Apply for an initial H-1B
Overseas and Change of Status applicants will need to apply for an initial H-1B. The IO only accepts H-1B requests from NU sponsoring departments, so any application should begin with the applicant speaking with his or her department; once the department has confirmed its sponsorship, the H-1B applicant can apply. The International Office processes the application through Law Logix, an online case management system that is accessible by the IO advisor, department contact, and H-1B beneficiary.
1. Submit required documentation to your host department.
Your host department must submit your forms and documents (listed below) along with its own documents as a complete package to the IO.
- Copy of passport biographical page
- Current curriculum vitae (CV)
- Copy of diploma(s)
- Copy of transcript(s)
- Credential evaluation, if you got your degree outside the U.S.
Recommended evaluation companies include: Evaluation Service, Inc.; World Education Services (WES); Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE); One Earth International Credential Evaluators
If you once hald a J-1 visa:
Copies of proof of J-1 status such as J1 visa stamp(s), DS-2019(s)
If you are subject to the 212(e) two-year residency requirement:
- Copy of waiver recommendation
- Copy of I-612
- Proof that you fulfilled the requirements by living and working in your home country for a full two years
If you once held H-1B visa status:
- Copy of all previous H-1B Approval Notices
If you are changing your status within the U.S. and you have dependendents in the U.S. with you:
- Submit the I-539 form and associated documents
2. Complete the online questionnaire in Law Logix
The International Office (IO) will send you necessary login information to Law Logix (ww8.welcomeclient.com) after your sponsoring department has submitted their request to the IO.
3. Receive Receipt Notice and Approval Notice
All initial H-1B applicants (overseas and Change of Status) must receive the Approval Notice from USCIS before employment in H-1B status at Northwestern can begin.
- Within approximately two to three weeks, the IO Front Desk emails you, your department contact, and Payroll confirming the receipt of the Receipt Notice.
- Within approximately three to four months, the IO Front Desk emails you, your department contact, and Payroll confirming the decision made by USCIS. The Approval Notice and support documents will be ready for pick-up at the IO. If you are outside of Evanston/Chicago area, the department contact will pick-up documents and send them to you.
4. Apply for the H-1B visa at a US Consulate or Embassy
- Completed Visa Application Form, DS-160 (if applicable)
- Original I-797 Approval Notice form
- Copies of the H-1B (I-129) petition
- Updated letter of employment from your NU department (necessary for renewing H-1B visas)
- Application fee. Please check the US Consulate/Embassy website for details
If dependents are accompanying you, please make sure that you have birth certificates of your children; have an original marriage certificate, photographs of your wedding, invitations, etc. as proof of evidence.
Please check the US Consulate/Embassy website for any additional documents required by an individual consular post.
5. Arrival and check-in.
Overseas applicants must check in with the IO upon arrival and then the Payroll Office prior to starting work. Learn more about check-in procedures. Please note that if you are arriving from outside the U.S., you may only enter 10 days before your H-1B start date.
Change of Status applicants must retrieve his or her Approval Notice documents from the IO and present the original to the Payroll Office prior to starting empoyment in H-1B status.
1. Collect required documents and submit them to the IO
In addition to the packet of documents submitted by the applicant (listed above), the host department is responsible for the following items:
- H-1B Application Cover Sheet
- H-1B Department Authorization Form
- Offer letter, including the H-1B's start/end dates, annual salary, and job title
- H-1B Prevailing Wage and LCA Worksheet
- H-1B Itinerary Letter (See example)
- H-1B Deemed Export Control Worksheet
- Official University position confirmation, which must cover dates of requested H-1B
- For faculty: faculty appointment letter;
- For staff positions: Human Resources offer confirmation letter;
- For research staff: research staff appointment;
- For postdoctoral fellowships: postdoctoral research appointment.
- H-1B Actual Wage Benefits Memo
- $325 and $500 processing fee checks must be paid by the department. For premium processing, the department or beneficiary my submit an additional $1225 check. All checks must be separate and all are paid to the Departement of Homeland Security. H-1B Check Request Form.
2. You must also complete the Law Logix Intake questionniare.
It is available at ww8.welcomeclient.com.
3. The IO and department handle the Prevailing Wage Determination and Labor Condition Application requirements.
The following steps are required:
- The IO obtains the Prevailing Wage Determination to ensure that the university's wage offer is adequate.
- The IO files a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor.
- The IO emails the LCA notice to the host department, which posts it at a conspicuous place for 10 business days. See posting notice instructions.
- Within 7 days of filing, the LCA is approved; the IO sends the certified LCA to the Department for signatures and return.
4. The IO prepares materials for the H-1B's visa application
- IO reviews the paperwork and emails the Department and Beneficiary if any additional documents are necessary.
- IO files the application with USCIS and provides the Department and Beneficiary with a UPS tracking number.
5. Receive Recipt Notice and decision by USCIS
- Within approximately two to three weeks, IO Front Desk emails Beneficiary, Department Contact, and Payroll confirming the receipt of the Receipt Notice.
- Within approximately three to four months, IO Front Desk emails Beneficiary, Department Contact, and Payroll confirming the decision made by USCIS. The Approval Notice and support documents will be ready for pick-up at the IO.
- If Beneficiary is outside of Evanston/Chicago area, the Department Contact will pick-up documents and send to Beneficiary.
Note: Change of Status applicants must retrieve his or her Approval Notice documents from the IO and present the original to the Payroll Office prior to starting empoyment in H-1B status.