This nonimmigrant status may be used to employ an individual in a professional or teaching position at Old Dominion University. The position offered must require a bachelor's degree or higher degree with a specific educational background and/or experience. The regulations define a "specialty occupation" as requiring theoretical and practical applications of a body of highly specialized knowledge in a complex field of study. Generally, the University uses H-1B status only for those faculty members in tenure track or other permanent positions or those employed in extended research assistant positions.

H-1B status allows employment for a specific employer and position. A person in H-1B status at another university or institution must have a new petition prepared by Old Dominion before employment here can begin. PLEASE NOTE: It is the employee's responsibility to provide the requested documents in a timely manner and to ensure the ability for their continued status at ODU.

The VISA office should be notified immediately once a candidate for hire is identified as needing visa sponsorship, or 6 months in advance of the H1B expiration date for extensions.

An employee may hold H-1B status for a maximum of six years; however, USCIS grants this time in increments of two 3-year periods of stay. H-1B petitions for tenure track faculty are filed for a three-year time period, unless otherwise requested. In some cases, such as grant funding, it is possible to provide the H-1B extension in one-year increments. Extension requests of less than one-year are not approved through VISA. The following are the steps and timelines involved in securing an H-1B approval:

  1. Up to six months in advance, the Department/College and prospective employee must complete all forms and submit documentation to VISA.
  2. Upon receipt of the documentation, VISA will apply for the Prevailing Wage request from the Department of Labor (DOL) if the position is a non-teaching (AP) or staff position. This may take up to 6-8 weeks.
  3. After approval of the Prevailing Wage, VISA will file for the Labor Condition Application (LCA) approval through the Department of Labor's Employment & Training Administration (ETA). The approximate timeline is 7 business days. The Notice of Filing is required to be posted for 10 business days (excluding holiday and official University closings.)
  4. Once the LCA is approved VISA will prepare all the remaining documents and send the petition to USCIS. The fees must be paid by the department (NOTE: these fees are subject to change by U.S. Department of Homeland Security.)


Please note: 

As part of the processing for the H1B visa requests, the Office of Research will be conducting a review of applicants before final application submission to US Citizenship & Immigration Services. If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Research.


$460 Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker fee, payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

$500 anti-fraud fee, payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security (not required for extension requests)

$2,500 Premium Processing for expedite response fee, payable to Department of Homeland Security

Checks should be requested through the Office of Finance. Each check should be issued separately.

According to stricter federal requirements:

To qualify as a specialty occupation, a position must meet one of the following criteria:

  1. A baccalaureate or higher degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum requirement for entry into the particular position
  2. The degree requirement is common to the industry in parallel positions among similar organizations or, in the alternative, an employer may show that its particular position is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree
  3. The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position, or
  4. The nature of the specific duties are so specialized and complex that knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a baccalaureate or higher degree.