H-1B Information for Departments
An H-1B is a temporary work visa that can be obtained initially for up to 3 years with an additional three-year extension. The application costs $325 plus $500 for an anti-fraud fee for new applications. The process can take from 2-4 months. Departments or the employee can pay an additional $1225 for premium processing, which will take 15 days once the application is submitted to DHS. Once all paperwork has been submitted to CIE, it will take 1-2 weeks to complete the process and submit the application to DHS.
The H-1B Process Overview
The process is two-pronged and includes applications to both the Labor Department and United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS). The Labor Condition Attestation takes anywhere from a few days to several weeks. The Immigration application takes 2-4 months unless we apply for premium processing, which costs $1225 but only takes 15 days.
Labor Condition Attestation (LCA)
The Labor Condition Attestation must show that Loyola is paying the applicant the higher of the actual wage paid to all other individuals with similar experience and qualifications for the specific employment or the prevailing wage level for the occupational classification in the geographic area of intended employment.
- PREVAILING WAGE –This is determined through a prevailing wage determination from the Louisiana Department of Labor which takes about a week. CIE will apply for the prevailing wage determination.
- ACTUAL WAGE – USCIS requires that the “employer….retain documentation regarding the basis it used to establish the actual wage. The employer must show how the wage set for the H-1B nonimmigrant relates to the wages paid by the employer to all other individuals with similar experience and qualifications for the specific employment.” In other words you can send a memo to CIE which gives the salaries of all other faculty/staff in that position, including the applicant’s, and explain any differences in the wages. You can consider factors such as, experience, qualifications, education, job responsibility and function, specialized knowledge and “ other legitimate business factors.” This memo will remain in the files to prove that the actual wage was determined if there are ever questions. Click here for sample.
Once these documents are received by CIE, the LCA is submitted on-line and certified. The certified LCA must be posted for 10 days in two conspicuous locations. The LCA is complaint driven, so if no one complains, then the LCA will not be questioned. CIE will work with Human Resources on this component.
Once the LCA is approved by the Department of Labor, the application is sent to the USCIS. The following letters are required from the Department/College:
- A statement that if the contract ends prior to the end of the requested period of the H-1 visa then Loyola University will be responsible for the return airfare. Click here for sample.
- A statement of professional qualifications and academic credentials. Click here for sample.
- A copy of the contract or offer letter and a statement that you intend to hire the individual for 3 years with specific dates. Click here for sample.
- A copy of the ad or job description
- A check for $325 made out to USCIS, a check for $500 for new applications made out to the Department of Homeland Security and if you decide to apply for premium processing, another check for $1225 made out to the Department of Homeland Security.
- Deemed Export Control Questionnaire
All staff employment must go through Human Resources. The university will not prepare immigration petitions for staff. Individuals and departments can choose to file applications using approved attorneys, following the guidelines below and after discussion with HR.
CIE will be happy to recommend attorneys who specialize in immigration.
Labor Condition Attestation - Attorneys must use the OES Survey with certification from the Louisiana Alien Labor Certification Unit. If the Department does not pay the filing fees than the employee's salary as listed on the OES Survey must be reduced by the amount of the filing fees for the LCA.
The Public File must be sent to CIE and should include the following documents:
- Prevailing wage certification
- Actual wage letter from department
- Proof of posting (from Human Resources)
- Certified labor condition attestation.
Staff applications are signed by the Director of Human Resources.