H-1B Application, Transfer and Extension

DEPARTMENT PROCEDURES

  1. Request H-1B processing (please complete Appendix A of the H-1B Packet): To initiate the H-1B process, the department should complete the Appendix A section of the H-1B Packet, providing details on the job position as well as a summary of the actual wages paid to other employees who hold the same position, and a copy of the appointment letter (if already prepared). With this information, the Slutzker Center will determine the prevailing wage as established by the Department of Labor.

    Once the Slutzker Center determines the prevailing wage, we will consult with the department if it appears the offered salary does not meet the Department of Labor’s wage requirement. The department must pay at least the prevailing wage or the actual wage (the rate paid to similarly situated employees), whichever is higher. If this minimum salary exceeds the amount the department wishes to pay the H-1B applicant, please consult with the Slutzker Center about other options. The department might choose to increase the salary or explore other visa options for the applicant. After the Slutzker Center determines that the department is offering the prevailing wage, proceed to step 2.

  2. Post LCA Notice (please complete Appendix B of the H-1B Packet): The Department of Labor and H-1B petition procedures require employers to inform its workforce of its intention to hire an H-1B worker. To comply with this rule, please complete and post two copies of the Labor Condition Application (LCA) Notice in TWO conspicuous locations in your department. These must be posted for at least 10 consecutive business days. Appendix B of the H-1B Packet includes a notice template and posting instructions. Please fill in the required information, print on Department letterhead, and post in your Department.

    Important!: Once you have posted the notices, please email Jennifer Gavilondo immediately at jgavilon@syr.edu. The posting date is necessary for the H1B process to move forward.

    Upon completion of the necessary posting, please indicate the posting dates, the responsible individual, and sign the Notice at the bottom. Please return the completed Notice to Jennifer Gavilondo at the Slutzker Center for International Services, 310 Walnut Place.

  3. Complete the Deemed Export Form (please complete Appendix C of the H-1B Packet). In support of your request for H-1B sponsorship, the Slutzker Center for International Services is now required to certify on the USCIS I-129 petition whether or not a license for export controlled technology or technical data is necessary for the professor/researcher being sponsored. To facilitate this requirement, all host departments are required to complete an attestation as to whether or not the H-1B worker will require a license for export controlled technology or technical data.

  4. Complete the letter of H-1B support (please see Appendix D template of the H-1B Packet). Please note that the maximum length of time for which an H-1B can be requested at one time is three years.

  5. Process Check Request for USCIS Fees: The Slutzker Center will fax a check request to the department for the required petition fees. Once you receive this fax, please contact Pre-Audit to request the necessary checks and send them to the attention of Jennifer Gavilondo at the Slutzker Center.

    Required Fees. Departments are required to pay the $325 I-129 application fee. In addition, departments must pay a $500 anti-fraud fee for initial H-1B petitions and for cases in which SU is filing a change of employer petition (“portability”) for someone who already holds H-1B status with another employer. Extension petitions do not require the anti-fraud fee. The employee may not pay these fees.

    Optional Fees. Premium Processing of a case will insure a decision by USCIS within 15 days of receipt of the petition. If the department and/or individual requests premium processing, either the department or the individual may pay the additional $1225 fee.

  6. Send documents to the Slutzker Center: The letter of support and Actual Wage Statement may be sent as soon as they are complete. The posting notice should be sent upon completion of the 10 day posting period. Please send all documents to Jennifer Gavilondo at the Slutzker Center for International Services, 310 Walnut Place.


PROSPECTIVE H-1B EMPLOYEE PROCEDURES

  1. LawLogix Access and Submit Supporting Documentation: Once the department initiates the H-1B sponsorship process by submitting the Appendix A of the H-1B Packet and Appointment Letter, the Slutzker Center will contact the H-1B beneficiary to obtain the biographical information, immigration documents, proof of qualifications (diploma, CV, licenses), and family information (if applicable) required for the H-1B petition.

    The Slutzker Center for International Services uses the LawLogix service https://ww4.welcomeclient.com/ to securely collect personal biographical data, immigration and employment history information, and scans of supporting documents from all prospective H-1B employees. Once the hosting department initiates the H-1B sponsorship process, the Slutzker Center will contact the prospective H-1B employee with login information and access to the LawLogix website.

