INTERNATIONAL STUDENT & SCHOLAR SERVICES

H1B FACULTY

University of Oregon colleges, schools and departments that would like to hire international faculty on a temporary basis may need to apply for an H-1B visa. Please note that the University must receive approval of the H-1B petition from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before the employee can begin work. On average it takes about 4 to 5 months to obtain an H-1B visa.

The H-1B is a nonimmigrant classification used by international faculty or staff who will be employed at the UO for up to 6 years.

The H-1B visa is "employer specific" and "position specific." Thus, employees must obtain a new H-1B visa approval for each new position and employer.

Information:

Eligibility Criteria
Application Checklist & Materials
On going Department Responsibilities
Processing Times
Fees
Employee Salary Requirements
Part Time Employees
Length of Stay in the U.S.
"Dual Intent" Law
Spouses & Children (H-4)
Employees applying outside the U.S.
Address Change
Change in Employment
Extension of H-1B status
Travel
U.S. Embassies Abroad

Eligibility Criteria

The H-1B visa allows foreign nationals to temporarily work in the U.S. in specialty occupations. Specialty occupations are essentially professional positions.

The H-1B visa category has the following key requirements:

• Applicant must have theoretical and practical application of a highly specialized body of knowledge.
• The position must require a minimum of a Bachelor's degree.
• UO must file the H-1B petition; prospective employees cannot obtain H-1B visas on their own.

If the employee has had a J visa and is subject to the 2-year home residency (212e), they may not be eligible for an H visa. Contact International Affairs for details.

Staff Eligible for H-1B Visas are:

• Tenure Track Faculty
• Post doctorate Research Associate
• Instructor
• Other positions that require at least a Bachelor's degree

Application Checklist & Materials

• New H-1B Visa - In US
• New H-1B visa - Outside US
• Extension of H-1B visa
• Spouse or Children

Ongoing Department Responsibilities: Ensuring H-1B Compliance

As the hiring department, you are responsible for ensuring that your H-1B employee's job duties remain in compliance with USCIS regulations. Substantial changes in job duties or FTE may require the UO to file an H-1B amendment with USCIS. Substantial changes include, but are not limited to:

• Promotions
• Demotions
• Changes in job duties, responsibilities
• Changes in appointment percentage (FTE)
• Decreases in hours, salary, benefits
• Changes in physical work location
• Moves/Transfers to other UO departments

Processing Times

Standard processing: The H-1B approval process takes approximately 3-4 months. Please note that H-1B petitions cannot be processed more than 6 months in advance of the contract start date. We recommend that H-1B requests be submitted to International Affairs 6 months in advance.

Premium processing: In order to expedite your H-1B petition USCIS requires an additional $1,225 fee. Petitions submitted via premium processing are usually processed within 15 days of receipt by USCIS.

Fees for Application

• $500 anti-fraud fee for all new H-1b petitions
• $325 fee for all H-1B petitions
• $1,225 optional fee for Premium Processing

All checks must be separate and made out to USCIS.

Employee Salary Requirements

• UO departments must agree to pay employees who have H-1B visas at least the actual wage being paid to all other individuals with similar experience or qualifications for the specific employment in question or the prevailing wage level for the occupation in the area of employment, whichever is higher.

• If your department dismisses the employee before the end of the authorized period of H-1B employment, your department will be responsible for paying the reasonable costs of return transportation of the employee to the employee's last place of foreign residence.

Part Time Employees

The UO may request H-1B visas for foreign nationals who work part time at the University of Oregon. If an H-1B visa is approved for part-time employment, the employing department must make certain that the foreign national does not work more than the FTE for which he/she is being paid. Exceeding the FTE indicated in the H-1B petition would result in the imposition of fines or other penalties against your department and the University of Oregon by USCIS and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Length of Stay in the U.S.

An individual may generally hold H-1B status for 3 years at a time, up to a maximum of 6 years. However, all years must be covered by a UO contract. After the 6-year limit is reached, there will be a 1-year bar before a new H-1B status can be obtained.

