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).

Eligibility criteria

  • 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


H1-B Worksheet for Hiring Department

Petition Letter of Support Template

H1-B Worksheet for Non-immigrant Worker

The UTSA Hiring Department must contact International Scholar Services to begin the process.  Hiring Department is legally responsible for payment of federal fees.