- An H-1B visa allows an employer to temporarily employ a foreign worker in the U.S. on a non-immigrant basis in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge and a bachelor's degree or the equivalent in the specific specialty sciences, medicine and health care, education, biotechnology, and business specialties, etc.
- To hire a foreign worker on an H-1B visa, the position must be a professional position that requires, at a minimum, a bachelor's degree in the field of specialization. The occupation for which the H-1B classification is sought must also normally require a bachelor's degree as a minimum for entry into the occupation.
- Under current law, an alien may be in H-1B status for a maximum period of six years (may only apply for three years at one time). After that time an alien must remain outside the United States for one year before another H-1B petition can be approved.
Hiring Department Checklist
The following are the forms to be submitted to the Department of Human Resources Management to process an H1B petition.
- Job Description
- Letter of Offer
- H1B Information Form
- Letter of Support (to USCIS)
- Letter of Support (to HRM Generalist)
- Statement of Notification
- Statement of Working Conditions
- Actual Wage Memorandum
- Form I-129, complete pages 1 – 8, and submit two copies with original signatures on both.
Click here for instructions for completing Form I-129
- H Classification Supplement to I-129, page 13 and 14 with two copies with original signatures on both
- Visa History (2 originals)
- Clear copy of unexpired passport to include biographical page, expiration date, and original visa stamp
- Clear copy of I-94
- Clear copy of transcripts
- Clear copies of diplomas
- Clear copies of other previous immigration documents (i.e. I-797 and/or I-20)
- If the employee had an H1B at another employer and we are processing an H1B at M.S.U., pay stubs will be required for the last six months
USCIS published a revised Form I-539 on March 8, 2019 (to be submitted by the primary H-4 applicant) and a new Form I-539A (to be submitted for each H-4 co-applicant). Additionally, USCIS will implement a biometrics requirement. Each applicant must pay a biometrics services fee of $85 when submitting Form I-539, and if applicable, Form I-539A. Once the forms are accepted by USCIS, the applicant(s) will be given an appointment date and time to appear at a USCIS office closest to their address for a biometrics services appointment.
The original, signed Form I-539, I-539A [if applicable], $370 filing fee, $85 biometrics fee(s) and supporting documents should be sent to HR Generalist.
- I-539 form (to be completed by primary H-4 applicant)
- I-539A (to be submitted for each H-4 co-applicant)
- Copy of I-94 document for each dependent
- Copy of valid passport for each dependent, to include biographical page, expiration date page, and original visa stamp page
- Copy of previous immigration documents
- Copy of Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
- All fees should be a money order, certified check, or M.S.U. check and made out to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
- Fee to file an H1B petition (Required every time an H1B is filed): $460 form filing fee is the responsibility of the department.
- Fraud and Detection Fee (MUST be paid by the hiring department seeking a beneficiary's initial grant of an H1B or those seeking to change a beneficiary's employer within an H1B classification): $500 filing fee.
- Premium Processing Fee: (only required if the petition is being expedited): $2,500 filing fee (effective December 2, 2019.) This fee is paid by the department unless the fees are necessitated for personal reasons of the employee (i.e., travel not required for the job). Expedited processing as a business necessity such as meeting start dates is a responsibility for the department.
- Fee to file H-4 petition: Complete ONE filing of $370 per family regardless of the number of H-4 applicants. In addition, each applicant and co-applicant must pay a $85 biometrics fee when filing the form (i.e., three applicants times $85 equals $255). These dependent related fees are the sole responsibility of the foreign national. Please prepare separate checks for the filing fee and biometrics fee made payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
How to Process a Direct Pay
- Should be keyed as a direct pay.
- In View Document Indicators, change the Grouping to "1".
- Use the Notes section of the Direct Pay printout to provide instructions to give Accounts Payable a name and phone number for the person who should be contacted when the check is ready.
- The Document Text should include the petitioning employee's name and the last four digits of their Social Security number.
- Complete the Direct Pay Attachment for Processing Payment of Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee for H-1B Petitions and attach it to the Direct Pay printout that is sent to Accounts Payable. Also attach a copy of the support letter to your HRM Generalist (which includes the vice president's signature) to the Direct Pay printout.
- All checks made payable to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) must be picked up by the hiring department or Human Resources Management when the check is ready.