University of Vermont

Info for H-1B Applicants/Visa Holders

Temporary worker visa designated for individuals coming the United States to perform services in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation is defined as one that requires "theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree, or its equivalent, as a minimum requirement." Explore this important information:

Initial status

The H-1B visa is employer specific, meaning that the employment is approved only for the employer and in the position specified on the application. An employee who has an H-1B visa with another employer is not automatically eligible to work at UVM. An H-1B worker may work for more than one employer, but each employer must file a separate H-1B visa petition. The average processing time is four-five months.

H-1B visa holders are eligible for a total maximum stay of six years, with one exception. The initial H-1B visa may extend for up to three years. It may be possible to begin another period of H-1B employment only after the individual has spent at least one year outside of the United States.

Your hiring department must complete a request in our iStart system to initiate these documents.

Travel and Re-entry

If you travel out of the U.S. while you are in H status, you should have the following documents in order to be re-admitted to the U.S.

  • Passport valid for at least 6 months
  • Letter from department Chair or Dean confirming current employment in same position described in H petition
  • Recent paycheck-stubs proving current employment at employer sponsor
  • Copy of complete H-1B petition filed with the DHS
  • Valid Form I-797A Approval Notice
  • If appropriate, original J-1 home residency I-612 Waiver Approval Notice (only applies to former J-1 holders who were subject to the two year home residency requirement)
  • Valid H visa for re-entry to U.S.

If your H visa stamp has expired, you may be able to apply for a new H visa by mail to Washington D.C. Please contact OIE for information on how to do this. If you do not have a valid H-1B visa, you will need to go to the U.S. consulate (outside of the U.S.) to apply for the new visa stamp.

Visa Application

Upon receiving the official approval documents from USCIS, OIE will send them by U.S.Express to the employee who can anticipate receiving them within 3-5 business days. Electronic copies are not sufficient for visa procurement. The Office of International Education advises that new employees plan 6 weeks between receiving their H-1B approval documents and travel to the U.S. to accommodate the visa application and interview process at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. Some consular posts have significant waiting periods for visa processing. In general, most strive to provide appointments within two weeks from the initial request. Find out current visa wait times.

Please note that citizens of some countries may encounter security checks that could delay receipt of their visa by weeks, even months. UVM has encountered this situation in several cases with citizens of China and India (delays of two-four months have been experienced in extreme cases).

Non-immigrant H-1B visa applicants are normally required to submit the following documentation to the U.S. consulate abroad:

  • Valid passport
  • Current passport-size photographs
  • Valid Form I-797 H Approval Notice
  • Copy of complete H-1B petition filed with the DHS
  • If appropriate, original J-1 home residency I-612 Waiver Approval Notice (only applies to former J-1 holders who were subject to the two year home residency rule)
  • Non-immigrant visa application forms, available from the U.S. consulate abroad, or online from the Department of State.
    • Note: if you are a male between the ages of 18 and 45, you will also need to complete and submit the DS-157 supplemental form.


The procedure for filing taxes as an H-1 (PDF) can be found on the website of the Controller's Office.

H-4 Dependents

H-4 dependents are the spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of an H-1B visa holder. H-4 visa holders are not eligible to work. H-4 dependents may study full or part-time for the duration of the H-1B's period of stay.

Last modified July 22 2013 12:59 PM

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