The H-1B classification may be granted to a foreign national who works in a "specialty occupation." See INA §101(a)(15)(H). A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge to fully perform the required duties, and the attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific field as a minimum for entry into the occupation. Please note: Wisconsin state law does not permit state institutions to retain private legal counsel to advise or represent the institution's interests; therefore the use of private immigration attorneys for filing UW-Whitewater sponsored H-1B petitions is prohibited. Please see Wis. Stat. § 14.11(2).
All H-1B applications, amendments, and extensions require three steps. There is a five to six month processing time from the date the H-1B process is initiated with the Center for Global Education until the petition is approved by USCIS.
Step 1: Prevailing Wage Determination: The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Department must pay the international faculty or staff member the prevailing wage or the actual wage; whichever is higher. The prevailed wage is the weighted average salary paid to all persons equally employed in the area of intended employment. UWW determines the prevailing wage based on the US Department of Labor's Bureau of labor Statistics annual data. The Department of Labor (DOL) can investigate complaints and review the documentation to ensure compliance with the wage requirements.
The Center for Global Education (CGE) determines the Prevailing Wage based on its knowledge and experience in using the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Department must pay 100% of the prevailing wage. In the event that the prevailing wage determined is higher than the offered salary, the CGE will contact the Department immediately. The Department has three choices:
Step 2: Labor Condition Application: The regulations for the Department of Labor (DOL) require the employer to submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA) to the DOL and comply with the requirements. The hiring authority who signs the LCA certifies the following under penalty of perjury:
If the employer is found to have willfully violated the Labor Condition Application Requirements, the Department of Labor may penalize the sponsoring UW-Whitewater Department up to $1,000 per violation and assess back wages to the H-1B nonimmigrant. In extreme cases, there is possibility of imprisonment and a bar against UW-Whitewater from obtaining H-1B status and permanent resident status for future employees for one year or more.
PLEASE NOTE: the Labor Condition Application can be filed no more than 6 months before the initial date of intended employment.
Step 3: USICIS Application: USCIS will determine whether the position is a "specialty occupation" and whether the individual meets the qualifications for H-1B status. USCIS will also review the person's current legal status (within the U.S.) or eligibility to enter the U.S. as an H-1B non-immigrant (if outside the U.S.)
The Center for Global Education will work in conjunction with the hiring Department and Human Resources and Diversity to obtain the required supporting documents (listed below).
All documents that are not in English, including Latin, must be translated. Translations must be accompanied by a statement from the translator indicating his/her qualifications for doing the translation. Neither the H-1B applicant nor an immediate family member may do the translation. The translator must sign the translation and type or write on the translation the following: "I certify that I am competent to translation (name of language) into English and this is an accurate translation of the original."
USCIS has recently been requesting a credentials evaluation of the highest degree that was not including those filed under Premium Processing. In order to avoid unwanted delays, we recommend that an applicant who has obtained his/her highest degree from an institution outside the U.S. or Canada obtain an official credentials evaluation. The National Association of Credential Evaluation Services has a listing of their members at: http://www.naces.org/. It is up to the hiring Department and the individual to decide who should pay the fee for the evaluation. The Center for Global Education cannot recommend one firm over another.