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Deemed Export Assessment for H-1B and O-1 Visa Sponsorship

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) requires that the University of Houston assess whether an export license is required prior to hiring an H-1B or O-1 employee and each time it files to extend an H-1B or O-1 visa. Specifically, prior to filing an H-1B or O-1 petition, UH must certify that:

  • It has reviewed the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) administered by the U.S. Department of State; and,
  • It has determined whether or not a license is required from either of these U.S. government agencies to allow a foreign national employee access to export-controlled items or technology (laboratory equipment/research instruments, materials, software or technology/technical data) controlled under the EAR or ITAR.
The transfer or “release” to a foreign national of such controlled items by any means is “deemed” to be an export to the foreign national’s country of citizenship or permanent residence, potentially requiring a U.S. export license, unless a particular authorized license exemption applies. Technology is “released” for export when:
  • It is available to foreign nationals for visual inspection;
  • Information pertaining to the technology is exchanged orally; or
  • The technology is made available by practice or application under the guidance of persons with knowledge of the technology.

UH recognizes the importance of complying with all U.S. federal export control regulations and is committed to full compliance with these regulations. UH’s Export Control Officer will review the information provided by the college or department in the Visa Candidate Affiliation and Deemed Export Assessment form to determine whether an export license is required for the visa candidate based on the role and proposed access to technology or technical data. Additional information regarding the proposed research activities for the sponsored individual may be required for the Export Control Officer to complete the assessment.

The Export Control Officer will notify the Human Resources Immigration Specialist and the college/department of the deemed export determination. The H-1B petition may be filed with USCIS after the assessment is made, however, the visa candidate will not be eligible to begin employment with UH if an export license is required until either a technology control plan is in place to restrict access or the export license has been granted by the applicable government agency. The Export Control Officer will work with the college/department to prepare and submit the license application on behalf of UH as well as prepare a Technology Control Plan in the interim if required.

While the vast majority of research and business activities that we conduct at UH will not require an export license, the significant increase in the level of agency export enforcement with respect to major research institutions such as UH requires that we ensure full compliance with these regulations, particularly where export license requirements or technology controls may apply.

Failure to adhere to these regulations can result in severe monetary penalties, revocation of export privileges, debarment from federal funding, and civil or criminal enforcement against both UH and/or the individual PI to whom a violation is attributed. The Export Control Office ( and HR are available to help you with questions regarding this process so that your visa certification is compliant with applicable laws.