H-1B Responsibilities Overview
Ongoing Responsibilities for Departments and Employees in H-1B Status : The hiring department and the H-1B employee must maintain compliance with H-1B federal regulations during the course of the employee's employment at Vanderbilt. Such regulations require careful monitoring of salary, job title, job classification, and job duties. Any significant changes in any of these areas require OIS to be notified. Failure to maintain compliance and update our internal documentation could result in serious penalties and fines should Vanderbilt be audited by DOL or USCIS. The responsibilities of departments and H-1B employees are below:
Responsibility of Departments :
- The department is required to notify OIS in advance of any employment changes related to employees in H-1B status. Such changes include changes in job title, salary, job duties, or decrease/increase in work hours. Some changes require that OIS file an amended H-1B petition with the USCIS and, if so, the department is responsible for the fees associated with this filing.
- The department must notify OIS if an employee will be transferring to a new department at Vanderbilt, even if the job title and job duties will not change significantly.
- Notify OIS of employment changes or department transfers by completing the H-1B Promotions, Demotions and Dept. Transfers form. The department is required to notify OIS if it is determined that the employee's job will be terminated prior to the H-1B expiration date. This is considered an involuntary separation and, under H-1B regulations, the department is required to pay the cost of return transportation to the employee's home country. The department must provide the H-1B employee with a copy of the H-1B Return Transportation Form (for Involuntary Separation) form and provide OIS with a copy of the completed, signed and dated document. If the employee indicated that he is not returning to his home country, please ensure the form reflects this choice and is signed and dated by the employee.
- In addition, as there is no lawful grace period for the H-1B employee after early termination of employment, termination carries serious implications for the H-1B employee’s immigration status. Advance notice of termination will allow employees in H-1B status to explore other job opportunities at Vanderbilt or within the USA, or file a timely application for change to another permissible immigration status. OIS provides assistance to employees exiting the university and, to do so, must meet with such individuals well in advance of termination.
Responsibility of Employees in H-1B Status:
- Employees must notify OIS in advance of any employment changes. Such changes include changes in job title, salary, job duties, or decrease/increase in work hours. Some changes require that OIS file an amended H-1B petition with the USCIS.
- Employees in H-1B status are required to notify OIS of a change in immigration status, such as a change to permanent residence or student status. Changes in status may require OIS to request withdrawal of the H-1B petition filed by Vanderbilt. In addition, the employee’s I-9 form and international tax record must be updated to reflect the change in employment eligibility.
- Employees should also notify OIS of any travel complications while traveling abroad, such as consular delays or incorrect information on the I-94 document. OIS will provide timely assistance with travel complications whenever possible.
- Employees are required to provide OIS with a copy of any new I-94 cards obtained during entry/re-entry to the US so that OIS can ensure continued employment authorization.
Dependent family members in H-4 Status :
Dependents of H-1B visa holders (spouses and children under 21 years of age) are eligible for H-4 visa status. This status can be obtained at a US consulate if the dependents are outside of the USA or through USCIS if they are inside the USA. If the dependents reside in the USA, OIS can assist in reviewing the filing for H-4 status. Dependent family members must obtain H-4 status unless they are in another lawful nonimmigrant category.
Dependent family members in H-4 status are not authorized to work while in the United States. Dependents in H-4 status may not receive any US sourced income while in H-4 status. They may engage in volunteer activities only if the activity is traditionally done on a volunteer basis. Dependent family members may not volunteer in positions that are usually paid position.
H-4s may attend school in the USA at any level from kindergarten through post-secondary education. H-4s attending universities or colleges are not eligible for optional practical training at the completion of their degree studies.