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H-1B Visa

Postdoc H-1 Visa
Jacobsen Hall
Room 214
175 Elizabeth Blackwell Street
Syracuse, NY 13210
Google Maps & Directions
Phone: 315 464-4938
Name: Patty Brecht, Manager - Staffing and Compensation Services
Email: [email protected]

The H-1B status is used for the temporary employment of foreign nationals by a specific employer in a specific "specialty occupation." The H-1B category is useful to higher education for several reasons: The degree requirement associated with the definition of a "specialty occupation" is suitable for Postdoctoral Research positions.

Specialty Occupation

A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge along with at least a bachelor's degree or its equivalent. For example, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts are specialty occupations.

Change of Employer

If the foreign national is in the United States and seeks to change employers, the prospective new employer must file a petition requesting the classification and extension of the foreign national's stay in the United States. The H-1B should not resign his current position until the new employer has received a receipt notice or until the new approval notice is received.

Period of Stay

  • Under current law, a foreign national can be in H-1B status for a maximum period of six years. After the six year limit, the foreign national must remain outside the United States for one year before another H-1B petition can be approved.
  • The initial period of stay under an H-1B is up to three years.
  • Extensions are available in up to three year increments.

Processing Time

  • Four to Six months should be allowed for processing after all documentation is received from the department and the beneficiary (H-1B).*
  • Submission of a prevailing wage request to the Federal Department of Labor.
  • Submission of the H-1B petition (Form I-129), Certified Labor Condition and supporting documentation to United States Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS).
  • Adjudication of H-1B petition by USCIS.
  • If outside of the United States., the Approval Notice must be sent to the prospective employee to apply for a visa.

*For a $1,000 premium processing fee, USCIS Center will guarantee that within 15 days of USCIS receipt of the H-1B petition, they will issue either an approval notice, a notice of intent to deny, a request for additional evidence or a notice of investigation for fraud or misrepresentation. If the USCIS fails to provide one of those outcomes within 15 days, it will refund the $1,000 and continue to process the petition. The premium processing fee is in addition to other required fees.


Sponsorship of an H-1B visa is determined by the Principal Investigator for the grant. Upstate Medical University requires that an attorney be used for the petition process. Payment of certain fees may be the responsibility of the beneficiary, including any attorney fees.