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FAQs - H-1B Visas

What is an H-1B visa?

In a H-1B visa is a temporary worker visa that allows individuals who hold a minimum of a bachelors degree in a specialty field to accept a job that requires that specific degree.

What kind of jobs qualify for H-1B sponsorship at Dartmouth College?

Any long-term or regular full time position at Dartmouth that requires a minimum of a bachelors degree in a specialty field would qualify for each one be sponsorship by the office of visa and immigration services at Dartmouth College.

What do I need to travel outside the U.S. and return, if I am on an H visa?

In general, in order to return to the US in H-1B status you must have with you

  • the original petition that was filed on your behalf by the office of visa and immigration services
  • the original H-1B approval notice
  • a passport valid at least six months into the future
  • a valid H-1B visa (Note Canadian citizens are exempt from the visa requirement)
  • proof of your employment under the terms of your H-1B approval (copies of several months of your paycheck stubs should suffice)

Can I take classes part-time while I am working on an H visa?

Yes, as long as you are maintaining near a J-1 be employment and you are not studying in a full-time degree program

What happens to my H visa status if I lose my job?

Your H-1B immigration status is tied to your valid employment. If your employment ends your legal status in the US ends as well. There is no grace period for you to remain in the United States after your employment ends.

What happens to my H visa status if I take a leave of absence?

It may be possible for Dartmouth College to maintain your H-1B petition as active if you are taking a leave of absence. We can only do this if the leave of absence is for a defined period and is a benefit offered to all employees (such as a maternity leave). You should contact the Human Resources Office, and your immigration advisor at the Office of Visa and Immigration Services if you are considering a leave of absence.

My spouse has an H-4 visa -- can she get a work card?

No, spouses holding H-4 dependent visas cannot legally work in the United States.

Do I have to prove "non-immigrant intent" if I have an H-1B visa status?

No you do not have to prove non-immigrant intent to receive an H-1B visa. The H-1B visa is considered a "dual intent" visa, and allows the applicant to intend to remain in the United States and pursue US permanent residency.

I am in H-1B status at Dartmouth College, and I would like to travel to Canada for the weekend. However, my H-1B visa has expired. Can I go to Canada and return to the United States with an expired H-1B visa?

Yes, you can under a procedure called "automatic revalidation". This allows some individuals to travel to Canada for a period of less than 30 days and return using an expired visa. You must have in your possession:

  • a current and valid I-797 H-1B approval notice
  • a current and valid passport
  • a current I-94 card (if you entered the U.S. by land) or current passport Admission stamp (if you entered the U.S. by air or sea) indicating H-1B status
  • proof of your employment at your sponsoring employer (copies of your paycheck stubs should suffice)

Please contact your immigration advisor at the office of visa and immigration services, if you plan to take advantage of automatic revalidation of an expired visa.

Last Updated: 5/3/13