H-1B Specialty Occupation

For long-term employment (including tenure-track positions) in teaching and research, the H-1B visa status is most commonly used. H-1B status can be extended for up to six years and allows transition to permanent residency for qualified foreign nationals.

The H-1B process involves approval by several governmental agencies and significant processing times. Because the H-1B approval process can take up to six months, it is highly recommended that paperwork to initiate an H-1B petition be submitted seven to eight months in advance of the employment start date.

To initiate an H-1B application, the following information must be completed and submitted to Office International Services.

Steps for Initiating an H-1B Petition

H1-B Worksheet

Information from this form is used to prepare the H-1B petition. The Worksheet includes a statement on the Return Travel Guarantee: the department must agree to provide one-way return transportation to the home country or country last resided in outside the U.S. if the employment is terminated prior to the end of the H-1B period for which the department petitioned. This guarantee is signed by the dean/director or chair of the department.

Statement of Actual Wage Determination

Information from this form is used to determine the “actual wage,” which is defined as the wage paid by the employer to all other individuals with similar experience, qualifications, education, job responsibility and function, and specialized knowledge for the employment in question.

Export Control Certification

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires review and certification relative to export controlled technology or technical data released to an international employee.

Letter of Support

The sample letter offers guidelines on what should be placed in the blanks of the letter of support. Once you have completed the letter, have it signed by the department chair, dean or director.

Copies of Employee's Documents

Once all of the above forms and documents are received, the ISO Faculty and Scholar Advisor will request the prevailing wage determination from the Texas Workforce Commission.