H-1B Temporary Worker

The information below is specifically for academic units intending to file an H-1B petition, including:

H-1B status is for temporary employment in specialty occupations. The status is typically used at Notre Dame for faculty and academic positions such as:

  • Teaching & Research Faculty
  • RL-TPAC Faculty
  • Postdoctoral Research Associates (only if required by extenuating circumstances)
  • Staff positions (must use outside counsel)
  • Visiting Faculty (only if required by extenuating circumstances)

This status can be held for a total of six years. Petitions are filed for the length of the contract period. Faculty petitions will normally be submitted for an initial period of three years and can be extended up to a total of six years.

The H-1B status is specific to an employer, a position and a location. Any changes to the position - including responsibilities, job title, salary, or location (including a change of office), may require a new petition to be filed. It is imperative that academic units communicate with ISSA before any changes are made.

The H-1B process is complex and processing times can be extensive. Estimated processing times fluctuate throughout the year based on the U.S Department of Labor and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services processing times and backlogs.

Overview of H-1B Status

Status Sponsor: University of Notre Dame
Status authorized & regulated by: USCIS and Department of Labor (DOL)
Length of authorization: 1-3 years, renewable up to six years
Education level: bachelor's degree or equivalent experience appropriate to the field of endeavor
  • The position must require theoretical and practical application of a highly specialized body of knowledge demonstrated by the minimum requirement of a Bachelor's degree.
  • The applicant must have a minimum of a Bachelor's degree or its equivalent related to the field of endeavor.
  • The position salary must meet prevailing wage requirements
Appointment Source: Usually Office of the Provost
Fees: Review fees here.
Special Notes:
  • This status is employer specific, position specific, and location specific.
  • Process requires both academic unit and beneficiary participation, but application is filed by ISSA or external counsel.
  • After receiving complete application packet from academic unit, ISSA and external counsel must complete three steps to file the petition for H-1B status: Prevailing Wage Determination, Labor Condition Application, and I-129 Petition Filed with USCIS

H-1B Instructions for Departments

After completing the ISSA Immigration Request Form (IRF), the academic unit receives an email that confirms the H-1B recommendation and provides a link to the shared folders for Department and Beneficiary to upload all required documents.  

Hiring Packet/Appointment Letter

When the academic unit has decided to proceed with the recommended H-1B visa type, they will reach out to the Office of the Provost or Office for Postdoctoral Affairs to complete the hiring packet. O 

Complete Information Forms

After receipt of the appointment letter, the academic unit and beneficiary will complete the documents in their respective folder and then upload all the required documents to their respective folders. Once the academic unit has received the Google folder links, they will provide the beneficiary folder link to the beneficiary.

The Academic Unit folder contains three documents to be completed by the academic unit:

  • Information Request
  • Export Control Attestation
  • Prevailing Wage Questionnaire

This is also where the unit will upload the hiring packet. 

We recommend completing the Information Request document first as this will allow ISSA and external counsel to begin processing the required documents. The department FOAPAL is needed on the Info Request document PRIOR to ISSA signing the retainer agreement with external counsel to file the petition; the Retainer Agreement will be added to the Department folder once it is signed; the agreement includes the fees associated with the petition. By providing the FOAPAL, the academic unit understands they are responsible for all legal, filing, and shipping fees.

  • The Beneficiary folder contains the H-1B Questionnaire. This is the same folder where the beneficiary will upload all supporting documents, which are listed on the H-1B Questionnaire.

Upon completion of the required documents and uploads, we ask that the academic unit and Beneficiary update the document name by adding their initials.  

Confirms folder is ready for review

After the documents are completed and uploaded, the department should email ISSA to confirm they are ready for our review. ISSA will review the available documents and follow-up with requests for clarification, information, or documentation.

Post Notice of Intent

When ISSA has confirmed that all the documentation is accurate and complete, they will submit it to external counsel. Once the LCA is filed by external counsel, the academic unit will be advised when to post the Notice of Intent to Hire for 10 business days. The confirmation email will include both the notice and instructions for posting. 

Review H-1B Petition & Support Letter

Once the forms and support letter are drafted, ISSA will email the academic unit with four action items:

  1. Review H-1B petition forms and support letter found in shared Google Drive. We recommend also providing the forms and support letter to the beneficiary for their review.
  2. Upload documents with any recommended edits.
  3. Review, sign and date the premium process statement and upload to the Google Drive.
  4. If any edits need to be made, we will share again with revisions and ask that the contact sign and scan back to us.

