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The H-1B visa category is a temporary work visa for non-U.S. workers in job position that requires at least a bachelor’s degree. The H-1B is typically used for tenure-track faculty, long-term academic researchers, and professional staff. In order to obtain an H-1B for an employee, the employer must document the appropriateness of the wages to be paid, the duties and responsibilities of the position to be filled, and the employee’s qualifications to fill that position.
Prevailing Wage Determination
The employer must pay the potential H-1B employee the Prevailing Wage (or higher) as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). International Scholar Services will assist you in obtaining a Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) as part of the H-1B process. If the PWD comes back from the Department of Labor at a wage that you are not willing to pay, then you will not be able to obtain an H-1B for the potential employee.
Length of Stay
The employer can request an H-1B for an employee for up to 3 years at a time. However, one can be in H-1B status for a maximum of 6 years.
Changes in Employment
The individual can work ONLY in the position that has been described in the H-1B petition and approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). ANY changes in employment status, including job title, transfer to another department, change in full-time vs. part-time status, or termination require the prior review of International Scholar Services to ensure compliance with H-1B regulations.
A routine H-1B petition can take 8 to 12 months to complete and gain approval by the USCIS. About 3 months of this time is spent complying with requirements of the DOL, concerning gaining a PWD and then certification of a Labor Condition Application (LCA). Following DOL certification of the LCA, the H-1B petition is submitted to the USCIS. USCIS can take 8 to 10 months to approve a routine H-1B petition. USCIS approval can be accelerated by paying a $1,225 Premium Processing Fee. USCIS then guarantees a response within 15 business days of receipt of the petition, or you get your fee back.
Cost of Return Transportation
The employer is liable for the cost of return transportation to the alien’s home country if the alien is dismissed for any reason. Therefore, the hiring department should apply for only the time period for which funding is guaranteed.
Academic Affairs Office (AAO) is responsible for processing all H-1B employment petitions for the University of North Dakota. The H-1B process is a five-step process.
Step 1 – Requesting an H-1B
Fill out and submit the Request for Employment of a Foreign National.
Note: If you are have trouble with the online form, please download the PDF form and submit to the Academic Affairs Specialist (Casey Hoffman).
- Once Academic Affairs has received your request you will be emailed an invoice. A department employee with funding signature authority should reply to the email to authorize the transfer. We will no longer be using Journal Entries.
- Federal filing fees are as follows: The Department must pay the H-1B Petition Fee of $460 and the Fraud Detection and Prevention fee of $500 in accordance with the H-1B Act of 2004. The Fraud fee is only applicable to the initial H-1B, not renewals. Moreover, if you decide on paying the Premium Process Fee, you must add $1,225 in another check. Depending on business need, it may be recommended to expedite the H-1B petition with Premium Processing. Employees are responsible for the $370 H-4 Dependent filing fee, payable by check to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. For detail on check payee requirements, please contact AAO.
- AAO charges a $1500 processing fee for each H-1B petition and $280 flat processing fee for H-4 applications. The H-4 fee applies to just those dependents that are already present in the United States and is payable by the employee. These are in addition to the required federal filing fees. These are non-refundable fees!
Employees: Click to Pay Dependent Immigration Federal and AAO Processing Fees. This step must be completed or the Dependent peition will not be submitted.
Please see Section 4 for details of the required processing documentation.
For a full cost breakdown, please contact AAO.
Deemed Export Attestation – Export Control
As part of Form I-129, Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires the University of North Dakota (UND) to determine if a license is required from either the U.S. Department of Commerce or the U.S. Department of State to release, or provide access to, technology or technical data to an H-1B, H-1B1 (Chile and Singapore), L-1, or O-1 petition beneficiary during his/her employment. If a license is required, UND must prevent the beneficiary from having access to the controlled technology or technical data until an export license or other authorization is obtained.
Form I-129 requires the petitioner to certify, under penalty of perjury, that they have reviewed the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) in making their determination of whether a license is required. Please review the following federal websites and the UND export control website before answering the Export Control Certification Questionnaire:
- For the EAR regulations: http://www.bis.doc.gov/policiesandregulations/ear/index.htm
- For the ITAR regulations: https://www.pmddtc.state.gov/regulations_laws/itar.html
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Part 6 of Form I-129: Frequently Asked Questions
UND, and the individual signing the I-129, may be subject to civil and criminal penalties for including knowingly false statements or concealing material facts on the I-129 form. The penalties would be in addition to penalties imposed under the EAR and the ITAR for export violations.
If there is any material change in the responsibilities of the prospective employee during their employment with UND, an amended I-129 petition must be filed. Please contact the AAO to determine if an amendment to the current petition is required. A material change in responsibilities will also require a new review of export control concerns.
The information requested in H-1B Worksheet will assist in determining whether an export license or other authorization is required to release technology or technical data to the beneficiary.
