Prospective and New H-1B Employees

Before Coming to the University of Chicago

Forms relevant to your H-1B status before we file your petition:

Important Considerations:

  1. Only your department can sponsor you for H-1B status and employment at the University of Chicago (UChicago); you cannot self petition.
  2. H-1B sponsorship is only possible if your position qualifies as a "specialty occupation" per the H-1B regulations and UChicago's sponsorship policy:
  3. Whether to sponsor an employee is a decision that lies with a department, and only the department can initiate the process with our office. Once you have a signed offer letter, your department will submit the H-1B request on your behalf.
  4. Upon receipt of the signed request and supporting documentation, an OIA adviser will contact you to collect your biographic information, supporting documentation, and answer your immigration questions.
  5. If you are currently abroad, you must await processing, filing and approval of the petition, then apply for and obtain an H-1B visa stamp to enter the U.S. This process can generally take 60-75 days.
  6. If you are coming from abroad, once you you arrive in the U.S. in H-1B status you must proceed to begin your employment and check-in with OIA:
  7. If you are currently in the U.S. in a valid nonimmigrant status such as F-1, TN, E-3, or H-1B and eligible for an H-1B change of status, extension, amendment, or portability petition, it will take OIA 45-60 days to process, file and receive a decision from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  8. If you are currently in the U.S. in H-1B status with the University of Chicago or with another employer and we are filing an extension or portability petition, you will not be able to leave the U.S. and re-enter while your petition is pending if your previous H-1B entry visa has expired.
  9. If you are currently in the U.S. in H-1B status with another employer, you should maintain your current H-1B status and employment until your begin date at UChicago. There are exceptions to this, and if this applies to your situation please discuss with your OIA adviser.
  10. If you are accompanied in the U.S. by a dependent spouse or child, he/she will need to maintain H-4 status. Separate processes are required for individuals in H-4 status, and an OIA adviser will advise you on this.
  11. There are two ways to file H-1B applications: regular processing and expedited Premium Processing.  OIA recommends that departments request expedited Premium Processing for all H-1B applications so we receive an Approval or Request for Evidence within 15 days of filing. Regular processing often takes 5-12 months for a decision by USCIS after filing.
  12. The University of Chicago will pay all H-1B application files on your behalf, as required by the H-1B regulations. 

Immediately upon Arrival:

Check In with OIA:

Upon arrival in the US, you must check in with the Office of International Affairs as soon as possible. Please either visit our office (no appointment is needed) and bring your various immigration related documents, or you can complete the H-1B Check-In Form electronically.

Address Change:

Each individual in H-1B status is responsible for updating his or her address in a timely fashion (i.e. within ten days) with USCIS by filing a form AR-11. This form can be completed online or can be sent to USCIS via mail. Please be sure to retain a copy of the AR-11 form for your files. Filing this form is free of charge. Please visit the USCIS website for the most recent AR-11 form. Please also provide your updated address information to the human resources administrator in your department, submit an update via Workday, and email it to OIA at

If you have questions, please contact us!

If we are currently processing your case: Please contact the H-1B Adviser who contacted you with a request for documents. He/she will oversee your case to conclusion and will best be able to answer your questions. E-mail is usually the best way to reach us.  We will generally respond to all emails or phone calls within 24 hours or less.

If you have a general question: Please contact our front desk at or (773) 702-7752. The staff will be able to either answer your question or connect you to the right person in our office.

Welcome to the University of Chicago! We hope that your stay here will be happy and successful and we look forward to support you in every way we can!