  2. H-4 Dependent Sponsorship. If a prospective H-1B employee has dependent family members (spouse or children) whom the H-1B employee would like to sponsor for H-4 visa status, the H-1B employee will need to consult with the Slutzker Center about processing the H-4 visa support. For sponsorship of dependents who are already in the US to either extend or obtain H-4 status, the prospective H-1B employee will need to submit documents for concurrent filing with the H-1B petition. For dependents who are currently outside of the US and will enter the US in H-4 status at a later date, the Slutzker Center can advise on how they may obtain H-4 status abroad.


SLUTZKER CENTER PROCESSING
After the department notifies that the LCA notice has been posted, the Slutzker Center will complete and submit a Labor Condition Application for H-1B Non-Immigrants (Form ETA 9035) to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Once the Slutzker Center receives the required materials from the department and applicant, we will complete the necessary forms and send the petition to the USCIS for processing.

Upon receiving the Approval Notice (I-797) from the USCIS, the Slutzker Center will notify the employee and ask him or her to come to report to the Center to complete an I-9 work eligibility form. If the individual is abroad awaiting the approval notice in order to apply for an H-1B entry visa at a U.S. consulate, the Slutzker Center will contact the department to discuss mailing options.

PORTABILITY, AMENDMENTS, TERMINATION, & EXTENSIONS
Portability – Change of H-1B Employers If a hiring department wishes to sponsor an individual who is already in the U.S. in H-1B status though another employer, Syracuse University must file a petition for change of employer with USCIS. In order for the individual to remain in the U.S. in H-1B status and start working at Syracuse University, USCIS must receive the new petition, with $325 filing fee and $500 anti-fraud fee, before the individual’s last day working for the previous employer.

According to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Act as amended by the American Competitiveness for the 21st Century Act of 2000, [AC21 § 105], [INA § 214 (a) (m)], as long as USCIS receives the petition before the individual’s last day working for the previous employer, the individual may work at Syracuse University on the basis of the I-797 Receipt Notice from USCIS for up to 240 days while the petition is pending. The documentation required from the department for the change of employer petition is the same as that of a new petition.

Amendments – Changes in Terms of Employment
Departments must consult with the Slutzker Center prior to changing an H-1B’s terms of employment (including changes to job duties or department) to determine whether an amended petition is required.

According to I.N.S. field memorandum CO 214h-C, an amended H-1B application is necessary if the H-1B worker’s job duties change significantly (e.g. from postdoctoral research to college teaching) or when there is a significant change in salary which would require the filing of a new LCA with the Department of Labor.

Minor changes in the conditions of employment do not require the filing of an amended H-1B petition. Though, minor changes should be noted in any future extension of H-1B status. Minor changes would include a change of job title with no or minimal changes in job duties or an unsubstantial salary increase.

Termination of Employment
Please inform the Slutzker Center immediately if an H-1B worker’s employment is terminated so that the Slutzker Center can notify the Department of Labor and USCIS, effectively withdrawing the H-1B. Because H-1B status is an employment-based status, that status immediately ends upon termination. If the department terminates employment, the department must pay the reasonable cost of return transportation to the H-1B employee’s last place of foreign residence. The department will continue to be liable for paying the individual’s full salary and benefits if the H-1B is not withdrawn.

Extensions
The process for requesting an extension of H-1B status is the same as for the initial period of H-1B employment. The extension petition must be filed prior to the current approved H-1B status end date to avoid interruptions in employment. According to 8 C.F.R. § 274.12 (b) (20), the employee may continue to work for a period of 240 days while an extension petition is pending, as long as it is timely filed before the current end date. (Please note: An extension of H-1B status allows the employee to continue working in the U.S.; however, it does not extend his or her H-1B entry visa, which is required for re-entry into the U.S. after traveling abroad. If the H-1B employee wishes to travel outside the U.S. after the expiration date of his or her current entry visa, he or she must apply for a new entry visa at a U.S. consulate.)

H-1B Visas, Travel Information, and Possible Visa Delays
H-1B employees should contact the Slutzker Center for information on travel requirements. H-1B visa requirements can vary by consular location, therefore, please refer to the particular United States consulate/embassy that you will visit. A list of embassy websites is available at http://www.usembassy.gov/. Employees and departments should be aware that security checks, which are part of visa processing, may delay an employee’s return to the U.S.