Please contact Michael Sadler, Export Control/Sponsored Programs Officer, at (701) 777-4152 or michael.p.sadler@UND.edu, to request an expert control check.
The AAO will not finalize any H-1B petitions without the approval of the Export Control Officer.
Step 2 – Prevailing Wage Determination Request
AAO will complete and submit an ETA Form 9141 Application for Prevailing Wage Determination to the Department of Labor. It takes the DOL up to 60 days to provide a PWD. The DOL PWD will only be formally requested when appropriate salary information is unavailable from approved DOL sources, such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In order to continue the H-1B process, you must agree to pay the H-1B employee at least the determined Prevailing Wage.
Step 3 – Labor Condition Application
AAO will create a Job Posting Notice which will be given to the Hiring Official’s department and at UND Human Resources. These departments will post the Job Posting Notice for at least 10 working days.
AAO will complete and submit to the Department of Labor an ETA Form 9035 Labor Condition Application (LCA). The LCA will be completed using data from the PWD. It takes the DOL one week to approve the LCA.
After receiving the approved LCA, AAO will send the LCA to the Hiring Official. Instructions will be provided to assist the Hiring Official to meet DOL requirements.
Step 4 – Processing the H-1B Petition
After AAO acknowledges receipt of the H-1B request, and the department agrees to the current applicable fees, AAO will prepare the H-1B petition. The Hiring Official and prospective H-1B employee must submit the following documents to International Scholar Services.
Department Responsibility (Employer checklist)
- Letter on Department Letterhead from Hiring Official to the US Citizenship & Immigration Service (Department of Homeland Security) attesting to the requirements of the job position. The letter verifies the offer of employment and salary offered to the individual. (Sample Letter)
- Copy of Contract Offer/Contract for Employment.
- Please submit the Wage Memo and Worksheet to AAO. Edits may be made tot he memo to fit your department.
Employee's Responsibility for Personal Documentation (Employee checklist)
- Copy(ies) of all of the individual’s university diplomas and transcripts (in English). English translations can be requested from World Education Services.
- Copy of the individual’s Curriculum Vitae.
- If applicable, copy(ies) of Professional License(s), such as FAA License.
- Copy of current Passport Photo Page for H-1B applicant. Be sure that the current expiration date of your passport is included.
- If applicable, copy of your current Form I-94 (front and back). Make sure that the forms are clear and readable.
- Copies of all current and previous U.S. nonimmigration documentation. This might include:
- All old and current U.S. visas from passport (F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2, J-1, J-2, H-1B, H-4, etc.).
- Form(s) I-20 for F-1/F-2 status.
- Form(s) I-20 for M-1/M-2 status.
- Form(s) DS-2019/IAP-66 for J-1/J-2 status.
- USCIS Approval Notice (Letter of No Objection) to waive the J Exchange Visitor Program Two-Year Home Physical Presence Requirement; or any other USCIS notices received.
- TN or E3 Visa(s).
- Form(s) I-797 Approval Notices (for previous and current H-1B and/or H-4 status).
- U.S. Employment Card(s), including for F-1 Optional Practical Training.
- If applicable, Medical Resident Documentation:
- Copy of current North Dakota State Board of Medical Examiners Post-Graduate Training License.
- Copy of Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) Certificate.
- Copies of United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1, Step 2, and Step 3 Passing Score Reports.
- If applicable, three copies of your two most current Pay Statements (If you are currently, legally employed in the United States).
- If applicable, current W-2 form (If you are currently, legally employed in the United States).
- If applicable, a copy of your U.S. Social Security Card.
- Copy of your Birth Certificate with English Translation.
- If applicable, current US address or foreign address.
- If applicable, the following fees are payable by the employee: $370 H-4 Dependent Fee and $280 H-4 Processing Fee. Please contact Casey Hoffman for payment methods.”
Employee's Responsibility to Provide Dependent Documentation (If Applicable)
- Copy of Marriage Certificate (in English).
- Copy(ies) of Birth Certificates for Child(ren) born outside the United States (in English).
- Copy(ies) of current Passport Photo Pages for each family member born outside the United States (to include current expiration date of passport[s]).
- If applicable, copy(ies) of current U.S. visas for each family member (if residing in the United States).
- If applicable, copy(ies) of current U.S. nonimmigration documents for each family member (such as Form I-20, DS-2019, and Form I-797 for H-1B/H-4 status) if residing in the United States.
- If applicable, copy(ies) of current Form(s) I-94 (front and back) for each family member if residing in the United States. Make sure that the forms are clear and readable.
Step 5 – Petition Processing at U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service
It takes 4 to 5 months for the USCIS to review and approve H-1B petitions.
Please Note: As of February 2017, USCIS is taking 8 to 10 months to process H-1B petitions.
As of April 3, 2017, Premium Processing Service is suspended for a minimum of 6 months.
It takes about 15 days for the USCIS to review and approve H-1B petitions that include the Premium Processing Fee. (This does not include mailing time to and from California.)