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H-1B temporary workers


The Office of Academic Personnel (OAP) and UW Human Resources (UWHR) are collaborating on a pilot program to extend H-1B and other visa sponsorship to staff positions. This program will start on July 1, 2023. For more information, click here.


The purpose of the H-1B visa is to allow skilled workers to enter the U.S. to work without undermining the salaries and workplace conditions of U.S. workers. The UW sponsors several hundred H-1B temporary workers each year for employment activities including research, teaching, clinical patient care, and faculty service.

H-1Bs are relatively expensive and have a high compliance and time burden compared to other visa types, for example, J-1 visas. Positions must be full-time and paid a UW salary that meets the Department of Labor’s wage requirements to be eligible for H-1B sponsorship. All H-1B petitions based on offers of UW employment are processed through International Scholars Operations (ISO) in the Office of Academic Personnel.

Filing fees of up to $3,460 must be paid to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and processing can take up to a year or more depending on various U.S. agency processing times. Some portions of this processing time can be expedited by payment of the USCIS Premium Processing Fee, but not all of them.

ISO recommends that H-1B visa requests be submitted to ISO at least 3 months in advance, even with payment of the USCIS Premium Processing Fee; however, submitting the visa request as early as possible will support timely processing and greater certainty for academic units and new employees alike, especially for new employees who are currently outside the U.S.

An H-1B temporary worker can hold H-1B status for up to 6 years. After that, they must meet certain additional conditions to receive further extensions.

Eligible Titles

H-1B can be an appropriate visa classification for full-time, UW-salaried academic personnel, including:

UW personnel who do not qualify for H-1B sponsorship include:

H-1B beneficiaries may review the H-1B web pages prior to starting their position and can contact with any questions.

Units considering H-1B sponsorship can also contact ISO with any questions about H-1B sponsorship or other visa options.

H-1B vs. EAD

An H-1B temporary worker with a pending permanent residence application may be eligible for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). The holder of a valid EAD can work legally without H-1B status. However, there may be advantages for both the employing UW department and the international scholar if H-1B status is maintained until the scholar receives permanent residence. Email to discuss this issue.