Processing Timeline

This timeline includes ISSS and processing time at various federal agencies involved in the H-1B process. If the prospective H-1B employee is abroad, factor in additional time for the individual to obtain an H-1B visa. The regular adjudication time of an H-1B petition at the California Service Center is two to three months but processing time can fluctuate within a given year.  A request for premium processing service (PPS) can be submitted at time of filing or submitted later after the petition has been receipted and is pending adjudication.

H-1B Processing Steps

  1. UCSC hiring department contacts the International Scholar Advisor to determine if H-1B status is appropriate for the applicable position.
  2. Department or Division submits the required paperwork and documents to ISSS.
  3. ISSS reviews the paperwork, will contact the department or prospective H-1B employee if any documents are missing.
  4. The International Scholar Advisor will request a prevailing wage determination from Department of Labor National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC).
    The prevailing wage is defined as the average wage paid to similarly employed workers in specific occupation in the the area of intended employment.The actual wage is the wage rate paid by the employer to all other individuals with experience and qualifications similar to the H-1B worker for the specific position in question. When there are employees with similar experience, education, job responsibilities, the wage rate can be expressed as a range. When there are no other similarly situated employees, then the actual wage is the salary offered to the H-1B employee. The employer is required to pay the prevailing wage or the actual wage, whichever is higher.
  5. After a PWD is received the International Scholar Advisor submits a request for a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) from Department of Labor. Hiring department will need to begin posting of announcments of the intent to file an H-1B petition (for non-union position) at two different locations at the worksite for at least 10 business days.
  6. ISSS receives a certified LCA, prepares the H-1B petition. Checks for the filing fee(s), including optional premium processing service, should be delivered to the International Scholar Advisor. Form I-129 H-1B petition is mailed to USCIS California Service Center using FedEx courier service. Contact ISSS if you wish to use a different courier.
  7. After H-1B petition is approved ISSS will provide the original I-797A Notice of Action or approval notice to the employee if in the U.S. If the employee is abroad the hiring department can mail Form I-797A to the employee to obtain an H-1B stamp and enter the U.S.

Employment authorization is granted based on the effective dates listed in Form I-797A Notice of Action. In extension cases the employee for which the employer has timely filed an extension application may continue to work up to 240 days past the current H-1B expiration date while the extension application is pending. If changing H-1B employers, the H-1B worker may begin employment at UCSC after ISSS has filed theI-129 petition, and a Form I-797C Notice of Action filing receipt is received.