***UPDATE: March 3, 2017****The International Center will like to inform you of important update about USCIS processing of H-1B applications.  The USCIS has announced that starting April 3, 2017, USCIS will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions. For more information, please see https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/uscis-will-temporarily-suspend-premium-processing-all-h-1b-petitions

While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners, including UCI,  will not be able to file Form I-907  Request for Premium Processing Service for a Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker which requests the H-1B nonimmigrant classification. 

The temporary suspension applies to all H-1B petitions filed on or after April 3, 2017. 

This temporary suspension of premium processing does not apply to other eligible nonimmigrant classifications filed on Form I-129. 

If you have questions about this update, H-1B applications or premium processing, please contact Simon Jarusauskas, International Scholar Specialist at the International Center, 949.824.8025, or email: sjarusau@uci.edu.

The H-1B Process

The H-1B is a nonimmigrant visa status that allows a nonimmigrant to work temporarily for a specific employer in a “specialty occupation”. A “specialty occupation” is one that requires a specialized body of knowledge and usually requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to enter the profession.

The H-1B candidate must demonstrate that he/she is qualified for the position and must possess the knowledge and skills needed for the position. The required degree must be in a specialty field.

For UCI Departments interested in pursuing an H-1B petition for a qualified individual for a particular position should contact Simon Jarusauskas, International Scholar Specialist at the International Center, 949.824.8025, or email: sjarusau@uci.edu.

Normal H-1B processing time at IC, after all and complete documents listed in the H-1B start package are received by IC from department, is 2-4 months.

Regular processing time for adjudicating H-1B petitions at USCIS (once the H-1B petition is received by USCIS) is variable and is currently taking approximately 8+ months.

IC recommends to provide all necessary and complete documents for the H-1B request at least 9 months prior to the requested H-1B start date.

Please note that the LCA with DOL can’t be certified earlier than 6 months prior to the requested H-1B start date.

Because of the amount of time that it is taking USCIS to process cases via regular processing (8+ months) and the limitation of only being able to file an LCA with DOL 6 months prior to the requested start date, Premium processing at USCIS is recommended for all H-1B requests, to allow IC to obtain the approval notice in a timely manner before the anticipated H-1B start date.

J-1 vs. H-1B: Comparing the Benefits
Bypassing J-1 & Going to H-1B
H-1B Exception Request Form


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