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Initial H-1B

Overseas and Change of Status applicants will need to apply for an initial H-1B. The OISS only accepts H-1B requests from NU sponsoring departments, so any application should begin with the applicant speaking with his or her department, who will initiate the process with the OISS.

Instructions for incoming H-1B beneficiaries

Steps for Host Department

1. Collect required documents and submit them to the OISS.

In addition to the packet of documents submitted by the applicant (listed above), the host department is responsible for the following items:

  • H-1B Department Authorization Form
  • Offer letter, including the H-1B's start/end dates, annual salary, and job title
  • H-1B Itinerary Letter (See example)
  • Official University position confirmation, which must cover dates of requested H-1B
    • For faculty: faculty appointment letter;
    • For staff positions: HR offer confirmation letter and HR job description;
    • For research staff: research staff appointment;
    • For postdoctoral fellowships: postdoctoral research appointment.
  • $460 and $500 processing fee checks must be paid by the department. If the department would like to use Premium Processing, the department must also pay this fee ($2500).  All checks must be separate and all are paid to the Department of Homeland Security. H-1B Check Request Form. (OISS recommends waiting to request the checks from Accounts Payable until the prevailing wage has been determined so that the checks don't expire.)

2. The OISS and department manage the Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) and Labor Condition Application (LCA) requirements.

The following steps are required:

  • The OISS obtains the PWD to ensure that the university's wage offer is adequate.
  • The OISS files an LCA with the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • The OISS emails the LCA notice to the host department, which posts it at a conspicuous place for 10 business days. See posting notice instructions. (OISS recommend that you request the processing fee checks from Accounts Payable at this time)
  • Within 7 days of filing, the LCA is approved; the OISS sends the certified LCA to the Department for signatures and return.

3. The OISS prepares the H-1B petition for submission to USCIS.

  • OISS reviews the paperwork and emails the Department and Beneficiary if any additional documents are necessary.
  • OISS files the application with USCIS and provides the Department and Beneficiary with a UPS tracking number.

4. Receive Receipt Notice and Approval by USCIS.

  • Within approximately two to three weeks, OISS front desk emails Beneficiary, Department Contact, and Payroll confirming the receipt of the Receipt Notice.
  • Within approximately twelve months, OISS front desk emails Beneficiary, Department Contact, and Payroll confirming the decision made by USCIS. The Approval Notice and supporting documents may then be retrieved form the OISS.
  • If Beneficiary is outside of Evanston/Chicago area, the Department Contact is responsible for retrieving the Approval Notice and supporting documents from the OISS and shipping them to the Beneficiary.

Note: Change of Status applicants must retrieve the Approval Notice and supporting documents from the OISS and present the original to University Payroll prior to starting employment in H-1B status.