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H-1B Specialty Occupation

H-1B is an employment-based visa category for an individual coming to the U.S. temporarily to perform services in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation is one which requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, requiring completing of a specific course of higher education. the minimum requirement is a baccalaureate degree, or its equivalent, and the field of the degree must be related to the position.

Spouses and minor children(under 21 years) of H-1B status holders may obtain H-4 dependent status. Holders of H-4 status are not eligible to work. They are eligible to study part-time or full-time.

To begin the process of obtaining the H-1B status, the Department/College should get in touch with the International Office as early as possible. Following the consultation, the International Office will send a startup packet by email. This information packet is also available on the International Office's website. The College or Department should submit the doocuments to the International Office promptly.

The Sponsor Package includes:

    From the Department/College:

  • University Sponsor of a Non-Immigrant Employee
  • Department Agreement for Non-Immigrant Sponsor
  • Resume/C.V. of non-immigrant employee
  • Copy of job description
  • Copy of offer letter
  • $500 check from College payable to ďU.S. Department of Homeland SecurityĒ
  • From the Employee:

  • Non-Immigrant Employee Bio-Data Form
  • Cal State L.A. Sponsored Employee Statement
  • Copy of passport(biographical page)
  • Copy of visa stamp and I-94 card(if presently in the U.S.)
  • Copy of diplomas/certificates/licenses
  • $325(fee is subject to chnage without notice) check payable to "U.S Department of Homeland Security"

The College or Department shoukd submit the completed package to the Intenational Office. Once the proper approvals are obtaibned, the International Office will work to complete the petition file and submit it to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for processing.

NOTE: If the International Office is unable to process the petition due to the timing or workload issues, the case will be referred to an outside immigration attorney of the non-immigrant employee's choice. The attorney fees will then be borne by the non-immigrant employee.

Processing Timeline:

This is an estimated timeline of how long the process will take for each step. It will change from case to case.

1. Sponsor Package - 1 week to 1 month
2. Labor Condition Application - 1 to 2 weeks
3. H-1B Application Package - 1 week to 1 month
4. USCIS Processing - 2 months to 4 months*

* The non-immigrant employee may request Premium Processing. This will result in a determination by USCIS in 15 working days. An additional $1000 fee is assessed by USCIS and paid by the employee.

A Non-immigrant employee is not eligible to start work until the H-1B petition is approved, unless he/she has a valid employment authorization. If the employee is already in H-1B status and is changing employers in a similar job, then the employee is eligible to start working prior to receiving the approval. The issue of change of employers should be directed to the International Office.


Below is a list of fees involved in the H-1B petition. All fees associated with this petition, except the fraud fee, is responsible for by the non-immigrant employee.

H-1B filing fee: $325.00
Fraud Fee (extension exempt): $500.00
Premium Processing (optional): $1225.00
Attorney Fees: Varies

* Fees are subject to change without notice. For updated fees, please consult with USCIS website: This does not include any applications on behalf of eligible dependents or visa processing fees if the non-immigrant employee and/or dependents are outside the U.S.


Dependents include a spouse, and any children under 21 years of age. Dependents will be issued a H-4 visa for their stay in the U.S.

Dependents are not permitted to work. They are eligible to study part-time or full-time as long as the educational program does not include employment (e.g., research assistantship).



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Last Update: 03/4/2014