H-1B Visa – General Information

Eligibility

UT Southwestern Medical Center may sponsor H-1B status for postdoctoral research fellows, faculty members, and specialized technical positions that require a minimum of a baccalaureate degree. We do not usually sponsor H-1B status for clinical residencies or fellowships.

A person may hold H-1B status for a maximum of six years, granted in three-year increments.

Obtaining H-1B Status

  • The decision to sponsor an H-1B is made by a UT Southwestern faculty member, in consultation with the International Affairs Office.
  • Once you have been offered a position and support of H-1B status by a UT Southwestern faculty member, the International Affairs Office will help you obtain the H-1B. Checklist of required items
  • UT Southwestern does not permit attorneys to obtain H-1B visas for employment at our institution.
  • We recommend that you allow four months to obtain H-1B status.
  • The visa status must be valid for you to begin work at UT Southwestern.

Obtaining an H-1B Visa Stamp in your Passport

If you change to H-1B status while in the U.S., the International Affairs Office will provide you with the forms necessary to apply for an H-1B visa stamp prior to your first trip outside of the U.S.

If your H-1B is sponsored while you are living outside of the U.S., the International Affairs Office will have the embassy of your choice notified of the approval and we will send you the documents necessary to apply for a visa stamp. Please be aware that you may not enter the U.S. in H-1B status more than 10 days prior to the effective date of that status.

As with all non-immigrant visas, the consular official has sole discretion to grant the visa.

Security Checks

Security checks during application for a visa stamp are very common for all people studying or working in scientific fields. They are even more common in specific countries such as China, India, Korea, and Middle Eastern countries. While these checks are usually completed within three weeks, a few have taken as long as six months. UT Southwestern can't do anything to shorten the review process. Please plan accordingly and let your supervisor know about this possibility.

Entering the U.S. in H-1B Status

When entering the U.S. in H-1B status you must present both your I-797 approval notice and the H-1B visa stamp in your passport. Please be sure that the I-94 (small, white card that you are given at the port of entry) lists an expiration date that matches your I-797 and not your visa stamp, as those two dates are sometimes different.

Physicians

If you are a physician coming to UT Southwestern for the purpose of providing clinical services, the law requires you to have:

  • USMLE (parts 1, 2, and 3) or
  • FLEX (parts 1 and 2), or
  • National Board of Medical Examiners (parts 1, 2, and 3) and
  • Successful completion of ECFMG English test, and
  • Unrestricted license to practice in your country, and
  • License to practice medicine in Texas from the Texas Board of Medical Examiners.

Note - UT Southwestern does not usually sponsor H-1B visas for the purpose of clinical training.