H-1B Petition Process

Request to Sponsor

The sponsoring department must contact OVIS at least 4-6 months before the anticipated employment start date to request H-1B sponsorship. If after initial review H-1B sponsorship is deemed appropriate, the department will be asked to initiate the H-1B request using the iDartmouth intake system.

Wage Determination

The Department of Labor requires H-1B employers to make attestations about the wages and working conditions being offered to H-1B workers. A Labor Condition Application (LCA) must be filed with the Department of Labor and posted by the sponsoring department in two locations at the actual work location before the H-1B petition can be filed. The department must certify that the salary being offered to the H-1B beneficiary is the higher of the prevailing wage and the actual wage.

  • The prevailing wage is the average rate of wages paid to similarly employed workers in the area of intended employment. OVIS uses Department of Labor wage data to determine the prevailing wage for a specific position. Dartmouth cannot file an H-1B petition for positions that do not meet the prevailing wage.
  • The actual wage is the salary paid to other similarly employed individuals within the department.

Under Department of Labor regulations, the sponsoring department must offer to pay the employee the reasonable costs of return transportation to the employee’s home country if he/she is dismissed from employment before the end of the period of authorized stay. These regulations apply to initial and extension H-1B petitions.

The Role of OVIS

OVIS will prepare the departmental letter of support and provide the draft version to the department for review and signature by the department chair or hiring authority. OVIS, with the cooperation of the sponsoring department and H-1B beneficiary, will file the necessary forms and supporting documentation with USCIS.

Processing Time

The current processing time for an H-1B petition is 4-6 months. Departments wishing to expedite USCIS processing may submit a request for "premium processing" with the H-1B petition. Petitions that are premium processed are adjudicated in 15 calendar days.


The department is responsible for the costs associated with any required translations, evaluation of foreign academic credentials, and domestic and international courier fees.

USCIS filing fees must be covered by the sponsoring department and are as follows:

  • $500 anti-fraud fee for all new petitions (petitions for initial H-1B employment sponsored by Dartmouth)

  • $460 petition filing fee required for all H-1B petitions 

  • $2,805 premium processing fee (effective Feb. 26, 2024)

Note that fee amounts are subject to change. Please check the USCIS website for the most current fee information.

The department is responsible for requesting a separate check for each filing fee. Checks should be made payable to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. They need to be picked up in person at Accounts Payable and sent to OVIS for submission with the H-1B petition filing.