H1B Visa for Teachers

The H-1B Visa for qualified foreign national teachers can be used to combat these teacher shortages. Here are the requirements that must be met in order to successfully obtain the H-1B Visa Approval.

1) The Teacher must possess the required State teaching license or certification. In many cases, the State licensing board will issue a temporary or emergency certificate.

2) Teachers in J-1 or J-2 visa status who are subject to the 2 year home stay must apply for and receive the I-612 waiver from USCIS.

3) The employing school district must qualify for exemption of the annual quota.

In order to qualify for cap exempt status, the employing school district must be able to prove that they are a not for profit organization and have an affiliated program with an accredited college or university. In addition the beneficiary (H-1B applicant worker) must be enrolled in the jointly managed program.

This exemption is limited to the employees of the petitioner (employer) who are directly involved in the jointly managed program that directly and predominately furthers the essential purposes of the institution of higher education.

This H-1B visa cap exemption cannot be claimed by other employees who are not directly in or through this jointly managed program.

Here are the documents USCIS requires as evidence of the affiliated program to be submitted with the H-1B petition:

A school catalogue, or other published information that outlines the petitioner’s affiliated program with accredited colleges or universities.

This documentation should explain who oversees the program, how one may enroll in the program, the duration of the program, etc.

A copy of the affiliation agreement or contract signed by an authorized official of both the school district and the institution of higher learning.

Substantiating documentary evidence that the beneficiary is enrolled in the program with the university.

A program itinerary, including dates of training (if applicable).

Click here to read the Garland ISD AAO Decision (EAC-06-216-52028).

Click here for a sample Affiliation Agreement between a University and School District.

Applying for a 3 year renewal when a 1 year temporary license is issued:

Admission and Extension for H-1B—8 C.F.R. §§214.2(h)(9), (13), (15).

CIS officers should not be arbitrarily limiting approvals to time period left on professional license when such license, e.g., teaching, is renewable. Letter, Brown, Acting Chief, NIV Branch, Adjudications, CO 214h-C (July 14, 1995), reprinted in 72 No. 31 Interpreter Releases 1093, 1109-10 (Aug. 14, 1995).

Nonprofit Religious Organizations

In a non-precedent 8/9/10 decision, AAO reversed CSC denial of H-1B visa for a nonprofit religious organization, finding that petitioner met H-1B cap-exempt status requirements as a nonprofit entity related to an institution of higher education. Click here for a copy of the decision.

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