Information and Forms for the Employee
What must I submit in order to begin the H-1B process?
All H-1B employees, also know as beneficiaries, must complete the H-1B Information Sheet for Employees and provide all of the information listed on the Document Checklist found at the end of the form.
For beneficiaries whose dependents will need to change their status to H-4 or extend their H-4 status, you must complete the I-539. This should be submitted to ISSS along with the H-1B Information Sheet for Employees and the supporting documentation listed at the end of the Information Sheet.
What do I need to obtain a H-1B visa stamp?
Documentation for the H-1B visa stamp includes but is not limited to the following. Be sure to check the web site for the Consulate at which you will apply.
- Original I-797 Approval Notice for the H-1B
- Your copy of the ETA-9035 Labor Conditions Application. This was included with the copy of the H-1B petition given to you when the petition was filed.
- Copy of the Form I-129, also included with the copy of the petition.
- If it has been several months since your petition was filed, a letter from your department confirming employment and that you are expected to return to the U.S. to resume your employment in the same position.
- Your pay statements for the past 3 months.
- Original waiver of the two year home residency requirement (if applicable and if this is the first H-1B visa stamp in your passport.)
- Valid passport. It should be valid for at least 6 months into the future.
- Prior year’s tax return.
- Although not always necessary, an abstract of your dissertation (for post-doctural researcher and professor positions) and/or a summary of current research.
- Copy of current Curricula Vitae or resumé.
- If you were in the U.S. as an F-1 or J-1 student/scholar and this is the first time you are applying for an H-1B visa, be sure to have all I-20s or DS-2019s that were ever issued to you.
Be aware that you could experience a delay in obtaining a visa stamp due to security clearances.
What do I need to reenter the U.S. if I travel abroad?
You must have a valid passport and the passport should be valid for 6 months from the reentry date.
H-1B workers who travel abroad should carry the original H-1B I-797 approval notice for their current employer. A current letter from the employer verifying employment, although not necessary, can also serve to facilitate reentry, as well a copy of the H-1B petition.
You must have a valid H-1B visa, unless you are a citizen of Canada.
Under the "automatic extension of validity at ports-of-entry" provision, also known as "automatic revalidation," an H-1B alien may reenter the U.S. after a trip solely to Canada or Mexico that lasted no more than 30 days, without the need to obtain a new H-1B visa, even if the individual's prior H-1B visa has expired. This benefit also applies if you have changed nonimmigrant status in the United States, and your visa is still in the category in which you entered the United States. In that case, the visa is considered "converted" to the proper visa category as well as "extended" to allow re-entry. Citizens or nationals from Cuba, Sudan, Iran or Syria are not eligible for the automatic revalidation of visa benefit.
If you have changed employers since first entering the United States and have a valid visa annotated for the previous employer,you may reenter the U.S. using that visa, provided you present a valid H-1B approval notice for the new employer upon reentry to the United States.
What is an I-94 and how do I retrieve it?
The I-94 is the Arrival / Departure Record, in either paper or electronic format, issued by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer to foreign visitors entering the United States. Most Arrival/Departure records are created electronically upon arrival. Instead of a paper form, the visitor will be provided with an annotated stamp in the foreign passport. If provided a paper form, the admitting CBP Officer generally attaches the I-94 to the visitor's passport and stamps the departure date on the form.
You can retrieve the electronic I-94 at cbp.gov/i94. You should print this as soon as possible and keep in your records. You will need to give a copy to ISSS. In addition, your department Personnel Specialist will need a copy. You may also need a copy to apply for a Social Security Number or Kansas Driver's License.
Should I keep record of the time I spend outside the U.S.?
Time spent outside the U.S. is not considered to be time spent in H-1B status. If necessary, time spent outside of the U.S. may be added on to the length of time you are allowed to remain in the U.S. in H-1B status. You should maintain a travel folder with the documentation that may be required to "recapture" H-1B time. By maintaining this information, you can apply to recapture time should the need arise.
Below is a list of documentation that may be accepted as proof of time spent outside the U.S.
- Boarding passes
- Airline travel itineraries and payment receipts
- Frequent flyer mile records from the airlines
- Copies of past I-94s
- Passport entry and exit stamps
The recapture of time spent out of the U.S. is granted at the discretion of USCIS and is based on the documentation presented as evidence. There is no guarantee the request will be approved.
How do I bring dependents or how can they change their status?
Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible for H-4 visas. Family members with H-4 visas are not eligible to work in the U.S. However, H-4s are eligible to attend school, part-time or full-time.
Dependents who are in the U.S. and need to change their visa status to H-4 will need to complete the Form I-539. This is usually submitted with the original H-1B petition. Please contact ISSS for more information.
If your dependents are NOT in the U.S. nothing will be submitted on their behalf. When the dependent wishes to enter the U.S. he/she will have to apply for an H-4 visa at a U.S. consulate. They will need a copy of the I-797 Approval Notice for the H-1B, proof of marriage or birth certificate, and all required forms, fees and photos for the visa issuance (check the website of the consulate to which they will apply for specific requirements.)
Can I apply for Permanent Residency while I am in H-1B status?
The H-1B visa allows for "dual intent." This permits the nonimmigrant in H-1B status the intention of applying for permanent residency and still continue to work and travel in H-1B status. However, individuals in the permanent residency process should consult with ISSS before traveling outside the U.S. to determine if all documents are in order.
Am I permitted to lecture or conduct research at another institution?
The H-1B status is employer specific; therefore, you may only work for the employer who sponsors your status. It is possible to have more than one employer as long as each employer has filed an H-1B petition for you.
You can also be invited to lecture, collaborate, conduct research or present at other institutions on an occasional basis. However you are not authorized to receive honorarium for these activities. You are permitted to receive reimbursement and/or allowances for reasonable living and transportation expenses.
If my employment with K-State ends, how much time do I have before I must depart the U.S.?
Valid H-1B status is dependent upon employment. There is NO grace period for H-1B who resign their positions or employment is terminated. If you resign or are terminated, you must depart the U.S. immediately.
If you resign your position to accept employment elsewhere, the new employer must have an H-1B petition on file for you prior to your last day of employment at K-State.
If you resign or are terminated you can remain in the U.S. if you have filed a change of status application prior to your resignation/termination date at K-State.