-1B employee requesting an extension of H-1B status can continue employment for 240 days, pending USCIS approval of the extension request.
The Center for International Education must be notified immediately in writing of any proposed changes to the employees’ job duties and/or change of job location, or termination of employment.
If an H-1B employee is dismissed prior to the end of the period of the authorized employment, the department is responsible for the reasonable cost of return transportation to the employee’s last place of residence abroad. If the H-1B voluntarily terminates employment, the employer is not liable for the cost of return transportation.