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H-1B

ois---h1b.jpgThe H-1B non-immigrant visa classification is assigned to foreign nationals who come to the United States for “temporary” employment. At UMMC, the H-1B classification is used to employ faculty, researchers and certain staff positions.

  • An employer must be willing to “sponsor” an H-1B employee. By assuming the sponsorship role, the employer agrees to abide by the H-1B regulations as well as the attestations mandated by the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • The employment offered must be in a “specialty occupation,” which is another way of stating that it must be a professional position.
  • The job offered must require a minimum educational requirement of a bachelor’s degree.
  • An H-1B applicant must possess either: (a) a U.S. bachelor’s or higher level degree related to the position; (b) an equivalent foreign degree; or (c) equivalent education/training/experience.
  • If a license is required for employment, the applicant must possess the license at the time the H-1B petition is filed. If the employee is granted an interim or temporary license and is required to work under supervision, H-1B employment is limited to a period of one year or the duration of the license, whichever is longer.
  • Foreign physicians involved in direct patient care must meet all of the following: (a) pass all three steps of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE); (b) show competency in oral and written English (included as part of USMLE); (c) be a graduate of an approved foreign medical school, and; (d) possess a license or authorization required by the state in which he/she will practice.

Sponsoring departments should consult with the Office of International Services before making an offer of H-1B employment to an applicant. The OIS must determine if an H-1B visa is the best option for a particular applicant or if the applicant is eligible for H-1B status. For example, if an applicant has been in J-1 status and is subject to the two-year home residency requirement, H-1B authorization is not an option until the applicant has obtained a waiver. If the applicant is already in the United States, it is important to assess factors such as his/her current nonimmigrant status, the length of time spent in that status, and the date the status expires.