Information for H-1Bs

General H-1B Information

The H-1B is an employer-specific working visa for individuals holding “specialty occupation” positions at UMBC.  The H-1B petition scrutinizes the salary, working conditions, special skills, and educational background needed for the job. The employer will also need to attest to compliance with U.S. export control regulations and whether the research pursued by the H-1B worker requires access to technology considered proprietary or confidential.  To learn more about the Export Control provisions, see the Information page for Visiting Students and Scholars maintained by UMBC’s Vice President for Research.

International individuals that have other possible immigration statuses with which they can work for UMBC will be advised to use these alternatives first.  However, if the hiring department or office wishes to pursue H-1b status to benefit the employee, and not out of necessity, this is considered an “elective” H-1B and will be processed by an attorney managed through our office. The hiring department or office will be responsible for the legal fees.

Click Here to review the complete UMBC H-1B and Permanent Residency Sponsorship Policy.


Timeline details:

Please note: the timelines below start only after you have received the appointment letter for faculty positions or the offer letter for staff positions via PageUp.


Directions to file a New H-1B petition for employment with UMBC

Preliminary Steps:
  • Submit the following to – we will need to determine if the position is eligible for H-1B status:
    • Appointment Letter
    • CV/Resume of intended H-1B hire
    • Job Description used during this search

After the position is deemed appropriate for H-1B status, we will email you the next steps.


New Hire: The new hire will need to begin preparing the H-1B Worksheet and supporting documentation after we complete the preliminary steps.  They are welcome to be in touch with our office for any questions.

Please note, if their highest degree was earned outside of the US, an international credential evaluation is required by USCIS.  They are welcome to use any NACES-accredited evaluation company.
Department:  The department will need to work on preparing the following:

Our office will require at least 6 weeks to prepare all documentation, go through the required steps and submit the petition after we have received all documents.  For urgent cases requiring faster processing time, please contact our office to understand what may be possible for your unique case.


Directions to Extend the H-1B status of an existing UMBC employee in H-1B status

Please contact our office for next steps on planning ahead for an H-1B extension.


H-1B Fee Details

There are fees which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) charges to process the H-1B petition.  These fees are paid by the hiring UMBC department in the form of separate working fund checks made payable to the Department of Homeland Security.

  • I-129 form fee:  $460.
  • Fraud Detection and Prevention Fee: $500. Subsequent extensions of an existing H-1B for the same employer do not require the $500 to be paid again.
  • Premium Processing Fee: $2,805. This fee provides a response on the application within 15 business days.  Average processing time without this additional fee varies but can be between 4-6 months.  If the person already holds H-1B status, this fee is usually not necessary.


Travel while an H-1B petition is pendingplease read carefully

We highly recommend you do not travel outside the US while a petition is pending. However, we understand that in some circumstances, you may need to travel while your UMBC petition is pending. Depending on your case, please read the information below to understand the implications of traveling with a pending petition.

  1. If our office filed a change of status petition for you:
    • Please note that you must be in the U.S. when the H-1B petition is filed with USCIS.
    • You must not travel outside of the U.S. while the petition is pending. Leaving the country while USCIS is reviewing your petition will cause USCIS to consider your petition for a change of status to be abandoned. Your underlying H-1B petition may still be approved, but you would have to depart the U.S. and apply for an H-1B visa abroad to re-enter the U.S. in H-1B status before you could start your H-1B employment.
    • Once USCIS approves your change of status petition, you may travel internationally. Your H-1B status will take effect on the date that was requested.
    • While travel, as outlined above, is permissible, you may encounter difficulties when re-entering the U.S. or when applying for a visa for your current status. Therefore, we recommend that you do not travel internationally from the moment your department starts the H-1B process with our office until your H-1B status takes effect.
  2. Traveling while an extension of status petition is pending with USCIS is permissible.
    • Please note that you must be in the U.S. when the H-1B petition is filed with USCIS.
    • You must alert our office of any travel plans while your H-1B extension is pending with USCIS.
    • If the extension is approved while you are abroad, you must re-enter the US using that Approval Notice. This means the documents may need to be sent to you while abroad.
      • If you re-entered the US based on your old Approval Notice, you would only be admitted until the expiration date of the old H-1B Approval Notice and you would likely have to travel again to have this corrected.
  3. If your H-1B extension is pending with USCIS and your current H-1B status has expired, you must not travel internationally because you will need a valid H-1B approval and visa to re-enter the country.
    • Please note that you must be in the U.S. when the H-1B petition is filed with USCIS.
    • If you must travel while your extension is pending and your H-1B status has expired, you will need to remain outside of the U.S. until your H-1B petition is approved. Your case may be converted to premium processing to accelerate the adjudication process.
  4. If you are changing employers:
    • Please note that you must be in the U.S. when the H-1B petition is filed with USCIS.
    • You may travel while the H-1B petition is pending. However, travel during this period is not recommended as you will need a valid H-1B Approval Notice and visa to re-enter the US. If you have a valid H-1B approval from your previous employer, you may use that in conjunction with your H-1B petition and Receipt Notice. Should your previous employer have withdrawn its H-1B petition – which is likely – you cannot use your previous H-1B approval. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you do not travel internationally during this period as you may not be able to return until your UMBC H-1B petition has been approved.