H-1B Visa and Permanent Residency Process

This webpage is designed to assist departments in obtaining employment-based H-1B non-immigrant temporary visas and Green Cards (Permanent Residency Status) for foreign national employees. Please feel free to contact us at immigration@fiu.edu should you have any questions or need additional information.

H-1B Application Process

Overview

USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) defines an H-1B occupation as a “specialty occupation” which requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific specialty (or its equivalent) as minimum qualification for entry into the occupation in the United States.

FIU has an internal process to help departments meet the requirements of the federal government when obtaining an H-1B visa. This process has two parts, the preliminary steps and the H-1B visa process.  There are three integral components to obtaining an H-1B visa:

  1. Minimum salary required by the federal government.
  2. Application Fees must accompany the paperwork submitted.
  3. The Cost of a return trip for the employee in questions, in the event the University terminates employment prior to the expiration of the visa.

Each of these components are delineated below.

FIU has retained a law firm team to secure H-1B visas for its employees.  This law firm prepares and files the visa applications on behalf of FIU. No department shall retain or authorize outside counsel to prepare these applications.

Process

Preliminary Steps

H-1B Visa Process

Labor Condition Application (ETA Form 9035) Filing Notices

View filing notices for Labor Condition Applications required by the US Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration.

Processing fees

All H-1B fees must be paid by the sponsoring department:
Checks should be made payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Each fee requires a separate check.

Government Filing Fee$ 460.00
Government Fraud Detection Fee
Only required for the initial H-1B
$ 500.00
Government Premium Processing Fee
Obtain a decision from USCIS within 15 calendar days
*Must be paid by the employer unless there is a reason from the employee's personal needs
$ 1,410.00

*USCIS periodically adjusts its fees. On October 24, 2016, USCIS published a final rule adjusting immigration benefit application and petition fees, effective December 23, 2016. For a list of new fees, visit https://www.uscis.gov/forms/our-fees.

Post Hiring and Termination of Employment

It is the Department’s responsibility to “offer” a one-way airfare ticket back to the last country of origin should a foreign national employee on an H-1B sponsorship be terminated, prior to the current expiration date. Airfare is required only for the employee and not for their family members. If the foreign national resigns from the position, the sponsoring department is not liable for the return airfare. It is VERY important that departments send notification to immigration@fiu.edu when a foreign national on a work visa is terminated OR resigns, as we are required to provide notice to USCIS.  Failure to provide notice could result in the Department being required to pay back wages from the time the employment ended until the day USCIS received our notification.

Helpful Resources

Permanent Residency/Green Card Application Process

Overview

There are three classes/preference levels for employment based (EB) Green Card applications. Please visit FIU Policy for this matter.

EB-1

EB-1 is reserved for Outstanding Professors and Researchers. Individuals must be recognized internationally as outstanding in their field to be approved under this category. In addition, the applicant must have an offer of full-time permanent employment (or tenure-track for teaching positions) at FIU.

  • Step 1: I-140 Petition for Immigrant Worker
    • Premium Processing (Optional): $1,225 (obtain a decision on the I-140 in 15 calendar days)
  • Step 2: I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence

By law, the employer does not need to pay any fees for this application. Private legal counsel and services may be retained by, and at the sole cost of, non-immigrant employees for petitions for such classifications. Departments may choose to consult with the law firm retained by the University first. Please contact our office to initiate this type of case, as the questionaire on the FIU Immigration Home Page (IHP) is not required.

EB-2

EB-2 is reserved for University’s wishing to sponsor an employee holding an advanced degree (i.e. Master or Ph.D.) in a position that requires an advanced degree.

  • Step 1: PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) Labor Certification
  • Step 2: I-140 Petition for Immigrant Worker
    • Premium Processing (Optional): $1,225 (obtain a decision on the I-140 in 15 calendar days)
  • Step 3: I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence

By law, the employer must pay all the costs associated with Step 1, the PERM application (legal fees and advertising fees).

EB-2 (National Interest Waiver)

National Interest Waiver (NIW) is reserved for aliens of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business whose presence and activities in the U.S. are of national interest. Departments may choose to consult with the law firm retained by the University first. University sponsorship is not required for an employee to file under the NIW category.

EB-3

EB-3 is reserved for Universities wishing to sponsor employees holding a Bachelor’s degree in a position that requires at least a bachelor’s degree. It is extremely rare that FIU sponsor EB-3. The procedure is the same as EB-2.

Forms

For EB-1 application: Permanent Residency Process Authorization Form

For EB-2/EB-3 (PERM) application:

Helpful Resources:

PERM (Regular) Processing Flowchart
PERM (Special Handling) Processing Flowchart