Timeframe of Application Process

  • The petition can be filed no earlier than 6 months before requested start date on H-1B petition.
  • After receiving completed request forms and supporting documentation, +/- 30 days for ISSS processing.
  • USCIS processing times for applications*
    • 9 to 11 months via regular processing (as of February 2019)
    • Optional Premium Processing: Guarantees a response (not a decision) within 15 calendar days.
  • Visa Processing times if applicable: Varies from U.S. Consulate to Consulate

Maintaining H-1B Status

Guidance to H-1B employees.

In order to maintain valid H-1B status, temporary workers must:

  • Maintain a valid passport at all times, unless exempt from passport requirements.
  • Work only for the employer(s) sponsoring the approved H-1B petition.
  • File Form AR-11 online at https://www.uscis.gov/ar-11 within 10 days of any address change.
  • Report a change of address to ISSS Office within 10 days of the change.
  • Notify their International Scholar Advisor whenever there is any change in their work situation (change in title, duties, department, hours, if they are leaving the job, etc.)
  • There is no grace period for employees in H-1B status after the authorized period of stay ends unless specifically authorized by the DHS at the port-of-entry.


  • Apply for an extension before the current H-1B status expires (in order to continue working at Catholic). Processing usually takes several months, so allow ample time. The application must be filed with the USCIS prior to the expiration date on the I-797 Notice of Action Form in order for the employee to be able to continue working without interruption.
  • If the individual is in Catholic-sponsored H-1B status and an extension is filed, then he or she can continue working for The University for an additional 240 days beyond their current H expiration while USCIS adjudicates the extension. This is known as the 240 day rule.

Change of Employer

  • H-1B temporary workers may transfer their status to a different employer. Before the employee starts work with the new employer, the new employer must first file an I-129 petition with the USCIS and confirm that it has been received.
  • USCIS often requests copies of recent pay stubs for transfer applications, so it is important that employees continue working for their current employer until at least the receipt notice has been received.
  • Under USCIS portability provisions, an employee can begin on the date the petition is received by USCIS or the requested employment start date of the petition, whichever is later. We require either the hard copy receipt notice for regular processing or the email receipt for premium processing so that we have confirmation that USCIS has accepted the petition.