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H-1B Application Process

[Updated on 08/11/2015]
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.