H-1B Visas

The H-1B visa is a temporary visa for specialty occupation workers which beneficiaries can generally hold for a maximum of 6 years. Academic Personnel assists in preparing and submitting I-129 petitions for eligible faculty and staff employees in need of an H-1B.

General Requirements for a Specialty Occupation:

  • The position must require at least a bachelor's degree. If the degree is from another country, it must be equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's degree or higher.
  • The candidate selected for the position must possess a degree related to the position. For example, someone with a degree in Sociology cannot be hired for a Computer Science position even though the candidate may have substantial work experience in Computer Science.
  • The proposed salary must be within 95% of the prevailing wage for similar positions in this geographic area.
  • If the candidate selected for the position is currently in J-1 or J-2 status and is subject to a 2-year foreign residence requirement of INA 212(e), the candidate must have satisfied the requirement and possess supporting documentation of such or received an I-612 waiver of section 212(e) from the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services.

Applying for an H-1B Visa

Departments wishing to hire faculty or staff on an H-1B visa are asked to contact Academic Personnel prior to the candidate's start of employment.

Filing Fees. Departments are responsible for payment of all filing fees associated with an H-1B visa. Initial approval of H-1B status or requests to change the employer for candidates already in H-1B status require an additional $500 Fraud Prevention and Detection fee. For the current I-129 filing fee, visit: https://www.uscis.gov/i-129. Please contact Academic Personnel for additional details on payment(s).

Processing Timeframe. Currently, I-129 petitions for an initial grant or extension of H-1B status may take USCIS 7+ months to review and adjudicate upon receipt.  

Premium Processing. This fee is optional. Premium Processing provides expedited processing of an eligible case. USCIS guarantees an adjudication 15 calendar days from the date of filing. Note: if USCIS issues a request for additional evidence of a case, an additional 15 calendar day period will be issued after the university submits its response to the request. For the current filing fee or additional information about this service, visit: https://www.uscis.gov/forms/how-do-i-use-premium-processing-service.

H-4 Visa for Dependent of an H-1B Beneficiary

Spouses and any children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany or join the principal visa holder in the United States for the duration of their stay require derivative H-4 visas. The application procedure is the same for spouses and children under the age of 21. If applying separately from the principal, a copy of the marriage certificate and birth certificate for each child is required. The employee is responsible for payment of the related I-539 filing fee. For the current I-539 filing fee, please visit: https://www.uscis.gov/i-539.

Other Visa Types

For information regarding obtaining an F-1 (Student), F-2 (Spouse or Dependent of F-1), J-1 (Visiting Scholar), or J-2 (Spouse or Dependent of J-1) visa, visit Cal Poly International Center.

Have a question? Contact us!

NAME: Nicole Hadley
PHONE: 805-756-2841
FAX: 805-756-2916
EMAIL: nhadley@calpoly.edu
ADDRESS: Academic Personnel
Administration Building 01, Room 317
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
OFFICE HOURS: Monday - Friday: 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

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