H-1B Status

H-1B status is the nonimmigrant employment classification most commonly used for the temporary employment of professionals and professors. H-1B status is designed for a foreign national who is or will be employed in a “specialty occupation,” which requires

  • The theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge to fully perform the occupation
  • The completion of a baccalaureate degree or higher in that specific occupational specialty.

H-1B status is valid for a total of six years (with some limited exceptions) and can be moved from one employer to another. However, the new employer must file a new petition.

Please contact the International Employment (IE) Manager at 919-515-4518 immediately if you are trying to sponsor someone for an SHRA position, before you begin to prepare any paperwork. There are some SHRA positions that do not qualify for H-1B status, and we will not be able to provide immigration sponsorship for those positions, regardless of the educational and experience credentials of the candidate.

Information and Requirements

Initiation of H-1B Process


H-1B status requires a petitioner or sponsor (NC State University), and the employee may only work for the specific petitioner, unless he/she has additional, independent work authorization or a concurrent H-1B sponsor.

The sponsoring NC State Department or Unit, not the foreign national employee, must initiate all petitions. The H-1B documentation must be submitted to IE as far in advance as possible (three – six months preferred) to ensure timely processing.

Please note that it takes IE a minimum of 4-6 weeks to prepare and file any type of H-1B petition, so please plan accordingly and DO NOT wait until the last minute to submit documents for H-1B status for an employee! If the department does not start an H-1B petition with IE with enough time to reasonably obtain the status in the timeframe requested, IE cannot guarantee timely processing or that the person will be able to start working for the department in H-1B status by the requested start date. Government processing time for H-1B petitions can take anywhere from 3-10 months, so early initiation by the sponsoring unit is strongly encouraged whenever possible.

International Taxation

Please note that all foreign nationals employed at NC State University are required to meet with the International Compensation & Taxation unit at the time that they first become employed.  Foreign nationals are also required to notify this unit of any changes in nonimmigrant status, employment and residential address.  To schedule an appointment or notify this unit of such changes, please send an email to ictquestions@ncsu.edu.