international programs

H-1B TEMPORARY WORKER STATUS

General Considerations

  • The H-1B category is designed for temporary workers who hold advanced degrees and are employed in specialty occupations. In order to qualify for an H-1B visa, an individual must possess a Bachelor’s degree or higher, and receive a job offer from the College. The position must require the use of the advanced degree and must be a professional or a specialized position.          
  • H-1B petitions are filed by an employer, not the employee. Moreover, these petitions are “employer-specific.”
  •  An individual can remain in H-1B status for a maximum of six (6) years.
  • The initial status approval can be for up to three years and (an) extension/s must be requested thereafter.
  •  Even though universities are exempt from the H-1b quota, for-profit employers continue to be subject to the H-1B cap,  limiting the number of H-1B visas which would be available in a given year.

Processing Information

  • The H-1B petition involves three stages: 1) a prevailing wage application to the New York State Department of Labor, 2) a Labor Condition Application to the U.S. Department of Labor, and 3) an H-1B petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Generally, processing by the New York State and U.S. Departments of Labor (DOL) and USCIS can take six months or longer.
  • Beneficiaries in college unions are not subject to stage 1, however.
  • Please note that individuals from certain countries may experience longer processing times because of 9/11/01-related background checks.
  • Petitions can be expedited and "premium processed" within 15 days for an additional fee of $1,000

Please download H-1b Temporary Worker Status Handout for more detail, a checklist, and applicant questionnaire.