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H-1B Specialty Occupations and Submissions

General Information

The position requires a bachelor’s degree or higher in a body of specialized knowledge and the H-1B employee must hold the appropriate degree.

The H-1B non-immigrant status is specific to the following:

  • The employer
  • The H-1B worker or new hire
  • The job to be performed by the H-1B worker or new hire
  • The job location

The ISO processes all H-1Bs for the University. Outside counsel is not used to process H-1Bs.

An H-1B worker will have an approved petition from USCIS on Form I-797 stating that the University of Rochester is the petitioner. 

The position must be full-time; no H-1Bs for part-time positions will be processed for the University of Rochester.

The hiring department must pay the H-1B filing fees.

H-1B Processing Timeline

Submit initial and extension requests to the ISO six (6) months in advance. This is the earliest ISO can file with the Department of Labor and USCIS.

See the H-1B processing time page for more information.

H-1B Petition Types

Initial H-1B Petitions

Initial requests fall into one of three categories:

  • Change of Status
  • Consulate Notification
  • Portability

Change of Status

If an initial H-1B request is for a new hire who is already in the U.S. but in a different status, such as J-1 Scholar or F-1 Student, a change of status is necessary. ISO is premium processing change of status requests due to the lengthy back log of normal processing at USCIS. An H-1B approval notice (Form I-797) from USCIS must be received by ISO before the new hire begins working as a University employee.

Consulate Notification

If an initial H-1B request is for a new hire who is outside the U.S., it may be necessary for the new hire to obtain a visa stamp in their passport from a U.S. Consulate or Embassy in their country of citizenship. Canadian citizens do not need a visa stamp to enter the U.S.

ISO is premium processing consulate notification requests due to the lengthy back log of normal processing at USCIS. ISO will notify the hiring department when an H-1B approval notice (Form I-797) arrives and arrange for it to be picked up by the department. It is the department's responsibility to ship the notice, along with a copy of the H-1B petition, to the new employee. The employee needs to bring these documents and others to their consular visa appointment. 

Learn more about obtaining an H-1B visa stamp.

Portability

If an initial H-1B request is for a new hire who is already in the U.S. and working in the H-1B classification for a different employer, USCIS allows the new employer to "port" the current H-1B. Once the University has filed a portability petition with USCIS and received a USCIS receipt (Form I-797) for the H-1B petition, immigration regulations allow the new employee to begin working for the University of Rochester while the H-1B petition is pending with USCIS.

Extension of H-1B Petitions

By mutual agreement between the department and the employee, an initial H-1B can be extended for up to three (3) years. While an H-1B extension is pending with USCIS, the H-1B employee is allowed to continue to work for up to 240 days after the expiration of the prior H-1B validity period.

ISO QUESTIONNAIRES

Employees

Please submit a completed H-1B Employee Questionnaire, and (if applicable) a completed H-1B Family Member Questionnaire for each eligible dependent, to your hiring department at the University. Include all supporting documentation with your questionnaire(s).

Department Representatives

Please submit a completed H-1B Department Questionnaire along with all supporting documentation, fees, the H-1B Employee Questionnaire and any H-1B Family Member Questionnaire to the ISO.