H1B Specialty Workers
H1B immigration status is an employment based status that is tied to a "specialty occupation."
For a position to qualify for classification as a "specialty occupation," the position must require (as part of normal business necessity):
Application of a highly specialized field of knowledge
Attainment of at least a bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in the specialized field
All specialty occupation positions to be filled by a foreign national must be based on an employment relationship.
No direct external funding is permitted.
H1B specialty occupations are specific to:
employer (LSUHSC New Orleans)
International Services must be notified IN ADVANCE of any changes to the H1B employment as approved by USCIS.
Approval for H1B status must be attained through:
Certification of wage and labor conditions through an employer submitted Labor Conditions Application to the U.S. Department of Labor
An employer petition (with appropriate fees) submitted to USCIS on behalf of a proposed foreign national employee. No self-petition is permitted.
The proposed foreign national employee must possess all the qualifications required for the position (and appropriately document such) at the time the H1B petition is submitted.
Persons who are seeking to change status to H-1B who are subject to 212(e) due to a current or previous J Exchange Visitor program are NOT eligible for a Change of Status to H1B NOR are they eligible to obtain an H1B entry visa from a U.S. consulate and re-enter in H1B status. Those subject to 212(e) who wish to obtain H-1B status must fulfill the requirement or obtain a waiver of the requirement. If you are unsure if you are subject to 212(e), you may request an advisory opinion.
Changes to ANY element relating to the position may require notice to USCIS in the form of a new or amended LCA or H1B petition.
Continuing employment after any changes to the position are implemented without filing of the required notice to USCIS could be considered an immigration status violation for the H1B beneficiary and can result in severe fines and penalties to the employer.
Interntaional Services must be notified IN ADVANCE of any changes to the H1B employment as approved by USCIS.
H1B forms required from the Hiring Department can be found here.
H1B worksheet to be completed by the proposed beneficiary can be found here.
H1B Worker Information Sheet can be found here.
TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT : Pursuant to 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h) (4) (iii) (E), if the employer dismisses the H-1B worker prior to the end of the period of authorized employment, the employer must pay the reasonable cost of return transportation to the alien's last place of foreign residence. Dismissal for any reason, even for cause, triggers this provision.
H1B status is tied to employment. If employment with the petitioning H1B employer ends, the H1B beneficiary is considered immediately out of status unless other steps to maintain status are/have been taken. H1B beneficiaries should be extremely careful about maintaining their status when leaving a position and/or changing employers!
LEAVE WITHOUT PAY: Due to Department of Labor wage obligations under the LCA, LWOP status is not permitted for H1B employees without prior approval from International Services. A case by case evaluation will be required.
Study in H-1B status: H-1B status holders are permitted to study, provided they continue to maintain their H-1B status through employment. The study must be incidental to their H-1B employment and may not be the primary purpose of their stay in the U.S.
CHANGING EMPLOYERS: Persons granted H1B status who wish to change employers must file a petition with USCIS using the new employer/position information l prior to beginning new employment. New employment at LSUHSC may NOT begin before the start date on the newly filed I-129 petition. Following, a timely filed request to change employers, a grace period is permitted during which the H1B beneficiary may begin to engage in their new employment for up to 240 days until the new employer's petition is adjudicated. If the 240 day limit is exceeded without approval or the petition is denied by USCIS, the new employment must immediately cease.
EXTENDING CURRENT EMPLOYMENT: It is not necessary to wait for an approval when extending existing H1B employment without changes, with the same employer. The extension request must be filed and received by USCIS prior to the expiration of the current H1B period of validity/admission. Following, a timely filed extension request and expiration of the current H1B validity period, a grace period of 240 days is permitted during which the H1B beneficiary may continue to engage in their previously approved employment. If the 240 day grace period is exceeded without receipt of an approval or the extension petition is denied by USCIS, employment must immediately cease.
Pursuant to LSU System Policy, PM-31, H-1B/H-4 status holders may be eligible to establish Louisiana residency in order to receive in-state tuition at LSUHSC-New Orleans.
The total consecutive H1B duration available is six years, unless a Labor Certification or Permanent Residency petition has been timely filed and/or approved.
See Permanent Residency guidelines here for information about LSUHSC sponsorship. Due to timing requirements, it is recommended that H1B status holders inquire about Permanent Residency sponsorship no later than the middle of their fourth year in H1B status.
Persons who have previously received H1B status and then remain outside the U.S. for at least one year are eligible for a new six year period of H1B availability. Remaining in/Returning to the U.S. in a status other than H-1B does NOT reset the H-1B availability period.