Many international faculty and staff members at Indiana University hold H-1B status. H-1B status is for people who work in a “specialty occupation” that requires the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific field. At IU, H-1B employees can be faculty or staff positions, such as research associates, postdoctoral fellows, assistant professors, and software developers.
Learn more about H-1B status
How do I apply for H-1B status?
Your IU department must submit the H-1B Employee E-Form, but you will need to provide supporting documents. If you are applying from abroad, you will also need to have a visa interview. OIS will guide you through the whole process.
You can maintain H-1B status for a maximum of six years. Your initial H-1B status can be granted for up to three years, and you can renew your status for up to three additional years.
After six years in H-1B status, you must leave the United States for one year before an employer can file a new H-1B petition for you. H-1B status may be granted for longer than six years in limited cases.
What else do I need to know?
Explore this website and download our Scholar Guidebook. It will help you transition to life in the United States and make the most of your time in Bloomington.
Specific work limitation
H-1B employees can do only the work that is listed on their H-1B petition. The employer (department), title, duties, and location of the job (including working remotely/telecommuting from another city) must match what the petition says. If the job changes, the department may need to file a new H-1B petition.
Dual intent and permanent residence
H-1B employees may choose to pursue permanent residence in the United States. This is different from other visa categories, which require you to prove that you plan to return to your home country after your program ends. Because H-1B status enables you to come here with “dual intent,” many scholars believe that the H-1B offers an easier pathway to permanent residence than other visas do.
If you are seeking H-1B status through IU, you are not subject to the U.S. Congress’s H-1B cap on the number of H-1B petitions. Universities, research organizations, and some nonprofit organizations are exempt from the cap.
Previous participation as a J-1 or J-2
If you have been in the United States as a J-1 exchange visitor or J-2 dependent and are subject to the two-year home residency requirement, you have two options. Before you apply for an H-1B, you can either fulfill the requirement or have it waived.
Your spouse and unmarried children who are under age 21 may qualify for H-4 dependent status. This means they can come to the United States with you. H-4 dependents can be part-time or full-time students. H-4 dependents qualify for in-state tuition rates at IU after they have been in Indiana for 12 consecutive months.
In general H-4 dependents do not have work authorization. However, an H-4 dependent can apply for work authorization if the H-1B spouse has been granted H-1B status beyond six years under the AC21 Act with a Labor Certification application or I-140 petition that has been pending for more than one year. For more information see the USCIS H-4 FAQ page or contact us.