H-1B Temporary Professional Workers
H-1B Overview/Q&AH-1B Temporary Professional Worker
The Florida State University Center for Global Engagement submits H-1B temporary professional worker petitions to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on behalf of foreign faculty, researchers and professional staff employed by the university.
Who initiates the H-1B petition?
Departments initiate the requests for new petitions, extensions, and amended petitions by completing the forms and submitting the appropriate documents and fees as explained in the links below. The Center for Global Engagement will prepare the petition for submission to USCIS.
For how long is the H-1B valid?
The maximum period permitted in H status is 6 years (certain exceptions apply). Petitions may be submitted to request no more than 3 years at a time.
When should the department submit the request?
Departments should submit the H-1B request materials to the Center at least 3 - 4 months before the anticipated start date of employment if the employee is outside the U.S. or if the employee is currently in the U.S. in a different nonimmigrant status.
The Center for Global Engagement needs approximately two to three weeks to prepare the petition
USCIS will usually approve the petition within 2 - 3 months, although timing can vary.
For a $1,225 fee, USCIS will process the petition in 15 or fewer days.
What if the employee is already in H status?
If the prospective employee is currently in H-1B status, he/she can begin employment in the new or amended position as soon as USCIS has received the petition (proven by issuance of the receipt notice).
How far in advance can FSU submit a petition?
Are there salary requirements associated with the H1-B?
Before submitting an H-1B petition, the Center for Global Engagement must obtain a Labor Condition Application certified by the U.S. Department of Labor. To obtain the certification, the Center for Global Engagement must attest, on behalf of the employing department, that the department will pay at least the prevailing wage or the actual wage, whichever is higher. The Center for Global Engagement can discuss the salary with the department prior to the department completing the H-1B request forms.
I've heard about an H-1B cap. Will that affect FSU's ability to submit an H-1B petition?
No, universities are exempt from the annual limit of H-1B visas.
What about dependents?
In the U.S.: Dependents (spouse and children under 21) in the U.S. hold H-4 status, or they may hold another status on their own. To extend their stay (if already H-4), or to change their status to H-4 from another nonimmigrant status, the dependents must submit an I-539 form to the Center for Global Engagement to be mailed to USCIS with the H-1B petition.
Dependents outside the U.S.: Dependents outside the U.S. will need to apply for H-4 visas if they intend to come to the U.S. FSU will send them a copy of the approved H-1B petition and the original approval notice.
H-4 dependents cannot obtain employment authorization.
What if there are changes in the appointment? For example, what if a department wants a postdoc to teach, or if a department needs to change a full-time appointment to a part-time appointment (or part-time to full-time)?
Please contact the Center for Global Engagement BEFORE you make any changes in the terms or condition of the employment. Many changes (like the ones mentioned above) require us to file a new Labor Condition Application (LCA) and submit a new, amended, H-1B petition to USCIS. The changes in the employment should not occur until after we have filed the new LCA and petition. Some changes, like moving from one department to another, with no changes in duties or salary, do not require a new LCA or amended petition.
May an H-1B employee take classes?
Yes, an H-1B employee may take classes, as long as they are fulfilling the duties of the job that is the basis of their H-1B status. However, if a part-time employee wants to engage in full-time studies, they should apply to change their status to F-1 or J-1 student. The nonimmigrant status should reflect the individual's primary purposes for being in the U.S. If study is full-time and work is part-time, the H-1B is not an appropriate status. An H-1B employee may be eligible to be classified as a Florida resident for tuition purposes.
If FSU submits an H-1B petition for an employee, will this lead to a green card?
Not necessarily. The H-1B is for temporary employment, although it is often the best choice of nonimmigrant status for an employee who is going to hold a permanent position. Departments should talk to Kristen Hagen, 850-644.9563, firstname.lastname@example.org if they are considering taking steps to support an employee in the green card process.
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