Initiate an H-1B Specialty Worker Visa

Need to initiate or extend an H-1B Visa? Start here.

The H-1B Visa is a temporary work visa for non-U.S. workers. H-1B workers must be in an occupation that requires at least a bachelor’s degree (or the equivalent) at the entry level.

At IUPUI, H-1B status is used for full-time, tenure-track faculty; academic researchers; research technicians (RS07 level or higher); and professional staff.  Generally the university does not sponsor part-time H-1B employment.  However in some cases exceptions can be made to the part-time rules.  Please contact OIA for further information regarding the details of your campus position.

In order to obtain H-1B status for an employee, the hiring department must document the appropriateness of the wages, the duties and responsibilities of the position, and the employee’s qualifications to fill that position.

Click here for a detailed flowchart on the H-1B hiring process.

Learn how to request a new H1-B Visa ››Learn how to extend an H-1B Visa ››

  • Fees

    The H-1B process involves several fees. The department must assume all business-related expenses for filing the H-1B petition. Learn more about H-1B fees »

  • Requirements

    H-1B visas are subject to extensive U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Department of Labor (DOL) regulations.

    Terms of Employment

    An H-1B employee must be employed according to the terms described in the H-1B petition submitted to USCIS. After the petition has been filed and approved, all changes in employment status—including change in job title, transfer of department, change in full-time status, or termination—require the prior review of the Office of International Affairs. We will ensure compliance with all H-1B regulations.

    Prevailing and Actual Wages

    Employers must certify that the worker will be paid the prevailing wage for that occupation or the actual wage at the place of employment, whichever is higher.

    • The prevailing wage is the “going rate” for that position in the employer’s geographic area, as determined by the DOL.

    • The actual wage is the employer’s usual rate of pay for that position within the IUPUI department.

    For this reason, departments cannot reduce the salary of an H-1B employee below the level that is reported when the H-1B petition is prepared.

    Length of Status

    If the employee is terminated before the end date of the H-1B approval notice—even if it is for cause or due to a loss of funding—the hiring department is liable for the cost of return transportation to the employee’s home country. Therefore, we recommend that your department apply for H-1B status for only the time period for which funding is reasonably certain, up to the maximum of three years that are allowed for an initial petition or extension.

  • Timeline

    Processing of H-1B petitions can take several months, so be sure to plan ahead.

    OIA will start preparing the H-1B petition after your department initiates the Add a New Person e-doc and completes the electronic request for the H-1B (e-form) in Atlas.

    If you are extending an employee’s H-1B status or the case involves premium processing, plan for the H-1B petition to take three months. A change-of-status case using regular processing often requires six months.