H-1B (Nonimmigrant visa; temporary worker)
Following the University's decision to request H-1B work status to appoint a tenure track faculty member, the letter of appointment from the Provost will contain information regarding the H-1B process. Normally, an initial H-1B nonimmigrant visa is for a three year period with extensions possible for a total of six years. The six year maximum includes all previous employment under this classification.
Approval of the H-1B classification by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) takes six or more months from submission of the petition. Departments/Deans should therefore submit such appointment files to Academic Affairs at least seven to eight months prior to the appointment date. Prospective faculty who are on an H-1B visa at another institution (including other CSU campuses) must have new H-1B transfer documents processed with INS for employment at CSULB. Each campus is a separate employer. First time H-1B faculty must have final INS approval before beginning employment. For those faculty who hold current H-1B status elsewhere, the Receipt Notice provided by INS to the University indicating that the petition has been received for review is an acceptable document to begin employment.
Form I-129 is the Immigration and Naturalization Service's document that the University must complete to request approval of H-1B status, following acceptance of the offer of appointment . This official form can only be signed and submitted to the Department of Justice and Immigration and Naturalization Service by the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Deans, department chairs, or other University personnel do not have signature authority to complete this document.
The H-1B application fee required by INS is currently $130 and is paid by the faculty member. This does not include additional fees if dependents are included for H 4 status. Dependents on H 4 status are not eligible to work in the US.
H-1B Dual Intent
The H-1B classification provides foreign faculty the opportunity to consider a change in status to permanent resident, which must take place prior to the six year H-1B expiration. CSULB requires that the faculty member obtain outside legal assistance to complete all documents for such a status change. While the Provost must still sign these documents, the responsibility remains that of the faculty employee to seek assistance as soon as he/she is appointed. There are two avenues available for submitting a permanent resident application: outstanding professor and the labor certification process (Special Handling). The latter requires an application by legal counsel to the Department of Labor within 18 months following the search committee's selection of the faculty appointment. For outstanding professor petitions, such applications must be initiated one year prior to the sixth year in H-1B status or sooner. Timelines are very important.
TN Visa (NAFTA Professional)
This one-year visa type is used for professionals who are citizens of Canada or Mexico. This status will be used to employ tenure track faculty only when there is not sufficient time to process the H-1B visa classification.
TN visas are approved for Canadian citizens in the passport for one year at a time and are issued at the border. The individual will be required to present an official appointment letter from the employer. Credentials may also be requested for review (i.e., transcript, diploma, and proof of citizenship).
For Mexican citizens appointed on TN status, Form I-129 must be completed by the employer, similar to the H-1B petition application. The timeline and application fee is also similar. No approval is given at the border. The approval notice from INS will be sent to the employer and to the foreign faculty member.
The appointment letter from the Provost will contain information about the specifics of the TN visa and that conversion to H-1B status will take place as soon as possible.
F-1 Practical Training
This student classification will be used to appoint faculty only when there is not sufficient time to process the H-1B visa classification. Graduating students can be approved, by their current educational institution, for one year of practical training (full-time employment). The appointment letter from the Provost will contain information about the specifics of the Practical Training appointment and that conversion to H-1B status will take place as soon as possible.