Applying for the H-1 status is a complex process involving several government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. On average, the entire process may take anywhere between 5 to 6 months from beginning to end, depending on individual circumstances. Therefore, hiring departments must be mindful when submitting such applications.
Processing times are as follows:
RBHS International Services: 20 business days from the time we receive a complete application, or 15 business days if you choose to pay for expedited processing.
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services: 3 to 4 months for regular processing. 15 days for premium processing
U.S. Department of State: Times vary depending on the consular post and on how quickly they can obtain a security clearance for the applicant. Visit the U.S. Department of State website for more information on “Visa Wait Times”. http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/wait/wait_4638.html
Hiring departments must also allow for 7 to 10 days for approval notices to arrive in the mail.
Please note that H-1 applications can be submitted to the USCIS as early as 6 months prior to the intended start date of employment.