Temple University is pleased to welcome international scholars and employees to the city of Philadelphia and Temple's campus. Temple University is very proud of its long tradition of involvement in fostering international education. The current faculty, staff, and students are always eager to have new faces and perspectives added to the foundation of the institution.
International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) is available to assist Temple University-sponsored international scholars and employees with immigration matters as they prepare to arrive in the United States. ISSS encourages visitors to peruse the ISSS website for information about Temple, Philadelphia, the ISSS office and immigration requirements.
H-1B Application Process
You can check Case Processing Times on USCIS’ website: https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/
You need to click on I-129 – Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker under “Form” and California Service Center under “Field Office or Service Center”.
Remember that employees filing an H-1B extension can work for up to 240 days past their current H-1B Approval Notice end date if USCIS receives our Extension petition prior to their current end date. Employees for whom we have filed an H-1B Transfer petition can begin working as of the start date listed on the H-1B petition as long as we have received a Receipt Notice from USCIS.
Initial H-1B Petition:
If Applicant is OUTSIDE the US, our office will mail the Original Approval Notice along with a copy of the H-1B petition to the applicant abroad. Applicant then must apply for H-1B visa stamp at US Embassy unless visa-exempt. Applicant may not enter the US more than 10 days prior to the start date listed on the Approval Notice.
If Applicant is INSIDE the US, the applicant cannot begin working until the start date listed on the H-1B Petition and our office has received the ORIGINAL Approval Notice.
Extension H-1B Petition:
Please note that after our office files an Extension H-1B Petition, the employee may work for 240 days beyond the expiration date on the current Approval Notice expiration date provided USCIS receives the H petition PRIOR to current expiration date.
Amendment H-1B Petition:
The employee may not begin the new position until USCIS receives our petition. Contact HR/Payroll Management for more information once H petition is submitted.
Transfer H-1B Petition:
The employee may not begin working in the Temple University position until USCIS receives our petition. Contact HR/Payroll Management for more information once H petition is submitted.
Estimated Length of Time to Receive Receipt Notice Once H-1B Petition is Submitted to USCIS: Usually 1-4 days if petition was submitted with Premium Processing; 1-3 Weeks if filed without Premium Processing.
Travel outside the US while an Extension, Amendment or Transfer Petition is Pending with USCIS will be complicated. Please contact ISSS for further information as Premium Processing may be necessary.
Please review estimated processing times when choosing a Requested Start Date and End of Employment Issues when choosing a Requested End Date. ISSS can request up to 3 years on each H-1B petition unless job offer is for a shorter period of time. The End Date for Faculty and Post Doctoral Fellows must match the appointment/contract letter.
ISSS may take up to 45 days to complete the processing of the materials for this petition so the department should submit a complete application to ISSS no later than two months prior to the requested H-1B start date. Departments can submit a completed H-1B application up to six months prior to the H-1B start date.
- Department begins H-1B application in Destiny One (D1)
- H-1B applicant completes Applicant sections of the application and uploads required documents
- Department adds required information and uploads required documents
- If the H-1B will be hired through Human Resources (Associate Scientist, for example) then HR Generalist will send required documents to ISSS through TUSafesend. The Graduate School will upload approved Postdoctoral Fellow Research Associate letters to Destiny One.
- Department submits a completed H-1B applicant's record to ISSS
- Department mails or drops off necessary checks to ISSS
- ISSS sends Deemed Export Attestation Form to the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR). This form is required for every H application that is submitted, regardless of whether research is involved. This process is dependent upon the nature of the position and the research technologies involved and therefore unpredictable.
- Upon determination that the higher of either the prevailing or actual wage is being paid to the employee, ISSS begins LCA process and begins the posting notice process (this is not a posting for recruitment purposes). Please note that certification of an LCA takes a minimum of seven days.
- Once OVPR notifies ISSS that no Deemed Export License is required, the LCA has been certified by DOL, and ISSS has a complete application, ISSS begins processing the Form I-129 and supporting letter for the H-1B petition. This step of the process may take several business days.
