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The H-1B visa, Temporary Worker in a Specialty Occupation, is used to sponsor foreign nationals in a variety of professions where the job requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree or its equivalent and where the individual meets that requirement. Before an employer can sponsor an individual in H-1B status, the employer must file a petition (I-129) accompanied by a filing fee plus an anti-fraud fee with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition includes a Labor Condition Application certified by the U.S. Department of Labor attesting to, among other things, the payment of a prevailing wage.

Because H-1B regulations include a dual intent provision allowing an H-1B nonimmigrant to have immigrant intent, the H-1B is the visa NYU generally uses to sponsor tenured and tenure-track faculty. H-1B is also the status NYU scholars usually maintain while applying for permanent residence.

Scholars who have been subject to the two-year home residence requirement on the J visa and have not fulfilled that requirement or gotten it waived may not change to H-1B status.

The H-1B visa is an employer-specific visa. That is, a scholar may work for more than one employer in H-1B status but each employer must have filed an H-1B petition with USCIS. H-1B portability rules allow a scholar to work for a second employer as soon as the second employer files a petition with USCIS and while it is pending.


The H-1B can be used for a maximum time limit of six years. In cases where a scholar may have a Labor Certification or Immigrant Petition (I-140) pending for more than a year, H-1B status may be extended beyond the 6th year.

Employers may file an H-1B petition as early as six months in advance of the begin date of employment.

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