Skip Navigation

Definition of H-1B Temporary Worker

The H-1B Temporary Worker (nonimmigrant) classification is designated by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for non-US workers in specialty occupations. A specialty occupation is defined as: The position requires attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.  Education, training, or progressively responsible experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree may substitute for attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty provided it conforms with the education equivalency regulations found in the Code of Federal Regulations – 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(D).

The position requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and skill at an advanced or expert professional level.

The nature of the position’s duties is so specialized and complex that it requires recognition of expertise in the specialty which is attained through directly related progressively responsible experience in the specialty. 

This means the individual must possess a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in the required field for the position.  ALSO, the position itself must require a bachelor’s degree in a specific field(s) of study relevant to the duties to be performed, AND the required degree must be one which is standardly required for the position being offered.  Additionally, staff positions must be classified at job level 4 or above in the JHU Staff Classification System **. (Reference: University personnel policy Section 3, Recruiting and Employment, Item G.)

Any Department that wishes to sponsor a non-immigrant for H-1B status must review the H-1B Process and Obligations of Sponsorship page. Further, it is critical that the sponsoring Department review and understand the complexity and length of time involved in H-1B sponsorship. Please see the detailed H-1B Business Process Flowchart that documents the many stages of H-1B sponsorship.

The Visa Information Page was created to assist Administrators in understanding the many immigration statuses that may or may not be available for a proposed position. Please carefully review this information, then consult the OIS before extending any offer of immigration sponsorship. Neither the hiring department, or the potential worker can dictate the status for sponsorship. Only after Institutional policies are considered will a H-1B case be initiated.