Hiring Overview

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) will determine which visa status is the most appropriate category for a newly hired international faculty or staff member and will process the necessary forms to apply for employment authorization. All international faculty who received a degree outside of the US, are required to obtain a credential evaluation. JMU Human Resources can offer services through the Dual Career and Community Resources Program to help new international faculty and their families who are moving to the area. Jonathan Kratz can help answer questions regarding the hiring process for international faculty and staff.

H-1B Overview

The H-1B non-immigrant classification is for the employment of foreign workers in “specialty occupation” in the United States.  The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) statue defines “specialty occupation” for H-1B purposes as “an occupation that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.”

H-1B Specialty Workers are authorized to work in specialized fields for a maximum period of six years. James Madison University may sponsor an employee for H-1B authorization for a period of up to three years at a time. 

To be eligible for sponsorship for H-1B status at the university, a position must meet the following criteria:

  • It is a specialty occupation requiring specialized knowledge.
  • The position and occupation require the minimum of a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in the relevant field of study.
  • It is a full-time, salaried position.
  • The salary must meet Department of Labor wage requirements.
The H-1B Process

Hiring department will inform ISSS about hiring a foreign national by entering a “new sponsorship request” in Terra Dotta System. (Instructions to complete the request)

ISSS will review the “new sponsorship request” and determine the appropriate visa category for the foreign national. Upon approval, an additional request for information will be sent to both the department and the foreign national.

ISSS files Labor Condition Application (LCA) with US Department of Labor (takes up to 10 days).

ISSS will send a Notice of Intent to File for the department to post for 10 business days. 

Once the LCA is approve, the H-1B Petition will be completed and filed to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  

USCIS issues Notice of Action/”receipt notice” indicating that the H-1B petition has been received (takes 2-3 weeks). If employee already has H-1B status, and is changing employers, he/she may begin employment with JMU. If employee already has H-1B status, and is currently employed by JMU and is seeking an extension of stay, they may continue employment for up to 240 days from the date of their H-1B expires, if the petition remains pending after the expiration date. If employee is seeking to change status to H-1B, they must wait for the H-1B petition to be approved before starting H-1B employment.

USCIS adjudicates H-1B petition and issues “approval notice” (takes 4-8 months, or up to 15 days if premium processed) unless additional evidence is requested, the petition is rejected, or the petition is denied.

If H-1B employee is abroad, sponsoring department sends approved H-1B notice to employee and they apply for visa at a US consulate. If approved, consular officer issues an H visa and employee travels to the US.

Canadian citizens do not need a visa to enter the U.S. Therefore a Canadian employee will travel to the U.S upon receipt of the approved petition packet.

Further Questions?

If you have any further questions about the H-1B process, please contact Jonathan Kratz.

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