Employing an H-1B Scholar
The H-1B is a temporary work visa for international faculty and staff who are hired in a specialty occupation.
To sponsor a scholar for an H-1B visa, the international scholar must have at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and the degree must relate to his or her specialty occupation. An H-1B is ideal for visiting professors, assistant professors, researchers and other professional staff. Scholars on an H-1B visa can be initially sponsored for a three year period with a maximum total stay of six years. The H-1B is also considered a dual-intent visa, and is the best option for an international scholar who may be considering permanent residency. The process of hiring an H-1B usually takes four to five months, so it is best to contact ISSS six months ahead of the requested start date. To read more about H-1B visas versus J-1 visas, please see our helpful visa comparison chart. If you have additional questions about whether an H-1B is the best option for your department, feel free to contact ISSS. If possible, let ISSS know the potential hire date, expected job title, and the scholar’s home country. ISSS can be reached at 404-413-2070. Please consider the following before offering H-1B sponsorship to a potential employee:
- Does this position require at least a bachelor’s degree and does the potential hire already have the required degree as well as all other requirements for the job? If not, you should consult with ISSS about how or when an H-1B can still be filed for the potential hire or if other visa options should be pursued.
- Has the job offer to the potential hire already been made? If so, did you include the required statement in the job offer concerning immigration status? If not, contact Drew Webster, Assistant Director for Scholar Services for ISSS, at email@example.com so that he can talk with the new hire about their current visa status and their eligibility for the H-1B category.
- The H-1B process is mainly reserved for Faculty, since very few Staff positions qualify for H-1B sponsorship. Review the policy below carefully, as well as the rest of the Administrators section of the ISSS website and discuss any questions you may have with Drew in ISSS. Policy Statement Regarding Sponsorship for U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident Status and H-1B Specialty Occupation (PDF).
Please review our H-1B application process for more detailed information on applicable fees, a step-by-step description of the approval process for international employees, and a list of documents needed for adjudication by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS).