SCSU's H-1B Process for Full-time, Tenure-track International Faculty Hires
• CONTACT THE OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION (OIE): Connect the faculty hire with the OIE's Immigration Specialist to obtain the H-1B Application as soon as possible since USCIS processing times can take up to 6 months for adjudication.
•APPLICATION: The H-1B Application requires several supplemental documents including
but not limited to:
-Copies of all I-20s if individual has ever been in F-1 status (many H-1B faculty hires transition to the H-1B visa after being on one year of F-1 OPT)
-Copies of all DS-2019s if individual has ever been in J-1 status
-Copy of his/her most recent I-94
-Copy of Passport
-Copy of Visa
-Front and back copy of Employment Authorization Document (EAD) card, if applicable
-Front and back copy of Social Security Card, if applicable
-Copy of Signed Offer Letter of Employment
-Copy of Undergraduate and Graduate Diploma(s)
-Official undergraduate/graduate transcript(s)
-Updated copy of Curriculum Vitae (C.V.)
• LABOR CONDITION APPLICATION (LCA): The first step in filing the H-1B is submitting the LCA with the Department of Labor. The submitted LCA gets certified by the DOL generally within seven days, and the certified LCA becomes part of the H-1B petition. OIE's Immigration Specialist provides a copy of the certified LCA to the faculty hire. Two additional copies of the LCA are maintained: one for the faculty member's file in the OIE and one for Public Access Files in the OIE, per Federal Regulation requirements.
• USCIS FORM I-129 (H-1B PETITION): OIE's Immigration Specialist completes Form I-129 with all supporting documents listed above.
• DEPENDENTS (H-4): The OIE does not consult on completing Form I-539 for H-4 Dependents. Faculty hires are responsible for completing and sealing Form I-539 to be submitted concurrently with the H-1B petition. Form I-539 is required to adjust the status of the faculty member's dependents if they are in the U.S.; if they are not in the U.S., Form I-539 does not have to be completed.
• REQUEST FOR EVIDENCE/INFORMATION (RFE): USCIS may issue an RFE if additional information is required or if a section of the Form I-129 needs clarification. This can delay the overall approval process, depending on the information asked.
• PROCESSING TIMES: H-1B petition processing time at the OIE is up to 1 month before filing the petition with USCIS. Actual processing time with USCIS takes approximately 4-6 months, minimum. Premium Processing* (additional fee required) takes 15 calendar days. On April 3, 2017, Premium Processing was temporarily suspended by USCIS until July 24th 2017 for cap-exempt employers such as SCSU. The suspension was fully lifted on October 3rd, 2017.
• H-1B APPROVAL: When the H-1B petition is approved, OIE's Immigration Specialist receives an email notification from USCIS and the OIE can expect to receive the Form I-797 Notice of Action (H-1B Approval) in the mail shortly.
• FORM I-797 and I-94 EXPRESS MAILED: Once the H-1B petition has been approved, OIE's Immigration Specialist retains a copy of the original I-797 and mails the original I-94 (attached to the bottom of the I-797) via FedEx to the faculty abroad or within the U.S. to apply for his/her H-1B visa.
• CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Any change of address must be submitted to USCIS within 10 days of moving either online or via Form AR-11: Change of Address Information. OIE's Immigration Specialist and/or faculty can complete this.
• CONTACT/UPDATES: H-1B faculty must keep in close contact with OIE's Immigration Specialist or the OIE's Director. If specific changes in employment occur, an amended H-1B petition must be filed with USCIS.
• LAWFUL PERMANENT RESIDENCE (GREEN CARD STATUS): The next step after acquiring H-1B status is applying for permanent residency. While there are several pathways to permanent residency, the ones directly related to SCSU are under the Employment-Based Categories: "EB-1:Outstanding Professors and Researchers" and "EB-2: Advanced Degree." For more information regarding SCSU's Permanent Residency Process, please contact the OIE's Immigration Specialist or the OIE's Director.
The faculty hire must submit the H1-B Application Form and all supporting documents to:
Jazmin Sharif, Immigration Specialist
Office of International Education
In order to avoid delays and complications, it is recommended that you contact the Director of the Office of International Education, Erin Heidkamp prior to finalizing the job offer: firstname.lastname@example.org. This will enable the OIE to review the employee's immigration history and make an initial assessment of the complexities of the situation.