H-1B Overview

Overview of H-1B

UMass Amherst sponsors employees for H-1B visa status at the request of the hiring department. The H-1B immigration classification is intended for individuals coming to the United States to perform services in positions considered to be a “specialty occupation.”  Current U.S. immigration regulations define specialty occupation as "an occupation which requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree for the specific specialization (or its equivalent in experience).”

Hiring departments must initiate the H-1B sponsorship process directly through the IPO.  The sponsoring department, in coordination with the IPO and the individual international employee, must provide documentation to establish that the offered position is indeed a “specialty occupation” and that the individual holds the requisite credentials for the position.  The department is also required to offer a salary to the individual that meets the Department of Labor's "prevailing wage" for the position.  

Each H-1B petition can be filed for up to 3 years, and employee can hold an H-1B status for 6 years. Upon completion or termination of an H-1B, the scholar can re-apply for a new H-1B after waiting for a period of 12 months outside the U.S. 

As a general rule, UMass files H-1B petitions for faculty, senior research, managerial, and professional positions. UMass Amherst does NOT typically sponsor for H-1Bs for postdoctoral researcher positions or other staff positions. The UMass system policy likewise does not provide H-1B sponsorship for any part-time positions unless there is compelling need to supplement concurrent academic teaching or research activities at another US institution that are mission-critical to UMass. Please consult the IPO for further information. Only authorized, retained UMass immigration attorneys can file H-1B petitions (and/or related permanent residency petitions) on behalf of current or prospective UMass Amherst employees. Non-retained outside immigration attorney may not file an H-1B petition on behalf of any UMass employee.   

Upon submission of the H-1B application, United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) makes the final determination of the petitioner’s eligibility for H-1B status.

Additional information on H-1B immigration can be found on the USCIS government website.