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Can H-1B Employees Work Part-Time?

Published: 06/06/2023

While most H-1B employment is full-time, there is no requirement that a position be full-time in order to qualify for H-1B classification. Part-time H-1B employment may be useful for:
  • Employers who, as a result of the economic climate, must reduce hours. Changing a full-time H-1B employee to part-time may allow the company to avoid a layoff.
  • Employees who seek to work for more than one H-1B employer simultaneously. Concurrent H-1B employment can be for multiple full- or part-time jobs, but additional employment must be designated as concurrent employment on the I-129 form.
  • Employees who choose to decrease their hours for personal reasons.

Part-time employment for H-1B purposes is considered anything less than 35 hours per week. For an H-1B employee who is currently working pursuant to an I-129 petition that is approved for full-time employment, the company will need to file an amended petition with USCIS prior to the new hours taking effect, including obtaining a new Labor Condition Application (LCA) designated for part-time employment. Please note that DOL regulations indicate that pay rates for part-time H-1B work should be listed as an hourly wage, instead of a yearly salary. The hourly rate of pay must equal or exceed the prevailing hourly wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment.

The I-129 form further requires that the number of hours per week be listed for part-time employees. This may be listed as a range (such as “20-25 hours/week”) or as “flexible.” There is no minimum number of hours that must be worked to qualify for part-time H-1B status, although the total pay should be enough to constitute a living wage (if it does not, then the petition should be accompanied by proof of the beneficiary’s other means of support, such as concurrent H-1B employment elsewhere, or household income from an employed spouse).

Employers who are considered H-1B dependent should also recalculate their H-1B dependent status if a number of employees shift from full- to part-time employment.

Employers or employees considering a shift to part-time H-1B employment should consult with immigration counsel to ensure the proper paperwork is timely filed to authorize a reduction in hours, and that relevant DOL reporting obligations are met.

Read More: Rnlawgroup

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