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Information for H-1bs

For information on the April 18 2017 Presidential Executive Order and its mention of H-1b status, please read more here.

General H-1b Information

The H-1b is an employer-specific working visa for individuals holding “specialty occupation” positions at UMBC.  The H-1b petition scrutinizes the salary, working conditions, special skills, and educational background needed for the job. The employer will also need to attest to compliance with U.S. export control regulations and whether the research pursued by the H-1b worker requires access to technology considered proprietary or confidential.  To learn more about the Export Control provisions, see the Information page for Visiting Students and Scholars maintained by UMBC’s Vice President for Research.

International individuals that have other possible immigration statuses with which they can work for UMBC will be advised to use these alternatives first.  However, if the hiring department or office wishes to pursue H-1b status to benefit the employee, and not out of necessity, this is considered an “elective” H-1b and will be processed by an attorney managed through the IES office.  The hiring department or office will be responsible for the legal fees.

Click Here to review the complete UMBC H-1b and Permanent Residency Sponsorship Policy.

 

Directions to file a New H-1b petition for employment with UMBC

Preliminary Steps:
  • Submit the following to ies@umbc.edu – we will need to determine if the position is eligible for H-1b status:
    • Appointment Letter
    • CV/Resume of intended H-1b hire
    • Job Description used during this search

After the position is deemed appropriate for H-1b status, the following are required:

 

New Hire: The new hire will need to begin preparing the H-1B Worksheet and supporting documentation after we complete the preliminary steps.  They are welcome to be in touch with IES with any questions, at ies@umbc.edu
Please note, if your highest degree was earned outside of the US, an international credential evaluation is usually required by USCIS.  You are welcome to use any NACES-accredited evaluation company.
Department:  The department will need to work on preparing the following:
  • Actual Wage Memorandum completed by the contact indicated on the form, to capture comparative salary data
  • Export Control License review: https://research.umbc.edu/export-control-overview/#WhatToDo
  • Prepare filing fees:  $500 Fraud Detection Fee, $460 I-129 filing fee, $1,225 Premium Processing Fee.  These need to be three separate checks, each made out to “Department of Homeland Security.”  The Premium Processing fee is often, but not always, required.
  • Departmental letter on how this individual is uniquely suited for this position, and why the position is a “specialty occupation.”  This can be less than one page, and should touch upon their experiences, education and credentials (in layman’s terms) that make them the best candidate, and what the unique needs of the department are.

 

Our office will require at least 6 weeks to prepare all documentation, go through the required steps and submit the petition.  For urgent cases requiring faster processing time, please contact IES directly at ies@umbc.edu to understand what may be possible for your unique case.

 

 

Directions to Extend the H-1b status of an existing UMBC employee in H-1b status

Please contact IES for next steps on planning ahead for an H-1b extension at ies@umbc.edu

 

 

H-1b Fee Details

There are fees which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) charges to process the H-1b petition.  These fees are paid by the hiring UMBC department in the form of separate working fund checks made payable to the Department of Homeland Security.

  • I-129 form fee:  $460
  • Fraud Detection and Prevention Fee: $500  Subsequent extensions of an existing H-1b for the same employer do not require the $500 to be paid again.
  • Premium Processing Fee: $1,225  This fee provides a response on the application within 2 weeks.  Average processing time without this additional fee varies but can be between 3-8 months.  If the person already holds H-1b status, this fee is usually not necessary.