These FAQs are intended for Oregon State University faculty, staff and students with questions about the H-1B visa as it relates to their time at OSU.

These FAQs are informational and do not constitute legal advice. Each individual’s situation is different, and the best course of action for each individual may vary depending on that person’s particular situation. Be aware that as developments related to H-1B processing occur, the information provided below may change.

Resources listed in these FAQs are provided for informational purposes only. Linking to a website or document does not indicate endorsement of the content, or the organization hosting the content.

If you have questions regarding these FAQs, please contact Office of International Services in the Division of International Programs: (541) 737-3006.

Information about Executive Order 13788, "Buy American and Hire American”

On April 18, 2017, a new executive order, Executive Order 13788, titled "Buy American and Hire American" was signed. In the "Hire American" portion of the executive order, the U.S. Departments of Labor, Justice, Homeland Security and State are directed to review current laws governing the H-1B program and suggest changes to prioritize the most skilled and highest paid positions. The federal agencies are also directed to review all visa programs and take action to prevent fraud and abuse in order to protect the interests of U.S. workers. The executive order does not specify dates by which these reviews or actions must take place. Read about Executive Order 13788 on whitehouse.gov.

The executive order will have no immediate impact on H-1B visas. Most changes to the H-1B program would require legislative action by Congress. However, measures to prevent fraud and abuse could be implemented much faster by the federal agencies via policy changes.

Temporary Suspension of Premium Processing for H-1B Petitions

On March 3, 2017, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service, or USCIS, announced that beginning on April 3, 2017, it will suspend premium processing on all H-1B petitions for up to six months. For more information on this suspension, visit the USCIS website.

USCIS guarantees processing employment-related applications within 15 calendar days upon receipt of an additional $1,225 premium processing fee and Form I-907.

Employers have increasingly needed to request premium process given the eight to nine month-long standard processing times.

USCIS stated that this temporary suspension will help them to reduce overall H-1B processing times, including processing long-pending petitions, which they have not been able to process “due to the high volume of incoming petitions and the significant surge in premium processing requests over the past few years.” USCIS would also like to prioritize adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240-day H-1B extension work authorization deadline.

No. USCIS has previously suspended premium processing for H-1B applications. The most recent suspension was from March 26, 2015 to July 27, 2015, to implement the Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Spouses Final Rule in a timely manner and adjudicate applications for employment authorization filed by H-4 nonimmigrants under the new regulations.

Hiring departments may experience significant delays in bringing on new employees who need H-1B work authorization. It is highly recommended that hiring departments that have international hires requiring premium processing submit a complete H-1B application package to the Office of International Services (OIS) no later than March 15, 2017. As USCIS resumes the premium processing of applications after the six-month suspension on October 3, 2017, then OSU can file requests at that time for new and pending applications.

As long as an H-1B employee has a valid H-1B visa in the employee’s passport and re-enters the US before the expiration date on the employee’s visa stamp, the employee may travel internationally while observing guidance released by OSU leadership. H-1B employees who are currently pending approval of their H-1B extension applications may experience disruption to international travel plans, pending approval of their H-1B extension applications. Reminder: all foreign nationals, with the exception of Canadian citizens are required to present a valid visa stamp in their passport for entry into the United States.

Driver’s license renewals may be delayed. The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles will generally issue a temporary 30-day license to an H-1B employee who can show a petition has been filed for extension of their employment. When the H-1B employee can show a USCIS approval of their employment petition, Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles will generally issue a renewed license.

Yes. All H-1B employees are authorized to work for 240 calendar days while USCIS is processing their extension application.

Yes. Upon receipt of an additional $1,225 premium processing fee and Form I-907 submitted to USCIS no later than April 3, 2017, OIS may file for premium processing for any application that is currently pending with USCIS. There is no guarantee that USCIS will be able to process requests between now and April 3, 2017, and USCIS may return the premium processing fee if it is not able to take adjudicative action within the allotted 15 calendar days.

Please call the Office of International Services at (541) 737-3006 or email OIS.scholar@oregonstate.edu