Frequently Asked Questions about H-1B Employment Authorization for CMU Employees
H-1B is a temporary, nonimmigrant classification providing employment authorization for those in a specialty occupation. Specialty occupations are those that require both theoretical and practical knowledge and at a minimum, a bachelor's or higher degree as entry into the position.
H-1B is a temporary, nonimmigrant classification providing employment authorization for those in a specialty occupation. Specialty occupations are those that require both theoretical and practical knowledge and at a minimum, a bachelor's or higher degree as entry into the position. Central Michigan University will consider filing an H-1B petition on a case-by-case basis. Faculty, both tenure-track and fixed-term positions, and P&A positions generally qualify. Supervisory Technical positions requiring a bachelor's degree may also qualify.
It can take up to six months to prepare, file, and receive approval of H-1B status. Cases may be expedited through payment (to USCIS) of a $2500 Premium Processing fee. The $2500 Premium Processing fee is generally covered by the hiring department.
H-1B may be requested for up to a three-year time period which can be extended to a total of six years in H-1B status.
As an institution of higher education, petitions filed by CMU are cap-exempt. This means that they are not subject to the annual quota of new H-1B petitions approved by USCIS. This also allows CMU flexibility in start dates for the H-1B petitions. The H-1B is not a path to permanent residency. However, the position may provide opportunities for permanent residency.
E-Verify is a web-based program that allows employers to confirm new employee’s employment authorization CMU does not participate in the E-Verify program. This means that CMU is unable to employ F-1 students holding employment authorization under the OPT STEM Extension. The hiring department is responsible for all H-1B related fees including filing and associated attorney's fees. Each college or administrative unit may have its own expense guidelines. For more information, please see the
CMU'S RESPONSIBILITY FOR IMMIGRATION EXPENSES.pdf All Central Michigan University H-1B petitions are processed through the Office of Global Engagement. Departments and individuals are not authorized to submit an H-1B petition independently. A new H-1B beneficiary may begin work when they have received the Form I-797A Approval Notice with attached I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) and presented these to Faculty Personnel Services or Human Resources. Faculty Personnel Services or Human Resources will confirm eligibility to begin work and have the new employee complete the I-9 work eligibility form before work may begin. Both are temporary visa statuses that may provide employment authorization. The J-1 has many different categories including researcher, teacher, short-term scholar, and student. In the employment context, postdoctoral research fellows utilizing the J-1 Exchange Visitor status to pursue their research positions may or may not require employment authorization. Unlike J-1 status, H-1B status does not have different categories and is solely for employment authorization. Any substantial change in duties or employment of an H-1B beneficiary requires an approved, amended H-1B petition. Departments should consult with the Office of Global Engagement if considering such action, as this could impact the beneficiary's status. H-1B authorization is position and employer-specific. A new H-1B petition would be required for new or additional employment. Yes, generally speaking, H-1B authorization may be extended to a total of no more than a total of six years. Employees may obtain employment authorization through Exchange Visitor (J-1), TN Nafta Professionals, or F-1 with Optional Practical Training status. An RFE is a Request for Evidence issued by USCIS while adjudicating an H-1B petition. If an RFE is issued, the university's attorneys will review the request and notify the university of the response required. Yes, an RFE can extend processing time considerably. The precise time frame will depend on the content of the RFE. Current processing times can take up to six months for an H-1B petition. If the $2500 Premium Processing fee is paid, a 15 Business Day response by USCIS is required. If an RFE is issued, the response will be delayed beyond 15 days.
Most new H-1B petitions require Premium Processing due to lengthy USCIS processing times. If the petition is a renewal, or if the employee holds H-1B status currently, Premium Processing may not be necessary. A bachelor's degree or its equivalent is required for an H-1B position. When filing an H-1B petition, the university must attest whether or not an Export Control license is required for the position. If it is required, the beneficiary may not begin employment until the license is obtained.
The sponsoring department is required to contact the Office of Global Engagement. If the employee is not transferring to a new position in the US or changing to another status, the department may be responsible for purchasing a one-way airplane ticket for the employee to return to their home country.