If you are coming from overseas to begin H-1B employment at Illinois Institute of Technology, you must first receive your approval notice and supporting H-1B documents from your department. In most cases you will need to apply for an H-1B visa (exceptions: Canadians).

Obtaining an H-1B Visa

To apply for an H-1B visa abroad, you must make an appointment with a United States consulate/embassy close to your residence. You should complete the visa application online and then bring the following documents with you to your appointment:

  • Original I-797 approval notice
  • Copy of the H-1B petition (I-129)
  • Copy of the Labor Condition Application (LCA)
  • Letter of employment

The documents required may vary from by country, so please inquire at the U.S. consulate where you will be applying. To obtain general information about visa services and a visa application form, please visit the U.S. Department of State website.

Possible Delays in Visa Acquisition

In some cases, there may be delays in visa acquisition. After the visa interview, background checks are conducted before issuance of the visa stamp. If there is an excessive delay caused by background checks, contact the Office of Global Services and your department.

Entering the United States

You may not enter the United States more than 10 days in advance of your H-1B start date. Please make sure that you have your passport with H1B visa, original 1-797 approval form, copy of the H-1B petition, Labor Condition Application (LCA), and letter of employment ready for the immigration officer at the airport. Do not put these documents in checked baggage. The immigration officer will look at your documents and stamp your passport.

After the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the port of entry inspects your documents, your passport will be stamped with your entry and status information. It is very important that this entry is recorded correctly, and you may need to confirm with the CBP officer of your entrance in H-1B status.

The entry stamp should indicate a written “H-1B” depicting the recorded entry status. The entry stamp should also note the end date of your I-797 approval notice. There is a possibility that you will be given an additional 10-day grace period after the I-797 end date. If you a different date is entered, ask the CBP officer for clarification.

You will also be photographed and fingerprinted as part of a registration procedure. This whole process should not take more than a few minutes.

You can obtain additional information, including videos of what to expect, elsewhere on the Office of Global Services.

Change of Status to H-1B

Changing to H-1B status from within the United States can be part the H-1B processing through immigration. Upon approval, the I-797 will include a new I-94 card reflecting the new H-1B status and have a validity date. You must obtain the H-1B documents from the Office of Global Services and check-in as outlined below.

Check-in at the Office of Global Services

Once you arrive at Illinois Tech, please report to the Office of Global Services as soon as possible. You are required to physically check-in at the Office of Global Services no later than your first day of work at Illinois Tech. At the Office of Global Services you will be asked to complete the Form I-9: Employment Eligibility Verification. Please bring the following documents to check-in:

  • Passport
  • I-94
  • Original I-797 approval notice- we will keep this in your IC file.

We are located on Mies Campus in The McCormick Tribune Campus Center, Room 202. You may also schedule an appointment with an H-1B adviser to complete the check-in, I-9, and orientation process.