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H-1B Visa Status for Specialty Occupation Workers

H-1B status allows employers to hire a qualifying foreign national (H-1B beneficiary) temporarily in a certain type of employment position called a “specialty occupation.” A foreign employee cannot apply for H-1B status. The employer is responsible for petitioning the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to obtain permission to hire a particular foreign national to fill a position which normally requires at least a bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent, in the field. The H-1B benefit for a foreign employee is a maximum of 6 years in duration, granted in increments of up to 3 years each.

The position must require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, and the foreign national applicant must possess at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the field in which he/she is seeking employment. If the position requires a higher degree, the foreign national applicant must possess at least that degree in order to be eligible for that employment position. If the foreign national applicant is working towards completion of the degree that the employment position requires, we will not be able to submit the H-1B petition to USCIS until the foreign national has actually received the degree that the position requires.

H-1B status is employer-specific and job-specific. Therefore, if you are granted H-1B status through MUSC, you may only work for MUSC in the specific position for which H-1B status was granted.

There is no grace period with H-1B status. When your employment ends, your H-1B status ends. If your employment ends and you have not obtained a change to another status, you must prepare to depart from the US immediately.

MUSC personnel looking for information on the process of sponsoring an individual in H-1B status should refer to the page on H-1B employees for MUSC departments.