Obtaining a Visa

Before you begin to work at IUPUI, your hiring department must submit your H-1B Employee E-Form and supporting documents. If you are applying from abroad, you must also apply for an H-1B visa stamp at a US Embassy or Consulate to enter the United States.

If you are a Canadian citizen, you do not need an H-1B visa stamp to enter the United States. You only need the H-1B Approval Notice (Form I-797) and your passport.

The typical USCIS processing time for H-1Bs is four to six months. For faster USCIS processing, your department can choose to pay for premium processing. The USCIS processing time for premium-processed H-1Bs is fifteen days.

Once your H-1B application gets approved you need to follow the three steps below.

  • Schedule a Visa Appointment (If Applying from Abroad)

    We will email you after your application has been approved, and also provide you with the original H-1B approval notice and a copy of the H-1B application as filed (including Form ETA 9035, the Labor Condition Application). If you are applying from abroad, you should schedule your visa appointment and interview at the nearest U.S. consulate.

    The interview is a requirement for getting your visa stamp, which you need in order to enter the United States. You must get the stamp from a U.S. consulate outside the country. You cannot get it inside the United States.

    Wait times for appointments and for visa approvals can vary. To see how long this process takes in your country, read the Department of State’s visa wait time information.

  • Prepare Your Documentation

    We recommend that you take the following documents to your visa interview:

    • A valid passport

    • Original H-1B approval notice (I-797)

    • A current letter from the IU department that hired you. The letter must confirm your employment, title, and salary.

    • A photocopy of your H-1B petition (Form I-129), including the Labor Condition Application (Form ETA 9035)

    • If you lived in the United States previously, documentation that you resided here legally. Examples include a previous I-20, an IAP-66 or DS-2019, and an I-797 from other employers.

    The consulate where you have your interview may require additional documents.

  • Plan for Security Clearances

    The consulate may require security clearances before it will issue your H-1B visa stamp. The requirement may be because of your name, birth country, country of citizenship, field of study, or field of research. Security clearances can take two to six weeks, or more than six weeks in rare cases. Plan for these wait times when you make arrangements to travel to the United States.