H-1B status is a temporary, nonimmigrant status for workers in specialty occupations. In order for a position to qualify for an H-1B, the job must require, at a minimum, a four year bachelor's degree (or equivalent) in a specific specialty. H-1B status is employer and position specific. The status is limited to the sponsoring employer and the particular position described in the H-1B application.

Foreign nationals can be in H-1B status for a maximum of six years, absent certain exceptions. After six years in H-1B status, the individual must reside and be physically present outside the United States for one year before he/she can return and work in the United States on an H-1B.

As a general rule, Bucknell University pursues H-1B sponsorship for tenured and tenure-track faculty positions. The University may pursue H-1B sponsorship for certain staff positions, depending on the circumstances, including the requirements and nature of the position.

The H-1B approval process involves the University's submission of a petition to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") for H-1B status for the employment. The H-1B approval process takes weeks or months due to government processing times. Hiring departments should initiate the H-1B process with the General Counsel's office immediately upon extending an offer to a candidate needing H-1B sponsorship or ideally even once a finalist is identified. All H-1B inquiries should be made to Lynda Meinke, Assistant Counsel, in the General Counsel's office at lmeinke@bucknell.edu or 570.577.1149.

An unexpired visa stamp is not required to maintain H-1B status but is required for admission in H-1B status for travelers arriving from abroad. Individuals who need an H-1B visa stamp need to apply at a U.S. consular post in their home country or in Canada or Mexico. Please contact the General Counsel's office as directed above for more information regarding specific situations.

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