- When the application process is complete, the H-1B petition is compiled, checks are attached and the petition is submitted to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) via UPS. If petition is being premium processed, we expect a response from the USCIS within 15 days of USCIS’ receipt of petition. The response can be an approval notice, a request for further evidence, or an intent to deny the petition. If the petition is submitted without PP, we should receive a Receipt Notice from USCIS within one month and hopefully an Approval Notice within 15 months.
- The hiring department, Human Resources and the H-1B applicant will be notified via email when ISSS receives the Receipt Notice and Approval Notice from USCIS.
When Temple University files an I-129 petition, we may request either a change of status or consular processing. A change of status is appropriate for individuals who are currently in the United States. Consular processing is used for those who are overseas or those who will be traveling overseas while the application is pending. Travel outside the United States while a change of status is pending will abandon that change of status. All H-1B applicants must discuss any travel plans with the hiring department. ISSS will then work with the H-1B Applicant and the Hiring Department to determine whether a change of status or consular processing is best.
When USCIS approves the I-129 petition, the Service Center sends an I-797 approval notice to ISSS. If a change of status was requested, a new I-94 will be attached to the approval and will serve as evidence of employment eligibility. If consular processing was chosen, USCIS sends the original approval notice to ISSS and notifies the U.S. Consulate that ISSS indicated on the I-129 petition. The individual must then travel to the consulate to apply for an H-1B visa.
An individual who requests a change of status will be required to apply for an H-1B visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad if s/he departs the United States. An H-1B employee may travel to Canada or Mexico for 30 days or less without a valid H-1B visa stamp, as long as s/he retains the Form I-94 and presents it for re-entry to the United States within a 30 day period. This is referred to as automatic visa revalidation. Citizens of countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism by the US Department of State (Iran, Sudan and Syria) are not eligible for automatic visa revalidation.
- Certificate of Authenticity
- Copies of Valid Passport (photo page, US visa & entry stamps, renewal pages)
- Copy of most recent I-94 if inside the US https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/home
- Current CV
- Copy of any license needed for this position
- Copies of 3 most recent paychecks to establish current employment in the US ONLY
- English-language translations of all diplomas
- English-language transcripts for all degrees
- Academic Credentials Evaluation if Highest Degree Earned Outside the US www.temple.edu/isss/general/credential.html
- Copies of all I-20 / DS-2019 Forms and EAD cards
- For applicants who hold or have ever held J status, one of the following:
- Proof that the J-1 Two Year Home Residency Requirement was Fulfilled By Spending 2 Years in Country of Residence OR
- An Advisory Opinion issued from the US Department of State in the past six months declaring that H-1B Applicant is not subject OR
- Waiver Recommendation from US Dept of State AND Form I-612 from USCIS www.temple.edu/isss/immigration/residency.html
- Copies of USCIS Receipt/Approval Notices ( I-797, I-140, I-485, I-539, etc – this includes ALL H-1B Approval Notices and a Receipt notice if you have an H-1B petition pending)
- Copy of PERM if TU-Sponsored for Green Card
- H-1B Applicant’s USMLE Score Reports, Steps 1, 2 and 3 [clinical employment only]
- H-1B Applicant’s ECFMG Certification if Graduate of Foreign Medical Institution [clinical employment only]
What is the Premium Processing Service?
An H-1B employer (or beneficiary if s/he has a personal reason for submitting a petition with PP) can elect to pay a separate $1,440 premium processing fee to accelerate processing of the petition. The fee must be paid in a check made payable to the US Department of Homeland Security that is separate from other H-1B filing fees. Under the premium processing program, USCIS guarantees that within 15 calendar-days it will issue either an approval notice, a notice of intent to deny, a request for evidence (RFE), or a notice of investigation for fraud or misrepresentation. If USCIS fails to meet its 15-calendar-day guarantee, it will refund the $1,440 to the company, but will continue to process the petition expeditiously. In addition to expedited processing, companies that participate in the program may use a dedicated phone number and e-mail address to check on the status of their petition or ask any other questions concerning their petition.
Who can apply for Premium Processing and how?
