The H-1B non-immigrant visa is an employment-based visa category intended for temporary employment in the US. The position must be considered a “Specialty Occupation,” which means the job requires at least a Bachelor’s degree in the particular subject area of the employment. The employee must document meeting the minimum requirement.
OISS recommends initiating the H-1B at least six months before the H-1B begin date. Less lead time can increase the potential for delays, lapse in payroll, or requirements to leave the US for immigration purposes. Once the appointment has been confirmed with Academic Personnel or HR, the department may submit an H-1B request in UCSBGlobal. OISS will begin preparing the H-1B petition after the H-1B has been initiated/approved in UCSBGlobal, and all supporting materials have been provided.
The application must be filed by the employer (UCSB). To initiate an H-1B visa request, the sponsoring department should gather the materials below and submit them to OISS through UCSBGlobal.
- H-1B Department Checklist: these items will be uploaded to UCSBGlobal. Please arrange to have checks delivered to OISS.
- H-1B Employees: Once the department has submitted the H-1B request in UCSBGlobal and OISS has approved the department request, the H-1B Employee will receive an email from OISS, inviting them to log into UCSBGlobal to complete an H-1B Scholar Questionnaire and upload all needed H-1B documents (these will include CV, transcripts/diploma, and immigration documents).
A requirement for the H-1B visa is that the employer must prove that the salary meets or exceeds the Department of Labor prevailing wage for the position. OISS will render a prevailing wage as part of the H-1B preparation process.
Planning for H-1B processing
There are two options for changing to or extending the H-1B status:
- In-country processing is best when there is no need to travel and sufficient time for the application to be approved. NOTE: The applicant may not travel outside the U.S. until the H-1B request is approved. If the applicant leaves the U.S. while the application is in process, the H-1B petition will be considered abandoned.
- Consular Processing: The employee obtains the new H-1B visa from the U.S. Consulate abroad, and then enters the U.S. in the new H-1B status. NOTE: Immigration's approval for the new period of H-1B will not take effect until it has been used for U.S. entry from abroad.
Traveling? To reenter the U.S., H-1B employees will need:
- a valid H-1B visa stamp in their passport,
- the original I-797 H-1B Approval Notice,
- a copy of I-129 petition, with a copy of the Labor Condition Application,
- a current Employment Verification Letter, provided by the UCSB Department.
Note: As with all visas, an H-1B entry visa may only be obtained from a US Consular Office outside of the United States. Please refer to detailed instructions from the US Department of State here.
For Further Information about H-1B status, please refer to Guidelines for H-1B Employees