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H-1B VISA

Compliance with U.S. Immigration Laws & Regulations: The Role and Responsibility of the International in H-1B Visa Classification

Ramapo

The H visa category is for the temporary employment or training of foreign nationals by a specific employer. This category is broken down into eight subcategories. This information sheet concerns the H-1B subcategory. The H-1B is used for individuals who will perform services in a “specialty occupation.” Employment in H-1B status is limited to the specific employer and employment specified in the H-1B petition. Individuals in H-1B status are permitted to remain in the U.S. as long as they maintain their H-1B status by working only for the employer who has sponsored their status and by adhering to the original terms and conditions of employment. Any changes in employment must be reported to the International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) in advance. Some examples of changes include but are not limited to the following: a leave of absence, promotion, change in salary, or change of department.

Please keep in mind that there is a difference between H-1B status and an H-1B visa. H-1B status is granted when an employer receives an Approval Notice (Form I-797) from the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) approving the H-1B petition. An H-1B visa is the stamp placed in a foreign national’s passport by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and is granted for entry purposes only. Even if your visa is valid, you can lose your legal H-1B status if you do not comply with immigration laws regulating your stay in the U.S. If you fail to maintain your legal H-1B status, you may be considered unlawfully present in the United States and may be subject to deportation.

It is critical that internationals in H-1B visa classification maintain their legal status in the United States. You must be aware of and comply fully with the following:

    • Maintain a valid passport at all times, unless exempt from passport requirements.
    • Work only for the employer(s) that have obtained an approved H-1B petition on your behalf.
    • Report any proposed changes in employment conditions to the Office of International Students’ and Scholars’ Services (ISSS).
    • H-1B status can be granted for an initial period of up to the three (3) years. An extension can also be granted for additional three-years. The cumulative maximum duration in H-1B classification is six (6) years, with limited exceptions.
    • Non-immigrants in H-4 status (dependents of H-1B status holders) are NOT authorized to work.
    • The processing of an H-1B petition is an extremely complex and lengthy process involving government agencies at the local, state, and federal level. It is your responsibility to ensure that the processing for any extension(s) of your H-1B status is started in a timely manner. [NOTE: You are strongly urged to start the process 4 -5 months in advance.]
    • “Dual intent” is recognized for individuals in H-1B status. A foreign national in H-1B status is not subjectto the presumption of immigrant intent under U.S. immigration law.
    • There is NO grace period for foreign nationals in H-1B status after the authorized period of stay ends. You must petition for an extension or change of status prior to the expiration of your current H-1B status. If youresign from your job or are terminated, and you have no other petition currently pending with USCIS, youare considered to be out of legal status.
    • Do NOT travel outside the U.S. without first consulting the Office of ISSS for the proper advisement and documentation.
    • Report a change of address to the ISSS within 10 days of the change. You should also report the change to the departments throughout Ramapo College. Finally, you must also notify the USCIS by completing Form AR-11or AR-11SR.You can download the form at: www.uscis.gov/ar-11

IMPORTANT NOTE

This information is not exhaustive and is subject to change without notice. Internationals in H-1B visa classification should contact International Student and Scholar Services at (201) 684-7567 to arrange an appointment to discuss any questions or concerns related to your legal status in the United States.

The ISSS Internet site is also an important resource for a variety of important information regarding your stay in the United States. To access the site, go to www.ramapo.edu/international

Applicant Checklist For H-1B1 Visa Status

New H-1B Inside of the United States
  • Applicant worksheet/Application.
  • Mandatory Statement Form.

Two copies of:

  • Diplomas* and English translations.
  • Transcripts and English translations.
  • I-94
  • Passport ID & visa stamp page.
  • CV

*If your degree was awarded by an educational institution outside of the United States, you MUST submit a professional credential evaluation stating the U.S. equivalent of your degree. SEE BELOW for evaluation services

If Currently in J-1/J-2 Status:

Two copies of:

  • All IAP-66/DS-2019 Forms.
  • Home residency waiver Form I-612 (if applicable).
  • Marriage certificate and translation if J-2 status.

If Currently in F-1/F-2 Status:

Two copies of:

  • All I-20 Forms (including spouse Forms if F-2).
  • EAD card (if applicable).
  • Marriage certificate and translation if F-2.

