H-1B Step-by-Step Process

A department who wishes to hire a foreign national on an H-1B status submits materials to the Office of Employee Immigration Services to prepare an H-1B petition. See Department Guide for the forms and related materials. It takes approximately 3-7 months to get an H-1B approval notice after EIS receives your materials. The amount of time varies primarily because government agencies' processing times fluctuate and change without notice. Current USCIS processing times can be found on the USCIS website.  Other factors also impact the time needed for petition approval such as whether a department chooses to pay an additional fee to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for expedited processing or if there are problems with the offered salary or materials submitted. The steps below describe the process. You may also find more information in our FAQ.

Step 1: Submission of Materials

The petition materials are submitted by the Department and the Foreign National and are checked for the required items to begin processing.

 Department Visa Request form

  H-1B petition department letter

Step 2: Detailed Analysis

The petition materials are analyzed by EIS to ensure compliance with federal regulations. 

Step 3: Prevailing Wage Determination

EIS submits position description information to U.S. Department of Labor for a prevailing wage determination to comply with labor laws regarding the offered wage.
(DOL estimated processing time is approximately 4-8 weeks)

Step 4: Labor Condition Application

EIS prepares a Labor Condition Application, (LCA)  if the offered salary meets, or is greater than, the prevailing wage determination.

Steps 5: Employer Posts LCA

The department is required by law to post the LCA at the work site(s) for 10 business days.

Step 6: DOL Certification of LCA

The department verifies the LCA has been posted and EIS submits the LCA to the DOL to obtain official certification of approval.
(DOL estimated processing time is 7-10 days)

Step 7: Completion of I-129 forms

EIS completes I-129 forms and compiles the certified LCA and related supporting documentation for submission to the United States and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Step 8: Petition is Submitted to USCIS

EIS express mails the H-1B petition to USCIS

Step 9: USCIS Processes H-1B Petition

USCIS’ estimated processing time is 2-4 months when paying the standard $325 processing fee. For expedited processing, the employer can pay an additional “Premium Processing Fee” of $1,225 to USCIS for processing in 15 days. (Please note that paying the USCIS Premium Processing fee will not expedited processing of the steps listed above.)

Step 10: USCIS Approval of H-1B Petition

USCIS mails the approved H-1B Petition to EIS and EIS will forward the approval notice and related materials to the department and employee.    Employee may begin work.