The H-1B non-immigrant status permits temporary employment in specialty occupations. The minimum educational level acceptable for H-1B status is a bachelor's degree in the field of the proposed employment.
H-1B status is for aliens with specialty occupations coming to the United States temporarily to perform services of a professional nature. Under current regulations, H-1B status is granted for an initial period of three years, and a three-year extension is possible for a maximum duration of six years. H-1B petition is employer specific. A prospective H-1B employee must have professional skills and a university degree (at minimum, a bachelor's degree) in the same or a related field as the job offered. For more information on how to maintain valid H-1B status, please see below.
Dependents of H-1B holders are eligible for H-4 status. H-4 holders are not eligible to work in the U.S.
CSUN will support H-1B status for an alien who has been offered a full-time, temporary position as a faculty member.
New H-1B Petition at CSUN
All requests for H-1B status at CSUN must be initiated through the academic department or the prospective international faculty by contacting Marta Lopez at (818) 677 3053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org and Patricia Marquez at email@example.com.
Steps of The H-1B Petition
- The CSUN employing department and/or the prospective international faculty contacts the IESC to determine if an H-1B status is appropriate. Please note, a non-immigrant who has been in J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant status and is subject to the Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement must either return to his/her home country for two years or obtain a waiver of this requirement before being eligible for H 1B status. The waiver process can take from three to twelve months.
- The prospective international faculty completes the H-1B Data Collection Form and submits it to IESC for review. IESC requests the Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the U.S. Department of Labor.
- IESC reviews H-1B request and prepares the petition. If documents are missing, IESC will contact the department and/or the prospective international faculty.
- IESC obtains a certified LCA from the U.S. Department of Labor within 30 days of step 2.
- IESC submits the H-1B petition to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- USCIS approval:
- If the employee is not in the U.S., IESC sends the approval notice to the prospective international faculty abroad to obtain the H-1B visa stamp to enter the U.S.
- H-1B employees extending CSUN employment may remain on payroll while waiting for approval if the request was submitted to USCIS before the current H-1B expires. As long as the extension petition is received by the USCIS before current expiration, the person is given 240 days of "grace" to remain living and working in the U.S. while the petition is pending.
- H-1B status holders who are changing employers to CSUN may be eligible for CSUN payroll when USCIS receives the petition and as a result IESC receives a copy of the USCIS H-1B petition receipt – but not before.
- H-1B status holder who is already working at CSUN, but is moving to a different job within CSUN, may be eligible for CSUN payroll when USCIS receives the amended petition and as a result IESC receives a copy of the USCIS H-1B petition receipt – but not before.
- Employees changing to H-1B status may begin working in H-1B status when the Notice of Approval has been received from the USCIS.
The H-1B Petition Process Overview
1. Prospective international faculty submits H-1B request to IESC
2. IESC reviews H-1B request and prepares petition
3. IESC obtains LCA from U.S. Department of Labor
4. IESC submits H-1B petition to USCIS
5. H-1B approval
Maintaining Valid H-1B Status
It is the responsibility of each H-1B employee to be familiar with the immigration requirements related to their status. Following the guidelines below will help you avoid unnecessary problems.
- Passport Validity. Keep your passport valid for six months beyond the duration of your H-1B status (see dates on the I-797 approval notice).
- Address Notification. Report an address change within 10 days of the move. To report an address change you must:
- I-94 Expiration. Do not remain in the U.S. beyond the expiration date of your I-94 card. Email Marta Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org and Patricia Marquez at email@example.com your latest copy of I-94 card after each entry into the U.S.
- Employment. Do not accept any employment other than that which is approved under your H-1B petition.
- H-1B Extensions. Remind your department to initiate the H-1B extension process as early as six months before your H-1B expiration date. Please contact our office if you plan to travel outside of the country while we are processing your H-1B extension or change of status. If you need to extend or renew your driver's license, you should allow for sufficient IESC and USCIS processing time.
- Notification of Changes. Ask your department to notify our office of any material changes in your employment, including a change of department, job duties, hours, title and/or work location.
H-4 status is limited to spouses and/or children of H-1B beneficiaries. H-4 status for children expires when they reach 21 years of age. Contact Marta Lopez at (818) 677 3053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org and Patricia Marquez at email@example.com at least six months before the date your child reaches age 21 to discuss your options.
- H-1B dependents who entered the US in H-4 status or who changed to H-4 status from another non-immigrant status may remain in the U.S. until the end date noted on their last I-94 card.
- H-4 status is contingent upon the continued validity of the principal H-1B employee. If H-4 dependents are physically in the U.S. and their status is expiring, they must file a Form I-539 concurrently with the main beneficiary to extend status. If they are abroad, they must apply for an H-4 visa stamp with the documents of the main beneficiary to be able to enter the U.S.
- H-4 dependents traveling separately must take the original I-797 H-4 approval notice (if applicable), proof of relationship (e.g. marriage/birth certificate) and copies of the H-1B documents.
- H-4 dependents are permitted to study in the U.S., but are not authorized to work.
Traveling outside of the U.S. on a H-1B Status
Certain petitions for change of status or extension of status to H-1B require that you remain physically present in the United States. If you are planning to travel before your H-1B is approved, contact Marta Lopez at (818) 677-3053 or at firstname.lastname@example.org and Patricia Marquez at email@example.com prior to your trip to ensure that you will not jeopardize your petition request.
Required Documents for H-1B Travel
To re-enter the U.S. in H-1B status and resume employment, you need the following documents.
- Passport valid for six months beyond the duration of your H-1B status (see dates on the I-797 approval notice)
- I-797 approval notice, original version
- Copies of forms I-129 (contact IESC if you do not have the original version)
- Copy of Certified Labor Condition Application filed on your behalf (contact IESC if you do not have a copy of this document)
- Letter verifying current employment from your department that confirms continued employment, job title, annual salary and dates of employment as listed on your I-797 H-1B approval notice, dated within one month of your visa interview
- H-1B valid visa stamp (not necessary for Canadian citizens)
If your visa has expired or you have changed your status to H-1B within the U.S., remember to obtain an H-1B visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate before returning to the United States. Present the travel documents mentioned above to the Consulate.