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H-1B Temporary Specialty Occupation Worker


H-1B status is for workers filling a specialty occupation.  H-1B status is employer- and employment-specific, meaning you may only work for UIC in the capacity described in the initial petition to Immigration (USCIS) and Labor (DOL).  As mentioned in the “Work Authorization” section, if anything changes about your position (location, telecommuting, reduction in time, new title, etc.), an amendment may need to be filed with USCIS before you may take part in those new employment conditions. 

Please review your immigration documents USCIS/Immigration (I-129 petition) and Department of Labor (LCA) to understand your employment terms, location(s), wage, and dates.   

Recapture, New 6-years  

Time outside of the United States may be “recaptured.” Keep copies of all documentation of your time outside of the country in the event you need to extend your H-1B beyond six years. 

If you spend more than 12-months outside of the U.S., you may be eligible for a new “bank” of 6-years in H-1B status. 

Immigration Site Visits 

USCIS’ FDNS (Fraud Detection and National Security) unit must conduct random site visits on 20,000 H-1B workers every year. 

FDNS usually contacts OIS first. If an FDNS officer appears at your work place, please ask to see identification and contact OIS immediately. 

FDNS inspectors are verifying your work information and may take photographs of your lab/office space as well as ask you questions related to your employment. 


It is possible to “port” or “transfer” your H-1B status to another employer/institution; the new employer will file a Form I-129 on your behalf.  

Employment should be continuous from UIC to the next employer. If your department ends your employment early, you may have up to 60 days to remain in the country and seek other employment. You may not work or volunteer during this transitional time. Your future H-1B sponsor will notify you when you may begin your new employment.   

Please consult with your new employer for details on this process. 

H-4 Dependents 

Generally, H-4 dependents are not eligible to work, or volunteer to work.  They may attend school as long as they are not paid (such as receiving an assistantship).  Some H-4s may apply for work authorization if you (the H-1B worker) are in a specific stage of a green card application for an oversubscribed country; consult OIS for details.