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. It also provides general information for TN visas and O-1 visas. Please contact us at immigration@fiu.edu if you have any questions or need additional information.

H-1B Visa 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 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.

Foreign National

Welcome to the Florida International University (FIU). If you are interested in obtaining H-1B visa at FIU, please be sure to consult with your department first, as all requests must be initiated by the hiring department. The H1B process may take more than six months so it is recommended that the process be initiated as early as possible.

Please also note that our office can only advise current and prospective employees on immigration matters related to their employment at FIU. We cannot provide legal advice.

It is important that the H-1B employee abide by the rules of their immigration status. New H-1B employees are required to attend an H-1B Orientation listed below to understand the importance of maintaining status.

Hiring Department

Hiring a foreign national employee differs significantly from hiring a U.S. citizen. FIU primarily sponsors faculty, researchers and scholars. Administrative staff positions will be reviewed by Human Resource separately for H-1B status. The following criteria must be met for sponsorship:

  • The position must require at least a Bachelor’s degree in a specific field and specialized training or knowledge. Positions which require any Bachelor’s degree do not qualify.
  • The position must be full-time. The benefits offered to employees in H-1B status must be the same as those offered to other employees in similar positions.
  • The Department must cover all USCIS fees relating to the application. Exception: If the request for premium processing is for the employee’s personal reasons, the premium processing fee can be paid by the employee.
  • The salary offered must meet this prevailing wage to qualify for H-1B sponsorship.

Process

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.

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

Resources and Government Links

O-1/TN/E-3 Visa Application Process

FIU sponsors qualified foreign nationals for O-1/TN/E-3 visa. Departments should contact immigration@fiu.edu for specific information on how to apply for those visas.

O-1 Visa

The O-1 nonimmigrant visa is for the individual who possesses extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or who has a demonstrated record of extraordinary achievement in the motion picture or television industry and has been recognized nationally or internationally for those achievements.

FIU sponsors qualifying foreign national faculty or researchers who possess extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, business or education.

TN Visa

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) created special economic and trade relationships for the United States, Canada and Mexico. The TN nonimmigrant classification permits qualified Canadian and Mexican citizens to seek temporary entry into the United States to engage in business activities at a professional level.

FIU sponsors qualifying citizens of Canada and Mexico for temporary employment appointments to positions that meet the requirements established by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). To determine if a university position meets the requirements for TN sponsorship, review the NAFTA Professional Level.

E-3 Visa

Per USCIS, the E-3 classification applies only to nationals of Australia. The individual must be coming to the United States solely to perform services in a specialty occupation. The specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of knowledge in professional fields and at least the attainment of a bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent, as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. To get specific information about E-3 visa, please refer to USCIS E-3 Visa.

Permanent Residency/Green Card Application Process

There are three classes/preference levels for employment-based (EB) Green Card applications. You may review the FIU Policy for more information.

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): $2,500 (obtain a decision on the I-140 in 15 calendar days)

Step 2: I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence

The employer is not required by law 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. While an employee is free to use his/her own immigration attorney, please be advised that any immigration documents requiring an FIU signature will need to be reviewed by our attorneys. The employee will therefore incur any attorney’s fees associated with review. Departments may also choose to consult with the law firm retained by the University first. Please contact our office to initiate these types of cases.

For departments who agree to financially sponsor the employee’s EB-1, please complete the Permanent Residency Process Authorization Form.

EB-2

EB-2 is reserved for universities wishing to sponsor an employee holding an advanced degree (i.e. Master or Ph.D.) in a position that requires an advanced degree. Preliminary forms must be approved before the department initiates the questionnaire.

Department PERM Intake Form
Permanent Residency Process Authorization Form

Step 1: PERM (Program Electronic Review Management) Labor Certification
The employer is required by law, to pay all the costs associated with Step 1, the PERM application (legal fees and advertising fees).

Step 2: I-140 Petition for Immigrant Worker
Premium Processing (Optional): $2,500 (obtain a decision on the I-140 in 15 calendar days)

Step 3: I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence

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 will sponsor an EB-3 application. The procedure is the same as EB-2.

Resources and Government Links

Upcoming Permanent Residency Sponsorship Trainings (coming soon)
PERM (Regular) Processing Flowchart
PERM (Special Handling) Processing Flowchart
Visa Bulletin