H-1B Visa Process

Prior to finalizing any job offers, hiring departments at UCF must initiate paperwork for U.S. work visa sponsorship at UCF Global on behalf of their candidate. The UCF Global employment and taxation unit will provide the necessary paperwork for the candidate to obtain the appropriate visa status prior to employment.

UCF hiring departments may consider the H-1B (Temporary Work) Visa when seeking to hire international candidates for temporary employment in specialty occupations. The H-1B visa is valid up to 3 years with the option to extend an additional 3 years, for a total of 6 years. Please refer to the H-1B request packet for comprehensive guidelines and requirements.

ELIGIBILITY

The H-1B nonimmigrant status may be granted to a non-U.S. resident who has been offered a professional-level position in the U.S. To qualify for H-1B visa sponsorship by UCF, the position must require at least a Bachelor’s Degree and the individual must possess at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the position. The offered salary must meet the Department of Labor’s Prevailing Wage guidelines.  In order for a person to obtain H-1B status, UCF must file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. UCF’s immigration attorneys at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy file all official H-1B requests on behalf of UCF. Official and formal requests are submitted by the hiring department through Fragomen’s IHP online portal. It is critical that the hiring department’s administration understand the U.S. laws and regulations related to the H-1B status before submitting an H-1B request.

NOTE:

Please review the H-1B request packet for more information or call our office at:

407-823-2337

DEPARTMENTAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Access to Fragomen’s IHP Website –The hiring department’s designated administrator may request IHP access by emailing UCF Global at h1b@ucf.edu
  • List of fees to be paid to Fragomen for H-1B processing (applicable fees are listed below)
  • H-1B Visa Request Packet (hyperlink)
  • H-1B Visa Intake Checklist for Hiring Department
  • H-1B Visa Requisition Instructions

TIME FRAME

In general, processing times for H-1B petitions vary from 5 to 10 months. Much of the processing time is beyond the control of UCF Global; however, Premium Processing and Rush Processing may be needed for start-dates less than 10 months away. If H-1B status is being requested for an individual outside of the U.S., processing times are significantly longer, and departments should be mindful of this when planning for employee start dates

FEES

Fees

Cost

I-129 Petition:

$460

Antifraud Fee:

$500

Premium Processing Fee (optional):

$1225

Rush Fee (optional):

$800 – $1500

SUBMITTING FEES

Requisition instructions for processing fees

Permanent Residency

Permanent residency is defined as having been granted lawful permission to reside in the United States on a permanent basis, or indefinitely, as an immigrant. The process of sponsoring an employee for permanent residency requires that the University of Central Florida petition the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the employee. UCF policy requires that an employee have been employed with the University for at least one full year, or an academic year for faculty, before a department can initiate the permanent residency process.

In most circumstances, the permanent residency process is initiated as early as possible in the fourth year of the employee’s H-1B eligibility. However, the process can be initiated at any point after the employee satisfies the one year employment requirement. The entire process can be lengthy as it involves up to three government agencies, and the final decision to grant permanent residence is made by USCIS.

International Taxation

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is an agency of the United States federal government that is responsible for collecting taxes and interpreting and applying federal tax law. The IRS requires that the University of Central Florida apply specific tax withholding and reporting rules to payments made to international scholars. Filing federal income tax forms is the responsibility of each international scholar. UCF Global is able to provide general guidance but cannot give specific advice regarding individual tax returns. Each scholar is ultimately responsible for the accuracy of his or her income tax return.

Types of Taxes

There are two types of taxes that will be automatically deducted from your paychecks at UCF: federal income tax and FICA (the combination of social security and medicare taxes). Some employees are exempt from paying federal income tax and/or FICA. Exemptions are typically based on visa status, country of citizenship, and whether you are a resident or non-resident for tax purposes.

Resident or Non-Resident for Tax Purposes

Tax law refers only to RESIDENT and NON-RESIDENT aliens. Resident aliens are taxed in the same manner as U.S. citizens while non-resident aliens are taxed based on special rules. Your tax filing status is determined by the “substantial presence test.” The substantial presence test is based on how much time you have been present in the U.S., UCF Global uses the Windstar Tax Navigator Program to assist in determining whether you are a resident or non-resident for tax purposes.

If you have been in the U.S. in J-1 status for any part of 2 of the preceding 6 calendar years and were physically present in the U.S. at least 183 days in the current tax year, then you are considered a resident alien for tax purposes.  If you have been in the U.S. for any 2 of the preceding 6 calendar years but were not physically present in the U.S. for at least 183 days in the current tax year, then you are considered a non-resident alien for tax purposes.

For more information on the substantial presence test, please refer to the Internal Revenue Service website (www.irs.gov) and type “substantial presence test” in the search engine.

Federal Income Tax and Tax Treaties

Traditionally, federal income tax is taken out of your paycheck from UCF. However, the U.S. and some foreign countries have established tax treaties that provide exemptions from federal income tax.

Upon visiting UCF Global and completing the payroll sign-in process, we will determine if you are eligible for a federal tax exemption by using the Windstar Tax Navigator Program. If you are eligible, then we will assist you in completing the required tax forms. UCF, as the withholding agent, reserves the right to deny a tax treaty benefit based on any information obtained.

Each year that you qualify for a federal tax exemption, we will notify you via e-mail and ask you to report to UCF Global to sign the renewal paperwork. For more information regarding the amount that qualifies for exemption and for how long the treaty may be used, please see Publication 901 of the Internal Revenue Service website (www.irs.gov) .

FICA - Social Security and Medicare

Traditionally, social security and Medicare taxes are taken out of your paychecks from UCF. However, J scholars are exempt from social security and Medicare if you are a non-resident for tax purposes. Please refer to the “Resident or Non-Resident for Tax Purposes” section of the website for more information on your fax filing status. If you feel that these taxes have been deducted from your paycheck in error, please contact UCF Global for assistance.

Filing Tax Return/ Sprintax

The tax year ends on December 31st of each year, and the tax filing deadline is April 15th of the following year. There are forms that you must file each calendar year to fulfill your obligation to the Internal Revenue Service. UCF Global has purchased a tax filing software (Sprintax) to assist you in completing these forms. Sprintax is provided by UCF Global at no charge. We will e-mail tax filing information, including Sprintax instructions, at the end of each tax year to all scholars. If you do not receive these e-mails, please contact our office, and we will be glad to assist.

DO NOT FILE YOUR TAX RETURN PAPERWORK UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE RECEIVED ALL NECESSARY TAX FILING DOCUMENTS FROM THE UNIVERSITY AND/OR OTHER EMPLOYERS.