Department ofHuman Resources

H1-B Visa

H-1B visas are available to any person in a “specialty occupation.” This is defined as a position “which requires specialized knowledge and the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree or its equivalent as a minimum requirement.”

The H-1B employee must meet the minimum qualifications for the position by the time the petition is filed. The H-1B petition is filed to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by Pacific Lutheran University, and Department of Labor wage requirements must be met. An H-1B visa is valid for a three-year period and can be extended for an additional three years.

Information for the Employee

Applying for the H-1B visa

Applying for the H-1B visa is a multi-step process, which must first be approved by the Department of Labor before the H-1B petition can be filed. Human Resources will keep you updated during the various stages of the process. If your dependent(s) also requires a visa, please be sure you inform Human Resources.Please remain patient during the H-1B application process as it can be lengthy.

Entering the U.S. & Acquiring the H-1B visa

If you are already in the U.S. on a different visa status, the H-1B petition would include a request to change your status. If you are currently on a J-1 visa, you may not be eligible for a change of status. When the H-1B petition is approved, you will receive a new I-94 card, along with the approval notice. For future travels outside of the U.S., it is necessary to bring your new I-94 card and original H-1B approval notification so that you may apply for a new visa with H-1B status.

If you are outside of the U.S. during the H-1B application process, you are required to make an appointment to apply for an H-1B visa. To do so, you will need original copies of your I-797 approval notice, new I-94 card, a photocopy of the I-129 petition, and a copy of your PLU offer letter.

Arrival at PLU

Upon arrival to campus, please check in with Human Resources, who will provide you with a copy of your H-1B approval notice and new I-94 card.  PLU employees must have a Social Security Number. If you do not already have a Social Security Number, you can apply for one in person or at your visa appointment. Visit the SSN Administration Office website for more information. Please make sure to apply for your SSN before the employment start date.