H1B / TN Employees

The University of Alabama in Huntsville welcomes you as a member of our community and we sincerely hope that employment with UAHuntsville will be beneficial and enjoyable. In all cases questions regarding your H1B status should be directed to the International Student and Scholar Office, visahelp@uah.edu, or CALL at 256-824-6078.

H-1B Temporary Worker

The H-1B nonimmigrant visa is used to bring a worker temporarily to the United States if the individual will work in a "specialty occupation" or a professional position. The employment should normally be full-time but under limited circumstances UAHuntsville may sponsor for part-time employment. An H-1B may be sponsored for periods as short as six months up to a maximum of six years. Presently, workers may obtain H-1 status for a period of up to three years, with one extension of status for an additional three year period, for a total of six years. Dependents of H-1B workers may hold H-4 status. Employment is not authorized for H-4 dependents. The employment to be fulfilled must be deemed a "specialty occupation” meaning a professional position that requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree or its equivalent. If the position is one which does not generally require a college degree, then it may not be possible to obtain an H-1B visa for that occupation. In such circumstances it is generally necessary to provide substantial documentation of past hiring practices for the employer or other employers engaged in similar business. The individual worker must prove that he/she is qualified for the specialty occupation, and for the specific job offered by the employer. The individual must be able to show that his/her foreign university degree is equivalent to a U.S. degree, and that the area of academic specialization is relevant to the job to be performed. If the individual does not possess a college degree, but possesses many years of experience in the occupation, then professional experience may be substituted for academic training under certain conditions.

TN NAFTA Professional Worker
The NAFTA agreement to facilitate entry of Canadian and Mexican Citizens to the U.S. in TN status in order to engage in limited professional business activities on a temporary basis (non-immigrant visa). Employment can be either full-time or part-time but temporary in nature. Tenure track or permanent research positions should consider instead the H-1B classification. The foreign national employee must be admitted to the U.S. in TN status by documenting at a U.S. Port of Entry their Citizenship and that the professional employment they will be involved in doing meets the TN Professional Worker criteria or an I-129 petition must be filed with immigration to initiate a change to TN status. The period of admission/stay is granted in maximum three year increments and there is nocumulative time limit as long as the stay remains temporary in nature. Possible positions at UAH that may be eligible are teacher, scientist, research assistant, computer systems analyst (not programmers), engineers, and economist. Dependents of a TN employee are eligible for admission in TD status which allows enrollment in classes (full-time or part-time) but does not provide for any employment authorization in the U.S.