H-1B Status at UT

International Student & Scholar Services processes H-1B petitions for eligible position titles at UT. The allowable position titles can be found in the UT Policy for Hiring Foreign Nationals. The hiring department must initiate the H-1B request to ISSS to begin the process. Processing times for an H-1B petition can take up to six to eight months, so it is recommended to start the process as early as possible.

H-1B is a nonimmigrant visa status for an international worker who will perform services in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation is one that requires a specialized body of knowledge, meaning that the job requires at least a bachelor’s degree. The regulations pertaining to the H-1B nonimmigrant status indicate the following:

  • H-1B is job specific - the number of hours, job title, nature of job duties, and salary are all specified within the corresponding H-1B petition. Thus, an H-1B status holder is authorized to work for the employer that sponsored the H-1B position only, and may not work or receive payment from any other employer in the U.S. (including honoraria).
  • H-1B is location specific - work that will be performed outside of Austin or a change in departments during the approved H-1B status may require an amendment of the H-1B petition.
  • H-1B is time specific - the H-1B status can initially be granted for a period of up to 3 years, which is renewable for a maximum of 6 years, with few exceptions.

Maintaining H-1B Status

While traveling in H-1B status, it is important to carry your original I-797 H-1B Approval Notice, valid passport, valid H-1B visa and current proof of your employment. Please note that being in valid H-1B status is not the same as having a valid H-1B Visa. H-1B status holders will need to apply for an H-1B visa to re-enter the country after international travel. For information on obtaining a visa, visit the website of the U.S. Consulate in your home country and review our page Prepare for Your H-1B Visa Interview. International travel plans should account for potential delays while obtaining the visa at the U.S. Consulate. If you would like to check out your original I-797 H-1B Approval Notice for travel or if you have further questions about traveling or applying for a visa, please schedule an appointment for Faculty & Scholar Advising.

Extending H-1B Status

The length of time an individual may remain in the U.S. in H-1B status is indicated on I-94 Arrival/Departure record. Ordinarily, the date on the I-94 should be consistent with the H-1B approval notice on form I-797.

Please report any inconsistencies immediately to an International Faculty & Scholar Advisor. If an extension is needed, the department must initiate the process by contacting ISSS 6-8 months prior to the current H-1B expiration. The H-1B status holder will need to provide supporting documentation for the H-1B extension petition, as reflected on the ISSS website.

Understanding H-1B Immigration Documents