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H-1B Overview

H-1B Time Limitation

The H-1B can be requested for up to 3 years at a time for a total of 6 years.  The 6 year limit applies to the applicant not the company or job.  
The H-1B employee may exceed the 6 year limitation if the H-1B employee has an approved I-140 (petition for permanent residency) or if the I-140 has been pending for more than 1 year.  
The H-1B employee may receive an additional 6 years of H-1B time if the employee has spent at least 1 year out of the US after reaching the initial 6 year limit.  

NOTE: Any 24 hour period spent outside the US while working in H-1B status may be 'recaptured'.  

Prevailing Wage/Salary Requirement

In order to comply with Department of Labor regulations the Vanderbilt Department must agree to pay the higher of the actual wage being paid to all other individuals with similar experience/qualifications for the specific employment or the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of employment beginning on the validity date of the H-1B. OIS cannot move forward with the H-1B petition without the department’s written agreement to increase the salary if necessary.  Also, all salary or wage changes must be reported to OIS while an employee is working on an H-1B.    

Applying for the H-1B visa

There are several steps that must be completed before the H-1B petition can be filed with USCIS.

  1. The Visa Case Initiation Request is submitted online including the completed Visa Deemed Export Questionnaire (VDEQ). 
  2. The request is reviewed by the Program Manager and sent to VU's contracted law firm for processing.
  3. The employee completes the Visa Employee Questionnaire sent by the law firm.
  4. The LCA posting notices are posted for 10 days in the department by the department contact.
  5. The Department of Labor certifies the LCA which includes the position title, salary, location and duties.
  6. The LCA is included in the H-1B petition and the petition is sent to USCIS.  
  7. USCIS will make a decision on the case.