H-1B Contract Language

Employing departments will be asked to prepare an H-1B Support Letter that includes the following language, approved by the Office of General Counsel. Departments are also advised to include this language in the appointment/offer letter.

Continuing employment in this position is contingent on meeting standard University employment requirements, the ability to receive work authorization in the United States from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and maintaining legal immigration status while in the United States. Based on all of the terms and conditions mentioned, we are requesting that the H-1B status be authorized for the period from ———— to ————.*

*Specific H-1B dates should not be included in an offer letter unless/until the date has been approved by ISSS (or outside counsel, if working with a private attorney). The dates may need to be changed in some cases, in which case an amendment to the offer letter should be provided to the employee.

Selecting H-1B Dates

The H-1B petition requires the employer to select a start and end date for the H-1B status. The start date must be a future date which allows for the processing time required to prepare the petition. The end date can be no more than three years from the requested start date (for example: July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2022). Sometimes the dates of the job appointment do not match the requested H-1B dates (for example, when the employee has already begun the job with another visa status).

Departments may wish to obtain the H-1B approval for as long a timeframe as possible to avoid paying the costs associated with annual H-1B renewals, if the position is expected to continue. This must be weighed against the possibility that the employee will not perform satisfactorily or the funding for the position will not continue. In such cases, the contract language is intended to protect the University from contract claims by employees who might claim they are guaranteed employment for the length of the H-1B approval.

It is essential to note that the employer may be responsible for the reasonable costs of return transportation of the H-1B employee to their last place of foreign residence if the employee is dismissed for any reason by the employer before the end date on the H-1B Approval Notice. As part of the application process, the department signifies an understanding of these conditions by signing a Certification Statement and agrees that the department shall provide the necessary costs of return transportation should this situation occur.

Last updated: June 7, 2021