H-1B Visa Holders

The H-1B nonimmigrant category allows for the hiring of foreign workers in “specialty occupations” for which the employee must have the necessary credentials. A specialty occupation is defined as an occupation that requires:

  • Theoretical or practical knowledge of a body of highly specialized knowledge, and
  • Attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty or its equivalent as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States (e.g. sciences, medicine, health care, education, biotechnology, and business specialties, etc.).
  • UC Santa Cruz will only sponsor full-time employees in H-1B status. 

H-1B status can be used to support permanent faculty, academic positions, and non-academic staff positions.

All requests for H-1B employment must be initiated by the hiring department in conjunction with the International Scholar Advisor. Since the H-1B process is complex and lengthy, involving campus units, Department of Labor, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and Department of State, it is important you contact IFSS in advance if considering H-1B sponsorship.

If you are currently abroad, you must await processing, filing, and approval of the petition, then apply for and obtain an H-1B visa stamp to enter the U.S. 

If you are currently in the U.S. in a valid nonimmigrant status such as F-1, J-1, TN, E-3, or H-1B, you may be eligible for an H-1B change of status or portability petition through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

If you are currently in the U.S. in H-1B status with another employer and we are filing a portability petition, you will not be able to leave the U.S. and re-enter while your petition is pending if your previous H-1B entry visa has expired. You should maintain your current H-1B status and employment until your begin date at UC Santa Cruz.

Last modified: Jan 08, 2024