H1-B Status

H-1B General Information

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).  

H-1B Process

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:

  1. Increase the salary level to 100% of the prevailing wage. Creating a new appointment rather than effecting a base adjustment for a continuing employee, or changing an appointment to less than 100%when the department expects 100% effort, are both inappropriate.
  2. Resubmit the prevailing wage request to include market data and challenge the earlier determination.
  3. Inform the international staff member that the Department cannot hire or continue to employ the individual in H-1B status at UW-Whitewater

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:  

  1. The H-1B employee will be paid either the actual wage or the prevailing wage for the occupation, whichever is higher. The sponsoring Department will pay a similar wage to all employees with similar experience and qualifications;
  2. Employing the international faculty/staff member will not adversely affect the working conditions of similarly employed workers (i.e. same benefits, annual increases are provided to all employees, etc.); See 20 C.F.R. §655.732 (b)
  3. On the date of the application, there is not a strike, lockout, or work stoppage; See 20 C.F.R. §655.733(a)(1); and
  4. The employer will post notice of the Labor Condition Application (LCA) in a conspicuous location for at least ten business days (or provide it to the collective bargaining representative, if applicable).   


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 hiring authority (department chair) gives the Center for Global Education the permission to sign in the H-1B petition attesting to the following information:
  • The information is correct under penalty of perjury,
  • Agrees to comply with the terms of the approved LCA during the entire period of the H-1B petition, and
  • Agrees to pay for the reasonable cost of return transportation of the international faculty/staff member (but not the dependents) abroad if he/she is dismissed from employment for any reason before the H-1B status expires.
      

Procedures

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).   

Supporting Documents

  • Completed Department Request Form
  • Completed Staff Immigration Intake Form
  • Current Offer Letter (title, salary, duties, dates specified)
  • Current resume/CV
  • Diploma/degree (and transcript if field not listed; translations if not in English), including Latin; and credentials evaluation). Note that the degree must be in the specific field required for the position.
  • Publications (title page of one or two) or two reference letters, if no publications
  • If the individual is currently in the United States:
  • Copy of both sides of the I-94
  • Copy of previous immigration documents showing the individual is in a legal status
  • Copy of the information page of the passport
  • If currently an H-1B all forms I-797
  • If currently F-1, all forms I-20, Employment Authorization Document (EAD) if optional practical training (OPT) granted
  • If currently in F-2, all forms I-20 of F-2
  • If currently J-1, all forms DS-2019 (formerly IAP-66), waiver of the 2 year home residence requirement (if subject), employment authorization by sponsor
  • If currently J-2, all forms DS-2019 (formerly IAP-66) of J-2) EAD (if work authorization previously granted), waiver (if spouse is subject)
  • If person is currently in H-1B status with another employer, payroll statements form the past four months
  • If the individual is outside of the U.S., the address of the individual and the address of U.S. consulate where the individual will apply for the visa. This information must be entered in part 4 of form I-129, and include copy of information page of passport.   

Translations  

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."   

Credential Evaluations  

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.   

Where to Find Us

Center for Global Education
Hyland Hall, Suite 1227
University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
809 West Starin Road
Whitewater, WI 53190

Contact Us

Phone: 262-472-5759
Fax: 262-472-1491
E-mail us!