H-1B Temporary Employment Visa

Beginning July 1, 2020 all H-1B requests must be submitted through Sunapsis.

The H-1B status is reserved for the temporary employment of foreign nationals by a specific employer in a specific job. The job must qualify as a specialty occupation, as defined by the regulations. Federal regulations define "specialty occupation" as: "an occupation that requires (A) theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and (B) 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".

Rutgers Global–International Faculty and Scholar Services is charged with filing all H-1B petitions on behalf of the university. All requests for H-1B sponsorship must be initiated by the hiring department on behalf of the foreign national. The beneficiary cannot self-petition for this category.

Rutgers departments wishing to sponsor foreign nationals for employment under the H-1B status must follow the process(es) outlined here, and submit the application to the International Faculty and Scholar Services office in a timely manner. Please be advised that “Legacy” Rutgers and RBHS units will follow a slightly different process until such time that the processes are more fully integrated.

Helpful Information

Who Qualifies for H-1B? +

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey has created a policy regarding the employment of Foreign Nationals. Please refer to pages 7 & 8 for information  specific to H-1B visa and the appendix for eligible titles. (University Policy 60.1.2)

Rutgers (Legacy) and RBHS (Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences) each have additional requirements, as indicated below: 

  • Legacy Rutgers Requirements 

    • Regular, full-time positions only

    • Minimum Degree Obtained: PhD

    • Lowest Position Eligible:

Asst. Prof. (Teaching or Research Track)
Research Associate (Research Track)
Postdoc Associate (No Post-Doc Fellows)

  • Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences Requirements 
    • Regular, full-time positions only 

Examples of Eligible Titles: 

Research Teaching Specialists (III, II or I)
Research Associates (III, II, or I)
Faculty Appointments 

Challenges and Restrictions +

  • If the Foreign National was previously in the United States on the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa, they may be subject to 212(e) better known as the “2-year Home Residency Requirement.” 
  • If the Foreign National has not fulfilled the 2-year homestay or received a waiver approval from USCIS they will not be eligible for H-1B Sponsorship. 
Maximum Length of H-1B Employment : 6 years
  • Employers can apply for H-1B sponsorship of foreign nationals in 1 to 3 year increments for a maximum of 6 consecutive years.

  • Time previously spent in the U.S. in H-1B status counts against the allowable 6-year maximum.* (*More information can be provided during advising)

  • Foreign Nationals who have reached the 6-year maximum must reside outside the U.S. for at least 12 months before they can once again apply for H-1B status.

Grace Period

Foreign nationals arriving into the US on the initial H-1B can arrive no more than 10 days prior to the start date of their employment. This time is given to procure housing and basic necessities. USCIS may grant the foreign national a 10-day grace period at the end of their employment validity period to prepare for their departure. Be aware that no employment should be conducted during the grace period. 

H-1B Initial Petition Options +

Consular Processing
  • If the foreign national is not in the U.S. at the time IFSA submits the H1B petition to the USCIS, the petition will be processed as a request for Consular Notification. This means that the FN will await the receipt from ISSS of the I-797 Approval Notice, issued by the USCIS, which the FN will then apply for their H-1B visa abroad.
  • Individuals who have received a Consular Petition approval and obtained their H1B visa are permitted to enter the United States up to 10 days prior to the H1B validity start date, which is indicated on the I-797 Approval Notice. Once in the U.S., the FN must be on Rutgers payroll within 30 calendar days.
Change of Status
  • Foreign nationals who are currently in the U.S in a different non-immigrant status may wish to accept employment at Rutgers and be sponsored for H1B status. This would require a petition to USCIS for a Change of Status.

  • The Change of Status internal application process is the same as a Consular or Transfer request, but with different or additional supporting documentation required. 
  • The petition for a Change of Status must be submitted to USCIS prior to the current status end date. Employment in the new position may not commence until an I-797 Approval Notice is received by ISSS from USCIS.
  • Beneficiaries who have been in the U.S. under the J status and who are subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement (INA 212(e)) are ineligible for H-1B status, unless the requirement has been fulfilled or if a waiver of the requirement has been approved by USCIS.

Currently on H-1B Visa Options +


Applications for extension of the H-1B status must be filed with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) prior to the expiration of the foreign national's current H1B authorization. Employers may file for extensions as early as 6 months prior to the expiration of the current H1B status. Failure to file the application for extension prior to the expiration date of the current H-1B approval constitutes a violation of the H-1B workers nonimmigrant status. H-1B workers for whom an extension has been filed with USCIS in a timely manner may continue their employment with the same employer for a period of up to 240 days while the application is pending with USCIS, provided our office has received written notification from USCIS indicating that the application has been received.

Transfers/H-1B Portability

Individuals currently in the U.S. in H-1B status may choose to change employers. This is known as a “transfer” of status  or H-1B portability. A transfer of the H-1B status to a new employer requires that the new employer file an H-1B petition with USCIS on behalf of the prospective employee. RUTGERS hiring units and prospective H-1 employees should keep the following in mind when considering a transfer to RUTGERS:

  • The H-1B employee is allowed to begin his/her employment with RUTGERS once IFSA has filed the H-1B petition, and provided that IFSA has received a receipt notice from USCIS and the requested start date of employment at Rutgers has arrived. It is not necessary to wait for application to be approved in order for the foreign national to begin his/her employment at RUTGERS.  The employment with the new employer may continue as long as USCIS has not denied the petition.
  • Time spent in H-1B status with another employer counts towards the 6 year maximum allowed in H-1B status. H-1B employees can become eligible for another 6 years of H-1B status once they spend a minimum of 12 months outside the U.S.
  • The application process for transfer of the H-1B status is the same as the application process for initial H-1B status. RUTGERS hiring units requesting a transfer of status for a prospective employee must refer to the International Services H-1 Application Process.
  • Transfer notes
    • The H-1B beneficiary should not give notice of resignation to his/her current employer until Rutgers has filed its H-1B petition.  H-1B beneficiaries are expected to maintain their H-1B status throughout the transfer process.  If there is a gap between the beneficiary’s last day of employment at his/her current employer and start date at RUTGERS, USCIS may find that the beneficiary has violated his/her immigration status.  RUTGERS hiring units are advised to work closely with the International Faculty and Scholar Services office to ensure that there is no gap in the foreign national’s employment.
    • Transferring from one RUTGERS or RBHS department to another does not constitute a “transfer” of the H-1B status. Interdepartmental transfers fall under the “change in previously approved employment” category. Please contact the IFSA for guidance on this issue.

Each H-1B approval is job title, job duty, and location-specific.  Rutgers hiring units must contact IFSA if they anticipate any changes to an H-1B employee’s job title, job duties, or worksite location.  In most cases, any of these changes will require the filing of an amended H-1B petition before the change can take place.

Dependents +

  • Spouse and children (under the age of 21) of the Foreign Nationals are eligible to apply for the H-4 dependent visa through the I-539 (https://www.uscis.gov/i-539) if currently residing in the US. 
  • Certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrants can file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, as long as the H-1B nonimmigrant has already started the process of seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status. Please contact an immigration attorney for any further questions regarding H-4 employment.

Helpful Links +