H-1B Visas

Please note that this page has been created for informational purposes only and is not intended for nor offered as legal advice, for which International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) or an attorney practicing in the area of immigration law should be consulted.

As an institution, the University of Minnesota allows for residents/fellows to be sponsored on an H-1B visa.  However, each program must determine if H-1B visas are an appropriate visa for their program.  Various factors to consider are administrative time/oversight, H-1B visa processing fees and costs, etc.  Please see the Visa Sponsorship Policy for further information. 

H-1B sponsorship considerations

Application fees and costs

As the employer, the program is responsible for all processing fees and costs associated with the application; this includes supplementing stipends to meet the prevailing wage requirements, if applicable. Total costs for each application will vary based on its circumstances and processing time required. Per USCIS regulations, the employer MUST pay (and not recoup from the employee) all expenses required for H-1B visa applications.    

There are no exceptions!  Please see the ISSS website for further information.

H-1B sponsorship requirements

UMN GME criteria

H-1B visa candidates meet one or more of the following criteria found on the H-1B Visa Request Form to be considered for sponsorship:

  • Applicant currently holds a valid H-1B visa at this university or another institution (provide copy of Form I-797, Notice of Action)
  • Applicant is the spouse/registered domestic partner of a U.S. citizen, permanent resident (“green card” holder), or individual holding an  H-1 or O-1 visa (provide copy of marriage certificate or H-4 document)
  • Applicant/applicant’s spouse has a permanent resident petition pending with a likely chance of success (provide copy of proof of petition)
  • Applicant is not eligible for or would face a hardship on a J-1 visa due to unique immigration circumstances (e.g., applicant already obtained a J-1 waiver; applicant who has to return home periodically to care for ill parent faces higher risk of being denied re-entry on J-1 visa ) (provide letter explaining reason for hardship)
  • Applicant’s spouse/registered domestic partner is employed by the University in a faculty or other continuing position (provide letter identifying spouse’s position)
  • Applicant is a graduate of a medical school in the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) (provide copy of medical school diploma)
  • The department has offered or is strongly considering the applicant for a faculty or research position after applicant completes the training program (provide letter identifying intentions of department after applicant finishes training program)

MN residency permit/licensure

Anyone applying for an H-1B visa must have their MN residency permit (at minimum, or MN medical license, if applicable) prior to submitting their H-1B visa application.  The H-1B visa application petition cannot be processed if this is not yet obtained.

USMLE Step 3

Any international or Canadian medical school graduate (regardless of citizenship) applying for H-1B visa must have taken and passed USMLE Step 3 prior to submitting an H-1B visa application.  You must provide documentation.  US medical school graduates are exempt from this requirement.

H-1B sponsorship process

If a program has an applicant who meets all H-1B sponsorship requirements, and they have determined that the H-1B visa is appropriate for their program, they must submit the H-1B Visa Request Form and supporting documents to GME Administration for review and for the GME Associate Deans' approval.  Upon approval, the program then works either with ISSS or an outside attorney to process the paperwork.

* ISSS TEMPORARY HALTS H1-B PROCESSING: ISSS is placing a temporary hold on accepting H-1B requests for immigration status start dates in June, July, or August. To see the full memo from ISSS, click on this link.