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OIS developed these FAQ to assist individuals who need H-1B sponsorship, as well as those who presently hold H-1B status. If after reviewing these FAQs you still have questions, please email [email protected] .  

General Questions

Is Johns Hopkins University cap-exempt?  

Yes, Johns Hopkins University, as an institution of higher education, can file H-1B petitions throughout the year without being limited to the H-1B cap.  

Does JHU sponsor H-1B for medical residency?  

The JHU School of Medicine [SOM] has a Visa Sponsorship Policy for Clinical Training. This policy is administered by the Graduate Medical Education Office in SOM and is available on the GME’s website. It is at the discretion of the clinical training program to offer H-1B sponsorship when the applicant qualifies under the SOM Visa Sponsorship Policy for Clinical Training. 

Can OIS provide me with a graduation certificate or employment verification letter? 

OIS is not able to verify employment or completion of an academic program or fellowship. For academic records verification, please contact the Registrar’s office via SEAM. To verify current or past employment, please contact JHU Human Resources. 

Can JHU sponsor me for Permanent Residency? 

Information on Permanent Residency (i.e. green card) sponsorship eligibility is available on the OIS website. 

My Permanent Residency was approved! What do I need to do?

Please email a clear scan of the front and back of your permanent residency card (green card) to [email protected] so we can update iHopkins and withdraw the underlying Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor. Legal permanent residents are permanently authorized to work in the U.S. As such, you need to update Form I-9 (Verification of Employment Eligibility) with JHU’s I9 Compliance Services Office. If you have any questions about the I-9 process, please email [email protected] . 

Prospective H-1B

I am currently working under F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT/STEM OPT). Can my department sponsor me for H-1B status? 

JHU has a well-established practice, based on several immigration and employment factors, requiring that all available F-1 OPT, including STEM OPT, be used before JHU will consider H-1B sponsorship for classified staff and postdoctoral fellows. Employees on F-1 OPT or STEM OPT who are employed in a faculty position may be eligible for H-1B sponsorship before exhausting OPT. Faculty on OPT who would like H-1B sponsorship should contact [email protected] . 

Can I use F-1 OPT for a faculty position at JHU?  

Work in a tenured or tenure-track position is not prohibited on F-1 OPT/STEM OPT. If the hiring Department would like to offer H-1B sponsorship before exhausting all available OPT, JHU/OIS will support a change of status to H-1B.

I am currently in J-1 status. Can my department sponsor me for H-1B status? 

JHU has a well-established practice, based on several immigration and employment factors, requiring postdoctoral fellows to exhaust all available J-1 time before providing H-1B sponsorship. J-1 Exchange Visitors employed at JHU in nontenure track faculty positions may be eligible for a change of status to H-1B before exhausting all available J-1 time.  Individuals in J-1 status who have been offered a position that is not compatible with J-1 status (e.g., tenure-track or tenured faculty or classified staff positions) will be provided H-1B sponsorship. 

I currently hold J-1/J-2 status, or I held J-1/J-2 status in the past.  How do I demonstrate/document I satisfied the two-year home-country physical presence requirement?  

In the H-1B petition submitted to USCIS, JHU/OIS must disclose the details of current and past J-1/J-2 participation as well as evidence that the two-year requirement was fulfilled or waived (if applicable). In the absence of a waiver, relevant evidence showing that you fulfilled the two-year home residence requirement, such as a chart of days spent in your home country and supporting documents such as passport entry/exit stamps, travel receipts, employment records, school transcripts, leases, or affidavits can be submitted with the H-1B petition. All days you are physically present in your home country, including travel days to and from, are counted toward fulfillment of the two-year home residency requirement.  

For additional information on how USCIS determines whether an individual has met the two-year requirement, please review USCIS’s updated policy guidance, issued on October 24, 2023. 

Can JHU sponsor me for H-1B status while I am living outside of the United States?   

JHU can file an H-1B petition with USCIS on your behalf while you are outside of the U.S.  When the petition is approved, the appropriate U.S. Consulate/Embassy/Port of Entry will be notified. You will need to apply for an H-1B visa stamp [unless exempt from visa stamping requirements] before seeking entry to the U.S. in H-1B status to begin employment. 

What is a credential evaluation? 

A credential evaluation is a third-party assessment of an academic or professional degree earned in another country to determine the degree’s equivalence in the U.S. USCIS regularly accepts credential evaluations from Silvergate, WES, or any credible credential evaluation service.   

Please remember that when applying for H1B status, an applicant must meet one of the following criteria:  

Hold a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specialty occupation from an accredited college or university;   

Hold a foreign degree determined to be equivalent to a U.S. bachelor’s or higher degree required by the specialty occupation from an accredited college or university. 

Do I need a credential evaluation?

