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H-1B Application Process

The process of filing an H-1B petition begins when an academic department has decided to hire a foreign national. 


The following will help the department to create the request in iTerp.  If you have not received iTerp training, please contact a scholar advisor in the ISSS department.

* Department staff must receive iTerp training before access is granted. To schedule a training please contact Siemy Khan.

Actual Wage Determination

As part of the iTerp request, the department must determine the actual wage level for the H-1B worker. The actual wage level is the wage paid by the employer to the comparable pool of workers, which is all other workers in the department with similar qualifications and experience. The department determines and justifies the proposed salary for the H-1B worker based on this actual wage level.  Please note the following:

  • A step-by-step guide on how to establish the comparable pool of workers is available.
  • The proposed salary offered to the H-1B worker and entered into the iTerp screen should be the base salary only; it should not include benefits or retirement. 
  • If this is a 9 month appointment, the salary should not include summer salary.

Prevailing Wage Request

On receiving the iTerp request, ISSS submits a request to the U.S. Department of Labor for a prevailing wage determination. The prevailing wage is the average salary paid to workers similarly employed in the occupational field in UMD's geographic area or the area of intended employment.

UMD is required to pay the higher of the actual wage rate (the department's proposed salary) or the prevailing wage rate (determined by the U.S. Department of Labor).

UMD is required to obtain a certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) before filing an H-1B visa petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  This step is required to monitor employment conditions and prevent the employment of H-1B employees where the employment would potentially have an adverse impact on the wages and working conditions of American workers.  ISSS requests this certification electronically by filing a Labor Condition Application (Form ETA 9035) with the DOL.

View Notices of Intent to Hire H-1B/E-3 Employees

ISSS prepares the LCA and emails it to the department so that it can be posted in two locations for 10 days, in accordance with H-1B regulations. ISSS will sign the LCA after the department has confirmed by email that the LCA has been posted.

Certifying the LCA represents the university's attestation of several conditions:

  • The salary being paid to the H-1B worker is the higher of the prevailing or actual wage.
  • H-1B workers will be afforded working conditions on the same basis, and in accordance with same criteria, as those offered to similarly employed American workers.
  • There is not a strike, lockout, or work stoppage on the date of application.
  • As of the date of filing, notice of the Labor Condition Application has been posted.
  • The department will provide the certified Labor Condition Application to the H-1B worker no later than the date the H-1B worker reports to work at the place of employment.

The department will provide the required checks to pay the filing fees.  

ISSS will prepare, organize, and mail the H-1B I-129 petition to USCIS.

USCIS will mail ISSS an I-797 receipt notice for the petition, which will contain a tracking number (for example: EAC55555555 or WAC123456789). ISSS will email the tracking number to the department so that the department and the H-1B worker can track the status of the case.

For an H-1B worker who is already in the U.S. in H-1B status, an appointment can be processed for 240 days to begin employment on the date that the petition is mailed to USCIS.

For an H-1B worker whose status has been amended due to a significant change, an I-797 Receipt Notice is required for the change to take effect.

For a prospective H-1B worker who is already in the U.S. and is changing from a non-immigrant status to H-1B, USCIS will mail an I-797A Approval Notice to ISSS when the H-1B petition is approved.  ISSS will inform the department via email.  The department will instruct the H-1B worker to visit ISSS to pick up his or her H-1B documents.

For a prospective H-1B worker who is not currently in the U.S., USCIS will mail an I-797B Approval Notice to ISSS.  ISSS will instruct the department to send a Travel Packet and H-1B documentation by express courier to the foreign national overseas.  The foreign national will use the documentation to apply for an H-1B visa to enter the U.S. 

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