An H-1B temporary worker is defined as a person who will perform services in a specialty occupation defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as one which requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge to fully perform the occupation and requires the completion of a specific course of education culminating in a baccalaureate degree or higher in a specific occupational specialty [I.N.A. 214 (i) (1)]. The H-1B petition is employer and employment specific.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston is authorized by the United States Citizenship Immigration Service (USCIS) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to sponsor H-1B visas for eligible candidates.
The Office of International Affairs is the sole designated office for the University to process and sign Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security H-1B applications. Institutional policies preclude private legal counsel from filing applications on behalf of eligible candidates.
Refer to the H-1B visa application timeline and process flowchart below to learn about the process involved in securing this visa status for working on a specialty occupation at UTHealth
In accordance with institutional policy and federal regulations and in order that the Office of International Affairs staff may determine the eligibility to sponsor the H-1B, the department seeking to sponsor the H-1B must complete and submit required forms according to the appropriate H-1B Checklist and H-1B Application Packet on behalf of the international visitor.
H-1B petitions may be processed faster by USCIS for applicants who choose a Premium Processing Service. However, while USCIS guarantees 15 calendar day processing to qualifying petitioners, this two-week period of time only applies to USCIS reviewing of the petition and does not affect OIA processing time for any required preliminary steps to the mailing of the petition to USCIS. Preliminary steps include but are not limited to: sponsorship approval, prevailing wage determination, labor conditions application, notice posting, and preparation of appropriate forms.
Contact us with any questions related to the sponsorship of the H-1B and all visa requests for initial, transfer, amendment or extension of H-1B employment status.
H-1B Application Packet for Initial, Transfer, Amendment, or Extension of H-1B Employment Visa Status:
- H-1B Clinical Instructions Not for graduate medical education
- H-1B Exceptional Ability Instructions
- H-1B Non-Clinical Instructions
- Sample Appointment / Support Letter for visitors requiring H-1B sponsorship
- Sample Appointment / Support Letter for Postdocs requiring H-1B sponsorship
- U.S. Export Controls Form
- ETA_Form_9141 Prevailing Wage Application (valid to 03/31/2016)** Sponsoring Department completes SECTION E only on pages 2 & 3. NOTE: on Section E.a., Item 5 - provide detailed information in the job description that would enable DOL to provide the appropriate occupational code for the position. Please include the type of research the employee will conduct and the specific duties the employee will be required to do.
- ETA_Form_9141 General_Instructions
- ETA Form 9141 OES Code Search - Instruction for completing Part E a.2 and 2a. fields on ETA Form 9141
- Actual wage Instructions and Form
- H-1B Biodata Form
- Petition for a Non immigrant Worker -Form I-129
Amendment of H-1B Employment
The petitioner shall file an amended or new petition, with fee, with the Service Center where the original petition was filed to reflect any material changes in the terms and conditions of employment or training or the alien's eligibility as specified in the original approved petition. An amended or new H-1B petition must be accompanied by a current or new Department of Labor determination. In the case of an H-1B petition, this requirement includes a new labor condition application. 8 CFR 214.2(h)(2)(i)(E)
- Sample Memo for notification of intended adjustments to H-1B terms of Employment- utilize this sample to obtain clearance from OIA regarding the need for amending any H-1B original terms of employment (title, pay, job duties, site of activity, time percentage) with/without approval of H-1B Amendment Petition through USCIS.
Title. If the title change is a promotion to a higher position within the same occupation (e.g. Research Associate to Research Scientist) an amendment is likely not necessary, however if there is a significant change in job duties and/or skills used an amendment will be needed.
Pay. In general, an increase of 10% or less will be approved if it is due to merit or equity. Higher increases are analyzed on a case-by-case basis.
Duties. If there is a change in job duties, an amendment will likely be necessary.
Location. If the job location changes to a location outside of Harris County, an amendment is needed.
Time %. If there is any change in time percentage, such as from 40 hours a week to 30 or vice versa, an amendment is necessary.