Changing Status to H-1B

If you are in the U.S. and would like to change your immigration status to H-1B to begin or continue employment at Washington University in St. Louis, your hiring department should contact their international scholar advisor at the OISS to talk about your eligibility and the procedure to change status.

Certain visa types are not eligible to change status to H-1B. Those types of immigration statuses include:

  • Visitors who entered under the visa waiver program (WB or WT)
  • J Exchange Visitors subject to the Two-Year Home Residence Requirement of section 212(e)
  • Foreign nationals currently in the United States in violation of their immigration status
  • And others, where a change of status is prohibited

Your hiring department will notify you of the documents you need to provide for Washington University’s H-1B application. You should inform your scholar advisor of any plans you may have to travel abroad during the processing of the H-1B application. You are not permitted to travel abroad while an application for change of status is pending with USCIS. If you travel outside of the U.S. while an application to change status is pending, you are considered by USCIS to have abandoned your application.

You will not be able to begin (or continue) employment at Washington University in H-1B status until the OISS has received the I-797 Approval Notice for the H-1B petition. If your change of status is approved by USCIS, you do not need to leave the U.S. to begin your H-1B employment. You will need to apply for an H-1B entry visa at a consulate outside the U.S. only if you plan to travel and re-enter the U.S. in H-1B status.