Departments wishing to hire an international employee should review the Hiring International Employees page and Hiring FAQs in order for the Office of International Services (OIS) to determine which visa type best fits the position and employee. If an H-1B is the appropriate visa category, the process can take anywhere from 2 - 6 months to secure work authorization.

H-1B Eligibility

H-1B status allows employment of a scholar who has professional skills and a professional degree. To be eligible for H-1B status the following conditions for the position, the department and the scholar must be met:

The Position:
  • Must be an unclassified position
  • Must require "theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty or its equivalent"
The Department:
  • Must agree to pay, throughout the entire duration of employment, the higher of either the wage for similarly employed workers at OSU or the wage for similarly employed workers in the State of Oregon, as determined by the Department of Labor.
  • Must agree to pay for the reasonable costs of return transportation home for the scholar, if the scholar is dismissed from employment before the end of the authorized period of stay.
The Scholar:
  • Must be eligible for H-1B non-immigrant status (for example, not subject to the two-year-home-residency requirement from a prior J-1 program, nor have used all 6 years of H-1B eligibility on prior H-1B employment)
  • Must possess " highly specialized knowledge and attain[ed]... a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty" of the position

Length of H-1B Work Authorization

Employers may petition for a maximum of three years of H-1B status at a time. H-1B visa regulations allow a worker to hold H-1B status for a maximum of six years. Time that an employee has spent in H-1B status at another employer and time spent in H-4 status deducts from their 6 years of eligibility. Departments should contact OIS if unsure of the potential employee's remaining H-1B eligibility.

The beginning and end dates of employment listed on the H-1B application should reflect the length of funding for the position and the amount of time that the employee is expected to fill the position. H-1B application dates do not have to match the dates of the employee's academic appointment. H-1B applications are not limited to the current academic year, nor subject to the academic calendar.

Employment Restrictions

OIS must receive approval of the H-1B petition from USCIS before the scholar can begin employment.

The terms of employment in H-1B status are very specific. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) approves the H-1B program for the specific department, salary, duties, and dates listed on the initial H-1B petition. The H-1B recipient is NOT authorized to change employment without authorization from OIS. This restriction includes changes in position duties, changes in pay rates, and changes of sponsoring departments within OSU. If the department anticipates a change in the research or employment of an H-1B employee, the department should notify OIS immediately, prior to the change in employment.

Extensions of the Program

The host department will be responsible for the filing of applications for extensions on behalf of the scholar. Applications for extensions should be filed 5 months before the end date of the original program. Contact OIS for more information about procedures for extensions of a scholar's program. If OIS does not receive an extension application 2 months before the end date of the original H-1B approval, there are likely to be gaps in employment eligibility.

Application Procedures and Timeline

Application procedures and timelines vary depending on the type of H-1B application. For more information, select the type of application being processed.