University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

H-1B &
Permanent Residence

Obtaining/Extending Status

Processing Time

After a department submits a complete H-1B application to ISSS (this means all questionnaires and all required paper documents), the total time for processing/approval of the petition can range from 2 to 7 months, depending on the nature of the case, ISSS caseload, DOL compliance requirements, and USCIS processing times. Contact us directly for current processing times. We encourage departments to apply early to avoid postponement of the start of H-1B employment or the need to pay the $1,225 Premium Processing fee. In addition, USCIS processing times change without notice, so the estimated processing time when you submit the application can slow down a month or more while waiting for the case to be processed.

If a department initiates an H-1B request with a start date earlier than minimum processing times allow, ISSS reserves the right to suggest a later start date or to refer departments to an outside attorney.

Part 1: Hiring Department and Employee

Submit documents to ISSS and complete online questionnaires – may take days or weeks, depending on department and employee. (A checklist of documents will be sent by email. See Application Process )

Part 2: ISSS Processing

Estimated processing times (these estimates are subject to change)

  • March-August: 8-10 weeks
  • September-January: 3-6 weeks

ISSS Processing begins once all employee/department documents are received. Delays can occur if ISSS needs to request additional documentation from the hiring department or employee. ISSS has no rush fee.

In order to comply with H-1B wage regulations, ISSS must determine if the wage offered meets U.S. Department of Labor actual wage and prevailing wage guidelines. This requires ISSS communication with DOL and the department, and takes at least one week. A few cases (less than 2%) take DOL 30-60 days to render a prevailing wage decision. If the offered wage does not meet the required minimum, communication and decision-making between ISSS and the department can delay the ISSS processing time.

Part 3: USCIS Adjudication

Standard processing time varies from 2 to 5 months. Please contact ISSS for current processing time.

Approval can be delayed by requests for more information from USCIS. With the $1,225 Premium Processing fee, USCIS will adjudicate the petition in 15 days. Premium Processing can be requested with the initial H–1B petition or at any time thereafter to speed up the processing time. For certain H-1B cases the I-797 Approval Notice may not be immediately required, as employment can continue while USCIS adjudication is pending (see extensions and transfers for more information.)

Part 4 (applicants outside the U.S. only): Apply for a U.S. Visa

Applicants who are not in the U.S. must apply for an H-1B visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad before traveling to the U.S. Wait times vary by consulate; check the Department of State website for estimated wait times. Additional information about the visa application process (including information about security clearances and potential delays) is available on the travel page of our website.


Based on the above timelines and how long your department, ISSS and USCIS actually take to complete their work, your department may be notified at any time during processing of the emergent need to add the $1,225 USCIS Premium Processing fee in order to obtain the H–1B approval by the requested start date.