Texas Tech University

H-1B Non-Immigrant Workers in Specialty Occupations

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The H-1B status has been commonly used by American universities in hiring foreign professors and researchers. Its advantages include a six-year maximum period of stay, its lack of a prohibition on the application for permanent residence in the United States, and its short processing time relative to the processing of an application for permanent resident status.

How to obtain H-1B Status

According to federal regulations, persons in H-1B status will perform services in a specialty occupation that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge with the attainment of a baccalaureate or higher degree (or its equivalent), as a minimum requirement for entry into the occupation in the United States. Applications to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for H-1B status must be accompanied by a Labor Condition Application certified by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). A $500 "anti-fraud" fee must be paid for initial H-1B employment with an employer along with the regular application fee of $460. Both fees are to be paid by the employing department.

Persons in H‑1B status may be allowed to remain in the United States for a maximum period of six years after which they would be required to leave the United States for at least one year before returning in H-1B status again. The initial H-1B period can be applied for up to 3 years with the possibility of extension for a total period of 6 years. Universities are not subject to the annual cap on the number of available H-1B visas. The petitioner (employer) is required under DOL regulations to pay return transportation if the H-1B worker is terminated prior to the end of H-1B status. Applicants for permanent residence may be eligible under certain circumstances for more than six years in H-1B status.

How long dose it take to process?

An application for H-1B status should be expected to take at least 4 months or more unless premium processing is requested and an additional fee of $2,500 is paid. If the prospective employee is outside the United States, additional time will be taken for the H-1B visa application at a U.S. consulate.

H-1B and TTU

Applications for H-1B status at Texas Tech are governed by OP 70.36. The H-1B process at Texas Tech starts with a request by the employing unit of the University after one year of full-time employment at TTU. 

Clara Lindeman (Elliott) - Lead Administrator International Faculty Services - clara.lindeman@ttu.edu

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