Only the Temple University Office of International Student and Scholar Services can apply for this service. You cannot do so as an individual. We will complete Form I-907 (Request for Premium Processing) and attach the fee of $1,440. The fee should be paid by a separate check, not to be combined with the regular processing fee.
For an H-1B or E-3 petition (and some TN applications), Temple University is required to provide documentation showing that the applicant is fully qualified to work in the specialty occupation for which we are submitting a petition. This includes, among other materials, a formal credentials evaluation of the applicant’s foreign degrees.
Consistent with University Counsel guidance and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service regulations, an H-1B or E-3 applicant (and some TN applicants) whose highest degree is from an institution outside of the United States is required to submit an official credentials evaluation of their degree (s) from one of the accredited agencies listed below with their Petition/Application:
Association of International Credential Evaluators: www.aice-eval.org/
Morningside Evaluations: www.morningeval.com/
National Association of Credential Evaluation Services: www.naces.org
The Trustforte Corporation www.trustforte.com
World Education Services: www.wes.org
Click here for more information.
If a petitioner files a timely petition for an employee seeking continuation of the same employment in the same status with the same employer without change, the beneficiary may continue to work for their sponsoring employer for an additional 240 days beyond the expiration of their current stay, while the application for extension of stay is pending. For petition-based categories, "timely" means that USCIS receives the extension package (with proper fees):
- Before the expiration of the current period of H-1B status (see 8 CFR 214.1(c)(4)); and
- Before the expiration of the employer's H-1B petition
This 240-day rule applies only to the following nonimmigrant categories: A-3, CW-1, E-1, E-2, E-3, G-5, H-1B, H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, I, J-1, L-1, O-1, O-2, P-1, P-2, P-3, R or TN.
These are all nonimmigrant categories where the alien is authorized for employment with a specific employer incident to status.
If USCIS does not adjudicate the extension petition within 240 days of the expiration of the prior petition validity period, the beneficiary must stop working until USCIS approves the petition.
An H-1B nonimmigrant may extend status beyond the six-year limit under the following circumstances:
- AC21 106(a). Extensions in increments of up to one year if 365 days or more have passed since:
- the filing of any application for labor certification (Form ETA 750 or 9089) that is required or used by the alien to obtain status as an EB immigrant; or
- the filing of an EB immigrant petition (I-140)
- AC21 104(c). Extensions of up to three years if the alien is the beneficiary of an approved EB immigration petition and is not able to file to adjust status to U.S. permanent legal residence or obtain an immigrant visa based solely on the unavailability of an immigrant visa number due to the "per country" limits on visa availability.
Keep ALL visa documents (e.g. Forms DS-2019 / I-797 / I-20 / I-94) in a safe place. You may be asked to provide copies of these documents in the future if you apply for a new benefit with USCIS, if you apply for US Legal Permanent Residence (green card) or if you depart and then return to the US.
TU may be required to notify USCIS and/or the U.S. Department of Labor if you leave before the end date of your immigration status. Email ISSS if you will complete, withdraw, or resign from your employment prior to the expiration of your current status.
Unlike the F and J immigration categories, there is no automatic "grace period" for aliens holding an Employment Immigration status (E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B, L-1, or TN) after their period of authorized stay ends or after their employment terminates. However, DHS may in its discretion grant grace periods to certain employment-based nonimmigrants, including:
- A 10-day period before and after the validity period of the petition, in the E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B, L-1, or TN categories
- Up to 60 days once during each authorized validity period in the E-1, E-2, E-3, H-1B, H-1B1, L-1, O-1 or TN categories, during which DHS will not consider the worker and his or her dependents "to have failed to maintain nonimmigrant status solely on the basis of a cessation of the employment on which the alien's classification was based."
The application of these rules can be complicated.
- The grace periods are not automatic
- They are granted on a discretionary, case by case basis by DHS
- The beneficiary may not work during either a 10-day or a 60-day grace period
- Since they deal with maintenance of individual immigration status, nonimmigrant workers should consult an experienced immigration lawyer if they have questions.