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H-1B Specialty Workers

  • H-1B Overview

    The H-1B classification is an employment status for individuals who will perform services in a "Specialty Occupation," defined as a position that requires at least a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) as a minimum requirement. A maximum of three years can be requested at one time, and a total of six years in H-1B status is possible. 

    In an effort to ensure the most appropriate and efficient immigration document processing of our International Faculty and Scholars in H-1B and E-3 categories, these requests will be referred for processing by the SUNY-approved immigration counsel firm.

    This allows us to take advantage of experienced immigration counsel and give departments high-level service in dealing with the intricacies of these petitions.  

    The immigration counsel firm charges $1,700 for H-1B processing in addition to the standard government filing fees. Departments are responsible for both the legal and government fees.

    Departments wishing to support or extend a foreign national employee under the H-1B category should submit the Immigration Counsel Referral request in accessVIS. These requests require Dean (or equivalent) approval, as well as screening against federal export control lists.

    Period of Stay/Extension of Stay
    • Initial Validity Period: Up to 3 years
    • Extension of Stay: Up to 3 years per extension for a maximum of six years, with some exceptions
  • Initiating a Request

    Initiating an H-1B Request

    Step 1: Confirm the prospective employee has an Employee ID
    Step 2: Check that all information in PeopleSoft is correct
    Step 3: Prepare the required documents
    Step 4: Initiate the Immigration Counsel Referral request
    Step 5: The employee will submit their information
    Step 6: Screening against Deemed Export Controls
    Step 7: Provide Actual Wage List information
    Step 8: VIS will conduct a preliminary review


  • Legal and Filing Fees

    H-1B Legal and Filing Fees

    U.S. Department of Labor regulations require that employers pay all expenses required for H-1B applications. The fees cannot be recouped from employees.

    Legal Fees

    H-1B petitions are referred for processing by the SUNY-approved immigration counsel firm. The immigration counsel firm charges $1,700 for an initial H-1B, and $1,575 for an H-1B extension. Departments are responsible for these legal fees.

    USCIS Fees

    USCIS fees are required for all H-1B petitions. The SUNY-approved immigration counsel firm (Harris Beach) will front the payment of these fees and issue an invoice to departments to pay within 30 days from the date of notice.

    • $460: Standard filing fee for H-1B petitions.
    • $500: Anti-fraud fee required for new and transfer H-1B applications only; not required for H-1B extensions petitions.
    • $2,805: Premium Processing is an expedited service that is available for H-1B petitions. USCIS guarantees that within 15 days they will issue either a final adjudication decision or a Request for Evidence (RFE). If USCIS fails to process the petition within 15 days, it will refund the fee. Premium Processing may be requested simultaneously with the USCIS petition or at a later date, if necessary.
    • $455: Dependent (Form I-539) standard filing fee, if applicable. All dependents can be included on one Form I-539 with one $370 fee, which can be paid by the employee or the department.

    In the event a request for evidence (RFE) is issued or additional services are required, departments will first be notified of any additional legal fees.