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Home > International Staff / Faculty / Visiting Scholars > Visa Category > H-1B Visa Category

H-1B (Speciality Workers) Visa Category

While a foreign nation may apply for jobs at CSULA and can be offered employment, that individual may not work in the U.S. unless approval is given by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. If a department plans to hire a foreign nation who currently does not have permission to work in the U.S., CSULA must sponsor the individual under an appropriate category. This is the most commonly used category to sponsor an international employee.

H-1B Specialty (Professional) Workers

Cal State L.A. will support H-1B status for an alien who has been offered a full-time position as a faculty member, researcher, or other professional staff which is critical to the institutionís academic or research mission. The sponsorship must be a full time employee and a minimum of one year in duration.

Under current regulations: the H-1B status can be granted for an initial maximum period of three years, and a three year extension is possible for a maximum duration of six years. Cal State L.A. is required to file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) which attests that the alien will be paid the prevailing wage. Cal State L.A. must also attest that Cal State L.A. will provide working conditions that will not adversely affect the working conditions of U.S. workers; that there is no strike or lockout at the time that the LCA is filed; and that Cal State L.A. has either notified the appropriate bargaining representative of filing an LCA or posted a notice of filing at two locations.

The hiring department is required by law to pay the reasonable cost of the alien's return transportation abroad if the alien is dismissed before the end of the period of authorized employment.

Please note that H-1B status holder is eligible to be employed by Cal State L.A. in the position filed under the H-1B. A change in job description may require a new petition to be filed with USCIS. Please consult with Amy Wang if there is such a change.

Filing Fees*:

Below is a listing of fees involved in the H-1B petition. All fees associated with this petition, except the fraud fee, is responsible for by the employee. The fraud fee will be paid by the sponsoring department.

*Fees are subject to change without notice.

If you are a potential employee who requires sponsorship, or a CSULA department planning to sponsor a potential employee, please contact Amy Wang at 323-343-3173 or awang@cslanet.calstatela.edu for Cal State L.A. policies and procedures.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is an H-1B?

    The H-1B is a nonimmigrant classification used by an alien who will be employed temporarily in a specialty occupation.

  2. What is a specialty occupation?

    A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge along with at least a bachelorís degree or its equivalent. For example, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts are specialty occupations.

  3. How does one apply?

    H-1B status requires a sponsoring U.S. employer. The employer must file a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor attesting to several items, including payment of prevailing wages for the position, and the working conditions offered. The employer must then file the certified LCA with a Form I-129 petition plus accompanying fees. Based on the USCIS petition approval, the alien may apply for the H-1B visa, admission, or a change of nonimmigrant status.
    ONLY APPOINTED PERSONNEL IN THE INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS AND SERVICES ARE AUTHORIZED TO SIGN THESE DOCUMENTS. IPS WILL ACT AS A LIAISON WITH THE ATTORNEY TO PROCESS THE IMMIGRATION PAPERWORK.

  4. How long can an alien be in H-1B status?

    Under current law, an alien can be in H-1B status for a maximum period of six years at a time. After that time an alien must remain outside the United States for one year before another H-1B petition can be approved. Certain aliens may obtain an extension of H-1B status beyond the 6-year maximum period, when:
    1. 365 days or more have passed since the filing of any application for labor certification, Form ETA 750, that is required or used by the alien to obtain status as an EB immigrant, or
    2. 365 days or more have passed since the filing of an EB immigrant petition.

  5. Who can an H-1B alien work for?

    H-1B aliens may only work for the petitioning U.S. employer and only in the H-1B activities described in the petition. The petitioning U.S. employer may place the H-1B worker on the worksite of another employer if all applicable rules (e.g., Department of Labor rules) are followed. H-1B aliens may work for more than one U.S. employer, but must have a Form I-129 petition approved for each employer.

  6. What if the alienís circumstances change?

    As long as the alien continues to provide H-1B services for a U.S. employer, most changes will not mean that an alien is out of status. An alien may change H-1B employers without affecting status, but the new H-1B employer must file a new Form I-129 petition for the alien before he or she begins work. The merger or sale of an H-1B employerís business will not affect the alienís status in many instances. However, if the change means that the alien is working in a capacity other than the specialty occupation for which they petitioned, it is a status violation.
    ANY CHANGES IN THE EMPLOYEEíS DUTIES SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO AMY WANG AT THE INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS AND SERVICES. AN AMENDED APPLICATION MAY NEED TO BE SUBMITTED TO USICS.

  7. Can an H-1B alien travel outside the U.S.?

    Yes. An H-1B visa allows an alien holding that status to reenter the U.S. during the validity period of the visa and approved petition.

  8. Can an H-1B alien intend to immigrate permanently to the U.S.?

    Yes. An H-1B alien can be the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition, apply for adjustment of status, or take other steps toward Lawful Permanent Resident status without affecting H-1B status. This is known as "dual intent" and has been recognized in the immigration law since passage of the Immigration Act of 1990. During the time that the application for LPR status is pending, an alien may travel on his or her H-1B visa. The non-immigrant employee should consult with his or her attorney prior to any travel.

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Last Update: 02/24/2011