H-1B Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for H-1B status, the following requirements must be met:

  • The employee must have an offer of employment from a U.S. employer; an employee may not self-petition.
  • The job must qualify as a "specialty occupation," as explained below.
  • The employee must have the minimum requirements necessary for the specialty occupation at the time of application, which must be at least a bachelor's degree in a specific field of study, and any licenses, certifications, or other specific requirements for the position.
  • The employer must agree to certain conditions, including payment of the required wage (determined by ISSS during preparation of the application).
  • Individuals who have held J visa status and are subject to the 2-year home residence requirement (see Student, Scholar, or Student-Intern) are not eligible for H-1B status until that requirement has been fulfilled or waived.
  • H-1B status is limited to 6 years, inclusive of all employers; the 6-year period starts over after an employee has left the U.S. for one full year. Exceptions to the 6-year limit exist for certain individuals who have reached a specific stage of the "Green Card" process.
  • Postdoctoral Fellows (job code 9560) are typically not eligible for H-1B sponsorship, as they are not employees of the University.
  • Universities are exempt from the annual limit (“cap”) on H-1B employment, and can therefore apply for H-1B status at any time. For general information related to non-University cap-subject H-1B employment, see this FAQ.


Last updated: April 4, 2023