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H-1B Application Process

[Updated on 03/10/2016]

Requesting H-1B employment status for a UK employee
If you are new to this process or you need a refresher course, consider setting up an individual meeting with UK's H-1B Advisor, William Arnold, before submitting any documentation.  If your department would like a group training, complete a request for training and we'll be glad to arrange a training workshop for your specific college or department.

Eligible Positions
For positions requiring a master’s degree or Ph.D., an "H-1B Assessment Packet" [PDF below] is the first step in the application process. This form must be completed by the hiring department and submitted to the H-1B Advisor with all the required supporting documentation. Individual candidates for H-1B status may not initiate the process.

Departments seeking an H-1B for a position, which requires a bachelor’s degree should visit the Eligible Positions section of this Web site for more information.

Determining the Start Date of H-1B Employment Status
Departments must allow approximately 180 days from the time a request is submitted to ISSS (submission of a completed Assessment Packet) in order to avoid any additional government processing fees.  Departments must consider the following factors in deciding a reasonable start date and/or whether expedited government processing (additional fee of $1,225) may be required:

  • An employee’s personal or work related travel itineraries (employees should inform departments as soon as possible)
  • Expiration of current visa status, gaps in current work authorization  including an employee changing to H-1B status or “porting” a current H-1B visa status.
  • Potential delays caused by requests for more evidence from the U.S. Dept. of Labor or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • Hiring or selection dates which are within 6 weeks from the requested date (from submission of a completed H-1B Assessment Packet)
  • Cases in which the individual is currently outside of the U.S. (or will be required to travel outside of the U.S. before beginning employment)
  • Pre-filing preparation and processing required for ISSS (typically 4-6 weeks) as well as USCIS processing times (3-4 months)

Many of above factors are out of the control of ISSS. Therefore, departments must allow ample time to complete the H-1B process given all possible factors.  ISSS is unable to process incomplete packets and packets will be returned to the sponsoring department.   Any request that does not allow 6 months for processing may be required to pay the additional Premium Processing fee of $1,225.

To comply with university policy, departments should also inform their candidates that obtaining H-1B status on their behalf does not obligate the university to sponsor the employee for permanent residence. Such sponsorship is left to the discretion of hiring officials.

Please contact Will Arnold at the UK International Center for updated H-1B Assessment forms or for access to the online forms in iCat.