H-1B Process

Important Alert!

This page is intended only to provide general information about the H-1B visa and should not be construed as legal advice. Individuals or employers seeking the H-1B visa classification should consult with an ISS Specialist.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant category established by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to employ international workers in “specialty occupations.”

(compare the H-1B to the J-1 visa classification)

With the assistance of ISSO, the academic department submits an H-1B petition on behalf of the employee and can request for a maximum of 3 years. Extension of stay is possible under certain circumstances. See "Maintain Status as an H-1B Scholar."

Initial Request

  • Academic department completes forms, gathers and prepares supporting documents, letters, USCIS fees, etc.
  • Academic department submits request packet to ISSO.

Estimated Time: 2–4 weeks

ISSO Review and U.S. Department of Labor Approval

  • ISSO submits a Labor Condition Application (LCA) to the Department of Labor.
  • Department posts intent to hire for employment position.

Estimated Time: 1–2 months

Submission of Petition to USCIS

  • USCIS reviews and adjudicates petition in 4-5 months with regular processing.
  • If the host department elects to pay an additional fee to USCIS for Premium processing, petitions are adjudicated in about 2 weeks. Department should consider the time it takes to mail the approval notice to ISSO (5-10 business days).

Estimated Time: 3 weeks–7 months

Visa Application

After USCIS approves the H-1B petition, academic department sends required documentation to scholar.
If the Scholar is outside the U.S.:

  • Scholar schedules a visa appointment with U.S. Embassy or Consulate (except Canadian citizens).
  • U.S. Embassy or Consulate reviews application, conducts background check, and issues visa stamp.

Estimated Time: 2 weeks–3 months

Scholar arrives at UNL

  • Scholar arrives and attends orientation at ISSO. H-1B orientations are held monthly at ISSO. Please contact ISSO for specific date.
  • Scholar completes Form I-9 within first 3 days of employment.