Those on H-1B status must be aware of rules and restrictions related to part-time employment, consulting, and taking courses.
In order to assure compliance with H-1B requirements regarding wage payments and records of hours worked, H-1B petitions for research positions must be an appointment of 75% or higher. H-1B petitions can be submitted for teaching positions for any part-time appointment amount. Compensation for part-time employment must be expressed as an hourly wage rate in order to meet wage requirements.
When any appointment is less than 100% time, the employing department will be required to maintain time cards in order to meet U.S. Department of Labor H-1B regulations. The rule requires employers to keep records of “hours worked each day and each week” for all part-time H-1B employees, regardless of whether or not the part-time employee is paid a fixed salary, and regardless of whether or not the employer currently keeps such hourly records for its other part-time salaried employees.
Employees on H-1B visas may be asked to consult or give lectures/speeches to other academic institutions or private employers. These activities are not precluded by an H-1B if they are incidental to their employment and the employee does not receive a wage or salary, or any other monetary or material gain for his/her services. The employee may be reimbursed for transportation and reasonable, incidental living expenses.
An individual holding H-1B status can take classes as long as the study is incidental to the individual’s employment and not their primary purpose for being in the U.S. and they maintain their visa status. However, they may not hold an assistantship at the University of Minnesota while holding H-1B status.