UMD: A Globally Connected University

Applying For An H-1B Visa

International Student & Scholar Services (ISSS) assists international faculty and scholars who will be conducting research or teaching at the University of Maryland, College Park with the process of applying for a visa.

What is a Visa?

A visa is a document that is placed into your passport and allows you to request permission from an Immigration officer at a port of entry (usually at an airport) to enter the United States. The visa itself does not guarantee admission into the U.S.; all other immigration documents must be in order as well.

Visa Application Steps

Step 1. Receive an offer of employment to conduct research or teach at the University of Maryland

Step 2. Receive original H-1B approval notice and travel packet

Step 3. Schedule a visa interview appointment

Note: You may enter the U.S. no more than 10 days before the start date on your H-1B approval notice

Checklist for Visa Appointment:

Take these items to your appointment.

  • A completed visa application form (available at the Embassy's website)
  • The original H-1B (I-797 Approval Notice) and travel packet sent by your department
  • Proof of payment of visa application fees
  • A passport valid for at least 6 months into the future
  • Appointment letter or job offer letter on university letterhead stating the following:
    • Your position title and salary
    • Department
    • Dates of employment
    • Brief job description
  • Marriage certificate and birth certificates for dependents (if traveling with you to the U.S.)

Steps after Receiving the Visa

If all goes smoothly, you will receive an H-1B visa stamp in your passport. Check your visa for errors before you leave the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. After you have received your visa, you may proceed with making travel arrangements.

Traveling to the U.S. and completing the Form I-94

Upon entry into the U.S., a CBP Officer will create an electronic I-94 record of your arrival.  The CBP Officer will provide an admission stamp directly in your passport which will be annotated with the date of admission, class of admission (H-1B) and admitted until date.

You can access your I-94 record at www.cbp.gov/i94.  ISSS recommends that you review your record to ensure it is correct.