H-1B Information

The H-1B nonimmigrant status permits temporary employment in “specialty occupations,” which are defined as those requiring “theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge.” A prospective H-1B employee must have professional skills and a university degree (at a minimum, a bachelor's degree) in the same or a related field as the job offered.

The hiring department will collect the required information from the prospective H-1B visa holder and provide the documents to our office, which will then process and file the petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Visa Status Summary

  • Visa status holders are skilled workers with a bachelor's degree or higher who perform work in a specialized skill area.
  • Visa status can be held for a total of six years but must be requested in up to three-year increments.
  • Dependents of the H-1B visa status holder are eligible for H-4 visa status.
  • An H-1B worker cannot receive any outside payments from any entity other than the petitioning employer, including honoraria, except reimbursement of travel expenses.

H-1B visa status holders are responsible for the maintenance of their status and becoming familiar with the immigration requirements related to their status.

Passport Validity

Keep your passport valid for six months beyond the duration of your H-1B status (see dates on the I-797 approval notice)

Change of Address

Report an address change within ten days of a move. To report an address change you must:

  1. File Form AR-11 available at uscis.gov
  2. Email Stephanie Brown (sbrown11@niu.edu) with your full name and new address.


Do not accept any employment other than that which is approved under your H-1B petition

Remind your department to initiate the H-1B extension process as early as six months and no later than two months before your H-1B expiration date.

If a new or extension H-1B petition is in process, do not travel outside of the US until you have received approval from Stephanie Brown. Contact Stephanie Brown (sbrown11@niu.edu) prior to departure to ensure you have all documents required.

Application process

Complete Request forms:
  • Department Request Form and relevant supporting documentation as required by checklist
  • Technology Control Assessment Form (to be completed by the department)
  • Beneficiary Request Form and relevant supporting documentation as required by checklist
  • Check Requests for costs

Cost of Extension Application

  • $460 filing fee for I-129 (subject to change)
  • $500 anti-fraud fee (only required for first-time petitions)
  • $1225 premium processing fee (optional)
  • By law, the university is responsible for all costs associated with an H-1B petition; no costs can be passed on to the beneficiary
  • Costs must be submitted on separate check requests to produce separate checks for each fee
Send all request forms, supporting documentation, and check requests to ISSS.

Contact Us

International Student Scholar Services (ISSS)
Williston Hall

Phone: 815-753-1346
Email: isss@niu.edu

Staff Office Hours

8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Walk-in Appointments

No scheduled appointment needed in these hours

10 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m.