APPLICATION FEE: $460.00

Payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” (PAID by Ramapo College)

Completed by dependents:

  • Form I-539. USCIS I-539 Application
  • $370.00 feePayable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” (PAID by the APPLICANT)
  • Proof of dependent relationship to applicant.
  • Copies of dependent(s)’ I-94
  • Passport ID & visa stamp page.
New H-1B Outside of the United States
  • Applicant worksheet/Application.
  • Mandatory Statement Form.

Two copies of:

  • Diplomas* and English translations.
  • Transcripts and English translations.
  • Passport ID.
  • CV.
  • Any former immigration documents that you obtained from previous stays in the U.S.

*If your degree was awarded by an educational institution outside of the United States, you MUST submit a professional credential evaluation stating the U.S. equivalent of your degree. SEE BELOW for evaluation services. SEE BELOW for evaluation services

APPLICATION FEE: $460.00

Payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” (PAID by Ramapo College)

NOTE: Please contact the U.S. Embassy/Consulate where you will be getting the visa and find out what documentation is required at the time of application and how far in advance you must make an appointment, if at all.

(Please note that Canadian citizens are exempt from visa requirements.)

H-1B Extension Inside or Outside of the United States

If already at Ramapo College:

    • Applicant worksheet.
    • Mandatory Statement Form.
    • 2 copies of updated CV.
    • 2 copies of most recent I-94.
    • Passport ID.

If in H status somewhere else within the U.S. and seeking to start at Ramapo College:

  • Applicant worksheet/Application
  • Mandatory Statement Form.

Two copies of:

  • All previous Forms I-797.
  • Diplomas* and English translations.
  • Transcripts and English translations.
  • I-94.
  • Passport ID & visa stamp page.
  • CV.
  • Pay stubs from current employer.

*If your degree was awarded by an educational institution outside of the United States, you MUST submit a professional credential evaluation stating the U.S. equivalent of your degree. SEE BELOW for evaluation services.

APPLICATION FEE: $460.00

Payable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security.” (PAID by Ramapo College)

Completed by dependents:

  • Form I-539. USCIS I-539 Application
  • All previous Forms I-797.
  • $370.00 feePayable to “U.S. Department of Homeland Security” (PAID by the APPLICANT)
  • Proof of dependent relationship to applicant.
  • Copies of dependent(s)’ I-94.
  • Passport ID & visa stamp page.

For information regarding evaluations of educational credentials from all countries of the world, please consult one of the following websites:

H-1B APPLICATION

H-1B Petition Instructions to Departments & International Faculty/Staff

Office of International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is responsible for the advising and processing of the H-1B visa status for full-time tenure-track faculty and full time permanent staff and managers. The information listed below must be submitted to ISSS well in advance of the date the employee is expected to begin work in H-1B status. Approval of the H-1B visa status must be obtained before the employee can be placed on Ramapo College Payroll unless the employee possesses another status that allows employment while the H-1B petition is pending.

All the information must be submitted to:

Rajesh Adhikari, Director for Int’l Student/Scholars
Ramapo College
The Roukema Center for International Education
Phone: (201) 684-7567
Fax: (201) 684-7989
Email: radhikar@ramapo.edu

Fees (as applicable)

  • Form I-129, petition for H-1B worker: $460 (paid by Ramapo College)
  • Form I-539, application for dependents: $370 (paid by the applicant)
  • Form I-907, premium processing fee: $1,225 (optional)
  • Fraud prevention and detection fee: $500 (must be paid by Ramapo College)

ALL OF THE ABOVE FEES MUST BE IN THE FORM OF A CHECK MADE PAYABLE TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY,” AND MUST BE SUBMITTED TO INT’L SERVICES. SEPARATE CHECKS MUST BE SUBMITTED FOR EACH FEE.

The ISSS will be responsible for preparing and mailing the completed H-1B petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). USCIS is an agency within the US Department of Homeland Security.

Copies of the completed petition will be kept on file in ISSS and a copy of the petition will be given to the Faculty/staff candidate for their own record-keeping purposes.

The faculty/staff candidate may not begin work at Ramapo College until USCIS approves the H-1B status or unless they currently have another employment authorization that will cover their legal employment until the H-1B status is approved.