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H-1B Visa Information for HR Associates


Who Should Read This Information

The following information about VCU’s H-1B visa program is for use by VCU Human Resource Associates, as well as hiring officials as deans, chairs, supervisors, and search committees.

International employees interested in VCU’s H-1B visa program may find the information here instructive—but they should email GEOIS@vcu.edu for information specifically for them.

About H-1B Visas

For an overview of the VCU H-1B process please review our H-1B Visa Compliance Basics.

Employer H-1B Compliance Issues

The following H-1B compliance issue is outlined in the H-1B Visa Visa Basics presentation but the matter deserves detailed attention here.

USCIS approval of an I-129 H-1B petition does not provide the employer or employee with “free range” employment authorization. Rather, H-1B approvals are specific to:

1. The employer (i.e., to VCU)
2. The employee
3. The employee’s working conditions, including job duties, work site (address), and wage outlined on the H-1B application submitted to USCIS.

NOTE: Most changes to an H-1B employee’s working conditions need to be reported to the US government before they can legally become effective at the employer (VCU).

At VCU, all changes to an H-1B employee’s working conditions are reported to the US government by GEO. US government reporting procedures, timelines, and costs (if any) vary by the nature and extent of the planned changes.

Reporting H-1B Changes to GEO

Although GEO is responsible for reporting H-1B changes to the US government, HRAs play a critical role in ensuring VCU’s compliance with the H-1B regulations.

Changes that must be reported to GEO before they can become effective at VCU include:

  • Change of job title
  • Change in job duty
  • Change in worksite (address)
  • Change from full-time to part-time (and vice versa)
  • Wage increase or decrease in any amount
  • Leave without pay for any reason
  • Lay off for any reason
  • Separation from VCU for any reason

Steps to Follow

1. The HRA must report the planned change to GEO as far as possible before the change is expected to become effective. The HRA should send an email to GEOIS@vcu.edu (Subject line: H-1B Changes) outlining the proposed changes or seeking guidance.

2. GEO will review the matter and respond to the HRA by email informing them of the appropriate US government reporting procedure that GEO needs to follow. GEO will also provide an estimated date of when, pursuant to the US government reporting procedure, the change can become effective at VCU.

3. When GEO has completed the appropriate US government update procedure, GEO will provide an email to the HRA, the H-1B employee, the employee’s supervisor, and HR Compliance authorizing the change to be effective on ___ (date).

NOTE: For H-1B compliance purposes, the planned change cannot become effective until GEO confirms by email that the appropriate US government update procedure has been completed.

More Information

If you have any questions or concerns about VCU’s H-1B visa program, please contact GEO at GEOIS@vcu.edu.

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