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H-1B Specialty Occupation Worker Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to get my H-1B petition approved?
Four to seven months after your materials are submitted to the Office of International Affairs. Due to the federal government agencies involved, the length of time fluctuates and changes without notice. For more information see Step by Step.

Why does it take so long to process an H-1B petition?
The H-1B petition requires substantial documentation to be submitted, examined, and approved by U.S. Government agencies. Other factors can delay the process such as an inaccurate Ohio State position description or if the salary offered is too low. See H-1B Worker and Step by Step for more information.

What if my H-1B petition can't be submitted to USCIS before I want to start working in H-1B status?
International Affairs will need to change the requested employment start date since the start date must be into the future when the petition is sent to USCIS. In some situations, the foreign national may need to temporarily depart from the U.S.

How much does an H-1B petition cost at Ohio State?
The fees range from $1,643 to $3,368 depending on type of H-1B case and choice of processing at USCIS. See H-1B Fees for more information.

Who pays for the H-1B fees?
The employer is required to pay the standard fees for the H-1B petition. See H-1B Fees for more information.

Can an attorney be hired?
No, International Affairs processes all H-1B cases for employees at Ohio State.

Are H-1B Extension Petitions faster to process?
No, because all the same materials must be prepared and submitted to DOL and USCIS for an H-1B petition for extension. See Extension and Step by Step for more information

My department wants to promote me (e.g. from post-doc to research associate). Is there anything I need to do?
Yes, a new H-1B petition for the new position must be submitted to USCIS before you can begin in the new position. See Changes in Position.

I am changing my employment to OSU using H-1B portability, when can I start working?
When the official USCIS receipt notice is received on or after the requested start date of the H-1B petition. See Portability for more details.

Can I travel outside the U.S. after my H-1B paperwork is received by OIA?
Depending on your situation, travel outside the U.S. can impact how and when your case is submitted to USCIS and can cause significant problems if you leave while it is pending at USCIS. It is important that you inform the OIA Immigration Specialist/Coordinator assigned to your case of all your travel outside the U.S. including Canada and Mexico. See Travel for more details.