United States Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) announced on Friday, March 3, 2017 that it will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions filed with USCIS on or after April 3, 2017. Read BIO's announcement on this change.

The processing time for an H-1B petition depends on many factors. This table gives a general idea of the timing for different petition types.  See below for a full description of the steps involved in the H-1B Petition process. For urgent cases please contact us at h1b@berkeley.edu.

Source

Timing

 
New or Change of Status
Extension or Amendment
Change of Employers

UCB 
Department

Submit a request to BIO 6 months before the anticipated start date of the H-1B employee.(Note: Premium processing may still be recommended in some of these cases.)

Submit a request to BIO at least 2 months before the anticipated start date of the H-1B employee when using premium processing.

Submit request to BIO at least 
2 months
 before the current H-1B expiration date.

If the H-1B employee will travel or needs a drivers' license renewal, submit a request to BIO 6 months in advance (Note: premium processing may still be recommended in some of these cases.)

Submit request to BIO at least 
2 months before the anticipated start date of the H-1B employee.

If the H-1B employee will travel or needs a drivers' license renewal, submit a request to BIO 6 months in advance.(Note: Premium processing may still be recommended in some of these cases.)

NOTE: Consult an BIO advisor regarding continuation of current employment and maintenance of H-1B status.

BIO

One month after the receipt of a complete request.

USCIS

4 to 8 months (or longer) with regular processing;  2 to 4 weeks with premium processing

Steps of The H-1B Petition

Listed below is a full description of the steps involved in obtaining H-1B approval for a position at UC Berkeley.

  1. The UCB employing department contacts Berkeley International Office to determine if an H-1B status is appropriate.  
    NOTE:  A nonimmigrant who has been in J-1 or J-2 nonimmigrant status and is subject to the Two-Year Home Country Physical Presence Requirement, must either return to his/her home country for two years, or obtain a waiver of this requirement before being eligible for H-1B status. The waiver process can take from three to twelve months.
  2. Department submits an online International Scholar Dossier (ISD) request, supporting documents and fees AND posts announcement of the intent to file a Labor Condition Application for non union represented positions (announcement must be posted for 10 business days). If the position is governed by a labor contract, BIO will notify the labor union at this step.
  3. BIO reviews department request and prepares the petition. If documents are missing, BIO will contact the department.
  4. BIO submits the Labor Condition Application (LCA) to the U.S. Department of Labor within 30 days of Departmental Annoucement posting, or the notification of the union.
  5. BIO obtains the certified LCA, and submits the H-1B petition to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  6. USCIS approval: 

a.) If the employee is not in the U.S., the UCB department sends the approval notice 
to the employee abroad to obtain the H-1B visa stamp and enter the U.S.

b.) H-1B employees extending UCB employment may remain on payroll while 
waiting for approval if the request was submitted to USCIS before the current H-1B expires.

c.) H-1B status holders who are changing employers to UC Berkeley may be eligible 
for UC payroll when BIO receives the USCIS H-1B petition receipt. Consult BIO.

d.) Employees changing to H-1B status may begin working in H-1B status when the 
Notice of Approval has been received from the USCIS.