What is an H-1B? H-1B temporary workers are defined as persons who will perform services in specialty occupations on a temporary basis. The Immigration Act of 1990 defines specialty occupation as: "an occupation which requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge to fully perform the occupation."
How does a job qualify as a “specialty occupation”? To qualify as a "specialty occupation" the position must meet the following requirements. All five criteria must be met:
A baccalaureate or higher degree (or its equivalent) is normally the minimum requirement for entry into the particular profession.
The degree requirement is common to the industry.
The employer must normally require a degree or its equivalent for the position.
The job duties must be "so specialized and complex that knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a baccalaureate or higher degree."
The position's level of responsibility and authority must be "commensurate with professional standing."
What is H-1B status used for at Emory University? The H-1B status can be used to bring temporary faculty members, researchers, consultants, administrators, or individuals engaged in professional-level activities to the United States.
Who qualifies for an H-1B visa? To qualify for H-1B status, the foreign national must possess the required degree or its equivalent and, if applicable, possess a certificate or license that permits them to immediately practice the profession in the state of intended employment.
Is an H-1B a permanent employee? H-1B is a temporary non-immigrant status. The foreign national must be coming to temporarily fill a position that may or may not in itself be temporary. The employer must attest that the individual's services are needed temporarily. The letter of appointment and other documents must stipulate the temporary nature of the appointment.
How long can an H-1B stay in the United States? H-1B status may be initially granted for a period of up to three (3) years. The period of H-1B status cannot exceed the validity of the LCA. Extensions may be obtained, but the total period of authorized stay cannot exceed six (6) years, unless the individual has initiated the initial step necessary to obtain permanent residency more than 365 days prior to the 6 year limit. If the employer dismisses the H-1B prior to the expiration of the authorized stay, the employer (department) is liable for the reasonable cost of the individual's return transportation abroad.
Can an H-1B be paid by more than one employer? The H-1B is employer specific; the employee may only work for the employer who filed the H-1B petition and can only perform the job indicated in the petition. (Concurrent employment is possible, if each employer has an approved H-1B petition for the employee.)
When can an H-1B begin working at Emory University? The H-1B approval is granted on USCIS Form I-797 notice of approval and a new Form I-94: Departure Record is issued. Employment cannot begin without final H-1B approval except in the following situations:
The individual is already in a valid status which allows employment at Emory, such as Optional Practical Training. In this case, the individual may continue to work until the expiration of current employment authorization. If the H-1B has not yet been approved, the individual may remain in the United States, but may not work until the I-797 approval notice is received.
The individual is currently in H-1B status and working for another employer, in which case employment can commence when the ISSS offices receives the official USCIS receipt notice (proof that Emory University’s H-1B petition for the individual has been received by the USCIS and is pending).
The spouse and unmarried minor (under age 21) children of an H-1B worker are granted H-4 non-immigrant status. Applications for H-4 classification (Form I-539) should be included in the petition for the H-1B worker, if the dependents are in the U.S. Dependents in H-4 status are not eligible for employment.