Overview of H-1B Process and Required Paperwork

If you believe that a scholar qualifies for MIT's H-1B sponsorship, contact an H-1B advisor in the ISchO to discuss this. If the ISchO gives you the go-ahead to proceed and/or asks for more preliminary screening information, please proceed to Step 1.

Step 1:

Department submits initial screening information.

Please do not complete this step until/unless instructed by an H-1B advisor. Keep in mind that another type of visa may be more appropriate.

Step 2:

ISchO reviews initial screening information.

If the ISchO determines that the scholar is H-1B-eligible, we will begin preliminary steps with the Department of Labor (DOL), which include:

  • Obtaining a "prevailing wage" determination
  • Submitting a Labor Condition Application (LCA)

Once these preliminary steps are successfully completed, we will notify you that it is time to submit additional required documents and checks to the ISchO.

Please note: Throughout the H-1B application process, the ISchO will contact you if there are problems and/or concerns that arise.  

Step 3:

Department and scholar submit all materials to ISchO.

Step 4:

ISchO prepares final H-1B petition and submits it to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for adjudication

The general time frame for Steps 1 to 4 is approximately four months. You must also consider the USCIS processing time, which may take several months. Expedited processing ("premium processing") at USCIS can be requested with an additional fee; however, it does not speed up the time frame for steps 1 to 4.

Therefore, it is important to submit Forms H at least four months prior to the end of the current H-1B status (for extension or change of employer cases) and 5-6 months prior to the start date of a new H-1B (for change of status or a new H-1B scholar coming to MIT from outside the U.S.).

The ISchO will notify you and the scholar if/when the application is approved. Please feel free to contact your H-1B advisor for more information about processing times.

Page updated March 2023