H-1B Employment at USC for Foreign Nationals. Faculty/Staff Visa Services The University of Southern California. Introduction.
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Faculty/Staff Visa Services
The University of Southern California
Employment-based immigration to the U.S. can be difficult to understand in depth. H-1B status is governed by several layers of regulation, and involves many players – you, your hiring department, FSVS, and several government agencies.
We have designed this presentation to demystify some of the “hows” and “whys” of H-1B processing at USC. We hope that after reading it you can feel comfortable with the process, and be better informed as processing landmarks are reached.
Congress created the H-1B category so that a U.S. employer could hire a foreign national (FN) degreed professional in a specialty occupation (often in new technologies) without compromising the U.S. workforce. Hence, both the job and the person must qualify as H-1B eligible.
USC, as sponsoring employer, must petition the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, for each H-1B we employ.
For this reason, interdepartmental transfers within USC or even internal promotions within a department require planning with FSVS when an H-1B employee is concerned. To avoid violations, an “Amendment” may be required.
Typical Case: Professor Grande is a Spanish Economist who is working for an institute in Switzerland. He needs to wrap up work there before coming to teach at USC in fall.
Solution: Applying for Consular Processing will allow him to process a new H-1B visa stamp and make travel plans once everything is approved.
Typical Case: Reza is an F-1 foreign student from Iran, who just graduated with a PhD in Computer Engineering. The School of Education would like to hire him on to support their research operations. His post-completion OPT period will run out in a few months, but since he is from Iran sending him out of the country will cause complications for him and the hiring department.
Solution: As long as Reza is in valid F-1 status, that status can be changed to H-1B.
Typical Case: Mei has been a Research Associate in H-1B status with USC for 3 years. The department now wants to keep her on for another 3 year period.
Solution: Apply for a simple extension before her current H-1B expires.
Typical Case: Mei has been a Research Associate in H-1B status with USC for 3 years in Biomedical Engineering. However, now the Radiology Department at Keck has made her an offer for a better position with more pay.
Solution: Mei can accept the offer, but the new hiring department must request an amendment/extension before she can take up the new position.
Typical Case: Marianne has been a Senior Analyst with a top financial firm for two years in H-1B status. She would now like to take up an offer from USC to work on a special project for the university administration in her spare time.
Solution: USC can file for concurrent employment. She can start as soon as the USCIS receives the petition.
Typical Situation: Marianne has been a top Senior Analyst with a top financial firm for two years in H-1B status. She would now like to take up an offer from USC to work as a Financial Analyst, full time.
Solution: As long as she can stay with her firm until USC can file a petition for her, ad she cans tart as soon as USCIS receives it.
NOTE: Because processing is complex, and involves FSVS, the USDOL and USCIS, it is only possible for FSVS to give a “best estimate” and NOT a promised date.
Spell out acronyms – don’t assume we will know what you are referring to.
Try to put something in each field, even if its simply “0” or “n/a”, so that we know nothing was skipped.
NOTE: Some I-797 approval notices will have a new I-94 card as a tear-off section on the bottom. This supersedes the I-94 card you received upon arrival, however it is VERY IMPORTANT that you do not discard the I-94 card you received at entry. It is your only proof that you entered the U.S. legally.
FSVS is a small team of three, handling matters for nearly a thousand foreign nationals.
Out of necessity, and especially during busy times, we respond to inquiries by priority according to our knowledge of each situation. Hence, we can’t necessarily get back to people as quickly as we would like.
To save time, we highly recommend that you review the FSVS website and materials and confer with your hiring department administrator before contacting us. He or she may already have the answers to your questions.