The academic unit and beneficiary will have access to the petition and all appropriate documents in the shared folders.

Tracking the Petition

ISSA will track the progress of the petition with external counsel and notify the academic unit by email when the H-1B petition is filed and when USCIS responds.

USCIS Responds

When USCIS responds to the petition, ISSA will notify the academic unit and beneficiary. If the H-1B is approved and the original approval notice is received, ISSA will email the academic unit and beneficiary instructions on picking up or shipping the original approval notice. If a request for evidence (RFE) or denial is received, ISSA will reach out to the academic unit for next steps.

Visa Application

For petitions filed as Change of Status within the U.S., the H-1B beneficiary does not need to immediately exit and apply for a U.S. visa stamp in their passport. If they exit after their H-1B has been approved, they will be required to obtain a H-1B visa stamp in their passport before re-entering; the only exceptions are for Canadian citizens.

For petitions filed for consular processing, generally used for the applicants already overseas or overseas while the application is pending, they must obtain the H-1B visa stamp before entering the U.S.

The H-1B beneficiary is generally responsible for all visa application fees.

Check-in with ISSA

Upon arrival on campus for their Notre Dame appointment, the H-1B Scholar should complete all required Human Resources check-ins, but they will also be required to complete the H-1B Status Check-in with ISSA.

Timeline for H-1B Petition Process

ISSA Office Academic Unit (AU) Beneficiary (B)
  initiates process by submitting IRF  
processes IRF - recommends H-1B and sends link to shared folder    
  creates hiring packet with appropriate office (e.g. Provost)  
  completes AU folder documents, IR first completes and uploads B folder documents
reviews documents & confirms completion    
signs retainer agreement with external counsel    
drafts petition and support letter with external counsel    
files LCA, posts Notice of Intent posts Notice of Intent  
sends DRAFT petition to department reviews petition documents and letter reviews petition documents and letter
  signs Premium Processing agreement  
submits final draft with signatures to external counsel    
 monitors status of petition with USCIS, notifies AU and B as appropriate    
    when status approved, completes required HR and ISSA check-ins
  reports changes of employment to ISSA  

ISSA Communications

ISSA is committed to keeping academic units informed of next steps and the progress of the H-1B petition for each employee. Academic unit contacts can expect to receive the following emails throughout the process, generally in this order:

  1. Recommendation for Immigration Request Form
  2. Link to shared drive
  3. Confirmation of document review and information on posting Notice of Intent
  4. Request for review of H-1B Petition Packet
  5. Confirmation of signed retainer agreement
  6. Confirmation of H-1B petition filed Notification of status (approval, RFE, denial, etc) I
  7. f approved, followed by notification when original I-797C notice arrives
  8. Confirmation of check-in at start date of appointment

Employment Changes

Changes in Employment

H-1B petitions are employer and position specific, which means that for petitions filed by Notre Dame, the individual is authorized by USCIS to work only under these conditions: for Notre Dame in a specific position listed on Form I-129 at the specific office location on Form I-129 Reminder: consult ISSA prior to making any changes to the H-1B employment, including job title, job duties, salary and/or location, as an H-1B amendment may be required.

End of Employment

The department must submit the End of Employment Form to ISSA prior to the H-1B employee’s last date of employment at the University. Per U.S. immigration regulations, if the University terminates employment before the end date listed on the H-1B employee’s I-797 Approval Notice, the University is obligated to offer to pay the H-1B employee for the reasonable cost of return transportation abroad.


The H-1B is “employer specific,” which means that if the beneficiary changes employers, the new employer must prepare and file an entirely new H-1B petition. The H-1B transfer allows individuals already holding H-1B status to begin employment with a new employer once the new petition is filed with USCIS. The employee should not begin working until they have received confirmation from ISSA that hte petition has been filed. The academic unit will follow the same H-1B process instructions above to initiate the H-1B transfer process.

Extension of Stay

It is the academic unit’s responsibility to complete the ISSA Immigration Request Form to initiate the extension process. If the academic unit intends to extend the beneficiary’s H-1B. ISSA recommends completing the Immigration Request Form to initiate the H-1B process 6 months prior to the end date of the beneficiary’s H-1B status.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please reach out to ISSA with additional questions. We have addressed a list of frequently asked questions here