H-1B Temporary Workers

H-1B status allows UCSC to temporarily employ foreign national workers in the US in “specialty occupations”. A specialty occupation requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and requires at minimum a Bachelor’s degree in a specific field as a minimum requirement for entry into the occupation (e.g. sciences, medicine, health care, education, biotechnology, and business specialties, etc.).

  • UC Santa Cruz will only sponsor full-time employees in H-1B status. 
  • Unless an exception applies, Postdoctoral Employees must come in J-1 Status.  For information on the exceptions please see the Postdoctoral Employee Exception Form.
  • Non-Academic Staff positions must go through an exception process before an H-1B application can be submitted to ISSS. For more information on the exception process please see the Non-Academic Staff H-1B Sponsorship Exception Form.

Time Limits

An H-1B may be requested for periods of up to 3 years at a time, for a maximum of 6 years.  An existing appointment is NOT required to be eligible for H-1B status; all that is required is a reasonable expectation that employment will continue.  


Documented time spent outside of the US may be "recaptured" on behalf of the employee in order to extend beyond the 6 year limit. 


Individuals who have reached 6 years of H-1B status may be eligible for an additional 6 years once they have spent at least one year outside of the US.  


Individuals may be eligible to extend their H-1B status beyond 6 years if they are the beneficiary of an approved I-140 and their priority date is subject to backlog, or if they have an I-140 or Labor Certification that was filed at least 365 day in the past.


Spouses and children of H-1B employees who are under the age of 21 are eligible for H-4 status.


Dependents who apply for an H-4 visa from outside of the US may do so using the primary H-1B approval notice. 


Dependents who apply for an Extension or a Change of Status to H-4 from inside of the US may do so using form I-539.  As a courtesy, ISSS will include an I-539 packet together with the primary application, though the preparation and review remains the responsibility of the applicant.  


H-4 Dependents are not allowed to accept employment except in limited situations

Other Important Points

  • It is the responsibility of the department to notify ISSS if any conditions of employment change at any time.  This includes adding or change or addition of work location(s), dismissal or termination, or change in salary, title, or responsibilities. 
  • An H-1B request must be initiated by the hiring department or division. The employee may not submit their own application to ISSS.
  • Individuals who are subject to the 212(e) Home Residency Requirement due to a previous stay in J-1 status will have to satisfy the requirement or apply for a waiver BEFORE applying for H-1B status.  As a J-1 sponsor, ISSS cannot assist in the preparation of a J-1 waiver.
  • The wage for the position must meet the requirements of  Department of Labor (DOL) regulations. ISSS will facilitate the process of obtaining a prevailing wage but should not be viewed as setting the wage.
  • The payment of all costs must come from the employer and cannot be passed on to or recovered from the employee in any way.
  • H-1B status is employer specific; the employee or beneficiary may only work for the employer who sponsors the status. The employee may have more than one H-1B approval at a time.
  • The employee must have met the degree requirements  before the petition is submitted. The employee must have a diploma or other certification from the institution to indicate that all degree requirements have been met.
  • H-1B status recognizes dual intent. This means an employee may apply for permanent residency while in H-1B status. 
  • Employers are required to maintain and make available upon request a public inspection file,  which housed in International Student and Scholar Services.