If your degree was earned outside of the U.S., it is strongly recommended that you obtain a credential evaluation for your highest relevant degree. If you choose not to submit a credential evaluation, USCIS has the discretion to request a credential evaluation for some or all degrees earned outside the U.S.  USCIS will issue this request in the form of a “Request for Evidence” [RFE]. When USCIS issues an RFE they stop processing the H-1B petition and will not resume processing until an RFE response is submitted. 

How long does it take to get a H-1B? 

H-1B sponsorship requires the coordinated efforts of the H-1B applicant, the hiring Department, OIS and multiple government agencies. Please review our H-1B Sponsorship timelines for more information.  There are three general H-1B process timelines depending on the type of H-1B petition to be filed with USCIS. If you are unsure what timeline applies to your circumstances, please email [email protected] 

How long can I be in H-1B status? 

An individual may hold H-1B status for a period of up to 3 years at a time, for a total of 6 [cumulative] years. In some circumstances, H-1B status may be extended beyond the 6-year limit. Please email [email protected] for more information.

I am currently in H-1B status and have been offered employment at Johns Hopkins University [JHU]. How soon can I start working at Johns Hopkins? 

Under “H-1B portability” rules, you may begin working for JHU as soon as JHU/OIS files an H-1B petition on your behalf with USCIS, or the requested start date on the approved H-1B petition, whichever is later.  

Current H-1B

Can I accept a new job/position at JHU while in H-1B status? 

H-1B status is employer/employment specific. You are authorized to work only in the capacity described in the approved H-1B petition. Before you can change jobs at JHU, an amended H1B petition must be filed with USCIS.  

Can I transfer to another department at JHU if my job title does not change?

Even if your job title is not changing, an amended H1B petition must be filed with USCIS before you can begin employment in a new department. Please email [email protected] if you have any questions. 

Can I reduce my hours/work part -time? 

H-1B sponsorship at JHU is only offered for full-time employment. To maintain H-1B status, you must continue to work fulltime, and in the capacity described in the approved H-1B petition.

Can I have a second job while on H-1B? 

USCIS regulations do allow for concurrent employment in H-1B status if the second employer files an H-1B petition for “concurrent employment” on your behalf while you are maintaining H-1B status at JHU.   H-1B sponsorship at JHU is only offered for full-time employment. As such, JHU will not file H-1B petitions for concurrent employment.  

Can I receive an honorarium from another institution while in H-1B status?

H-1B employees at JHU may only provide services for JHU in the capacity described in the approved H-1B petition. H-1B employees may not provide any “service” to another employer and are ineligible for payment from another institution in the form of honoraria, wages, etc. H-1B employees at JHU may be eligible for the reimbursement of travel-related expenses for professional purposes. Please contact [email protected] for more information. 

Can I work remotely for JHU in H-1B status from another country?

When you are physically present outside the U.S. you do not hold H-1B status and U.S. immigration rules do not apply. To determine if you can work remotely from another country, your department will need to consult Global HR at JHU, the office responsible for employment compliance beyond the borders of the U.S. Providing services for JHU from outside the U.S. may not be compliant from a tax and export control perspective. Further, some funding agencies will not permit work from abroad. 

What do I need to do before I leave my employment at  Johns Hopkins?  

If your employment at JHU is ending, please contact OIS to discuss your H-1B status.  Please also submit the Notice of Departure form when you know your last day of work at JHU. As required by regulation, JHU/OIS will withdraw your H-1B petition and certified LCA from USCIS the day after your employment with JHU ends.  

I am traveling and need to apply for an H-1B visa. What documents should I take with me?

Please review the OIS H-1B Travel Information page and the U.S. Consulate/Embassy where you intend to apply for the H-1B visa stamp. The Department of State provides up-to-date travel guidance on their website.

I am traveling to Mexico or Canada. Do I need a valid H-1B visa to return to the U.S.? 

Some H-1B applicants are eligible for “automatic visa revalidation” following travel to Canada or Mexico for thirty days or less. Please carefully review the information on the U.S. Department of State’s website and the Customs and Border Protection’s website to determine if you qualify for “automatic visa revalidation” or if you need an H-1B visa stamp to return to the U.S.  

Can I study full-time or part-time while in H-1B status? 

An H-1B worker’s primary objective in the U.S. is to engage in employment as outlined in the USCIS approved H-1B petition. Attending classes while in H-1B status may be permitted, so long as the classes are incidental to the H-1B beneficiary’s employment. Please email [email protected] if you have questions.  

How can I bring my spouse/children to the U.S. when I am in H-1B status? 

If your spouse and/or children are outside of the U.S. they can use your H-1B approval (Form I-797) to apply directly at a U.S. consulate for the H-4 visa stamp, unless exempt.  If they are inside the U.S. and requesting a change to H-4 status or an extension of H-4 status, please review the OIS website then email [email protected] with any questions.