The H–1B is a work authorization visa. It allows a non–immigrant to work as a professional in a "specialty occupation" for a specific U.S. employer, for a specific period of time, and in a specific location.
The first step in the H–1B process is the employer’s decision to sponsor a foreign national for H–1B.
UTSA Hiring Department must ask:
- Does the employer’s position qualify as a specialty occupation?
- Does the foreign national have the necessary credentials to qualify for H–1B status?
A specialty occupation is one that requires a theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the field of specialization. Some professions may require advanced degrees, licenses, or certificates beyond the bachelor’s (such as teachers, accountants, lawyers, or post-doctoral fellows).
- Professional degree and skill
- Evidence that position to be filled requires professional skills and is temporary
Possible income from U.S. sources
- Unlimited income from UTSA
- No other income without petition from new employer
Maximum length of stay in U.S.
- Three years initially
- Renewable for total of no more than six years
- May have long-term intent to immigrate
- Not subject to home-country residence requirement
- Large amount of supporting documentation needed
- Job must pay prevailing wage
- Dependents may not work
Supporting documentation needed (This is not a complete list. The UTSA Hiring Department must contact International Scholar Services to begin the process.)
- Certified copy of highest degree
- Employer letter
- Labor condition application
- Curriculum vitae
- I-94 card
- List of publications, if applicable
- Copy of passport
- Copies of any previous U.S. immigration documents
- I-129 (issued by UTSA)
- Payment records from prior H-1B employers
The UTSA Hiring Department must contact International Scholar Services to begin the process. Hiring Department is legally responsible for payment of federal fees.