"Dual Intent" Law

The H-1B visa allows the UO sponsoring department and the employee to have "dual intent." Under the doctrine of "dual intent," the employee may have both the intent of holding a temporary H-1B visa, and the intention of applying for a permanent visa in the future. Thus the H-1B visa offers a bridge between non-immigrant status and permanent resident status.

Spouse & Children (H-4 visa)

Spouses and children of foreign nationals who hold H-1B visas are eligible for H-4 visas. Family members with H-4 visas cannot work in the U.S. under any circumstances but may attend academic institutions.

If the employee's dependents are currently in the U.S., and would like to obtain an H-4 visa then they must fill out the I-539 form for a change of status or extension. An additional application fee on a separate check for $290 to USCIS must also be submitted for dependents.

Click here for an  example I-539 form "Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status" with some helpful tips for filling it out.  This sample is meant to be a guide only.  Please contact International Affairs if you have any questions.

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For information about schools in Eugene, English language conversation programs, and other helpful resources for dependents who will be living in Eugene, download the  Dependents Packet.

Employees Applying from Outside the U.S.

If your employee is outside the U.S., additional time is needed after receiving the H-1B approval from the USCIS before the employee can begin work. Therefore, plan on additional time for the employee to obtain a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate oversees.

Address Change

All international scholars and faculty are required by law to keep their addresses updated with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). If you change your address, you must fill out the AR-11 (change of address) form and mail it to USCIS within 10 days of moving. Failing to report your change of address may jeopardize your legal immigration status.

Change In Employment

Changes in employment generally require a new H-1B petition.

Change or concurrent employer:
A change in the employer or an addition of an employer must be approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) through a new petition. Each department at the University of Oregon is considered a different employer. Therefore, if you change departments, or add another job with another department, a new petition must be filed with the USCIS before you can start work.

Change in FTE:
A change in the FTE of your position will require a new petition. The petition must be filed with USCIS before a change in your work hours can occur.

Payment from other Employers:
H-1B visa holders are not allowed to accept honorarium from other institutions. However, they can be reimbursed for their expenses.

Extension of H-1B Status

In order to extend your H-1B visa status, please notify your department to begin the H-1B extension process.

Apply early! Extensions can take 3-4 months. A maximum of 6 years is allowed on the H-1B visa, unless there has  been a physical absence from the U.S. for more than one year.

Click here for a checklist of documents needed for H1b extension.

Travel

Important Changes to International Travel

  1. The I-94 card will no longer be issued if you are traveling by air or sea.  This process will now happen electronically.  You can read more about this at the USCIS website. This means when you leave the U.S. you will remove your I-94 card as usual and when you return you will not receive a new one. After you return, if you need proof of your arrival, you can print out your I-94 card at cbp.gov/I94. If you are traveling to the U.S. by land you will still receive an I-94 card.  If you are traveling to Canada and re-entering by Automatic Visa Revalidation you will keep your I-94 card when departing as usual.

For travel outside the United States the following documents are required for re-entry.

H-1B Visa Holders:

  • Original Form I-797, H-1B Approval Notice from USCIS which is valid for a period beyond the anticipated travel
  • Copy of Form I-129 and Labor Condition Application, from the packet provided by International Affairs with the approval notice
  • Valid H visa stamp in the passport (except trips to Canada for less than 30 days)
  • Passport (valid at least 6 months into the future)
  • UO Contract
  • Recommended: Current letter from faculty sponsor verifying your employment. The letter should include your title, salary, and dates of employment.
  • If you have ever been subject to the 212(e) Home Residency Requirement, a copy of your 212(e) Waiver notice

H-4 Dependent Visa Holders:

  • Original Form I-797, H-4 Approval Notice from USCIS which is valid for a period beyond the anticipated travel
  • Valid H visa stamp in the passport (except trips to Canada for less than 30 days)
  • Passport (valid at least 6 months into the future)

If you need a visa stamp:
You will need to make a visa appointment at a U.S. Consulate in advance. Please be prepared to bring the above travel documents in addition to any documents required by the U.S. Consulate you will apply at. You can usually find this information on the consulate website.

If you are traveling outside of the U.S. while your H-1B visa is pending, you will not be able to re-enter the U.S. until your visa is approved.

US Embassies Abroad