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From what I learnt, many universities do not sponsor H1B for postdocs and would like their postdoc employee to use OPT and J1. I wonder if there is a quota restriction (but academic H1B is non-cap) or monetary cost for such sponsorship (how much) so that many of them don't want to provide this?

From what I learnt, if there is really something universities have to pay for H1B sponsorship, many international scholars may even be willing to pay it on their end (or deducted from their salary) since the oppotunity of legally working in the U.S. is very important to them. Because of this, I feel like the money shouldn't be an issue.

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An internet search will turn up the information you seek.

From https://redbus2us.com/h1b-visa-filing-fee-summary/ it seems that the total fees come to a few thousand dollars (including attorneys). It may not be legal to pass this on to the applicant, but you will need to dig deeper for that.

However, an H1B sponsor takes on significant legal obligations as well. See https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/immigration/h1b, for example.

I'd guess the latter is more of a deterrent for many universities than the former. The Trump administration complicated the process. COVID complicated the process. We may not be back to the previous normal, but you will need to dig deeper for that as well.

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  • I think there is also just a barrier to doing it the first (few) times - you need HR policies and procedures, a good attorney knowledgeable in H1B requirements, etc. What are the odds the application is successful? How long will it take? What budget pays for it? And so on. Every unanswered question makes it more likely to not venture to start in the first place.
    – Jon Custer
    Oct 2, 2023 at 14:40
  • @JonCuster, not to mention the fact that federal policies can change with administrations. Especially when xenophobia rears its ugly head.
    – Buffy
    Oct 2, 2023 at 14:46
  • For sure - that is just added unknowns. Hiring under (readily available I believe with minimal work) OPT and J1 visas is just more attractive.
    – Jon Custer
    Oct 2, 2023 at 14:57

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