MSCS Immigration Programs

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Memphis-Shelby County Schools F-1 and H-1B Visa Department  


To be eligible for immediate hire you must have a valid F-1 Visa and an approved OPT or CPT Work Authorization and be willing to enroll in an Education Preparation Program and qualified to teach one of the content areas listed below: 


  • Algebra I
  • Algebra II
  • Integrated Math I
  • Integrated Math II
  • Geometry
  • Biology
  • English I
  • English II


Memphis-Shelby County Schools will sponsor H-1B visas for Algebra I, Algebra II, Integrated Math I and II, Geometry, Biology, English I and II. 


To be considered for an H-1B visa you must have: 

  • A valid Tennessee teaching certificate and 
  •  A job offer from one of our campuses or having received an Early Contract from our Recruitment Team 

For any candidate to be considered for an H-1B visa, you will have to provide documentation that you meet the following requirements:  


1st Minimum Requirement – English Language Proficiency 

  • If you have a degree (BA, Masters, Ph.D.) within the continental U.S., you do not need to take the TOEFL. If you did not graduate from a university within the continental U.S., you must prove your English proficiency by passing the TN TOEFL 


2nd Minimum Requirement – Credentials 

  • Educators submitting transcripts from institutions outside of the U.S. must submit original, course-by-course transcript evaluations of all degrees held, accompanied by copies of the transcripts evaluated, CLICK HERE to find a list of approved evaluation agencies.


3rd Minimum Requirement – Certification 

You will need to have a valid Tennessee teaching certificate. 


  • If you are not currently certified as a teacher in your country or certified in your country without a U.S. Social Security Number, you will need to be accepted into an alternative certification program and be eligible for the probationary/intern certificate.  

Once you have met the minimum requirements above, you will be able to obtain an interview with a Memphis-Shelby County Schools recruiter. If you have additional questions, please feel free to email [email protected]. We look forward to working with you in Memphis-Shelby County Schools. Thank you! 




H-1B Visa Information 

Temporary Work Permit 
Valid for 6 years 
Labor Condition Application (LCA) required and must petition USCIS 
Dependents are not eligible for work authorization 

Federal Departments Involved: 

  • Department of Labor 
  • Homeland Security 
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services 

Test Requirements: 

  • All tests required by the TN Department of Education 
TN Certification 
Will not be eligible to work until H-1B is approved. 


H-1B Frequently Asked Questions 

1. H1B Visa Requirements and Process 


What is the minimum education and work requirements to be eligible for an H1B? 

Here, an American employer can apply for an H1B with USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) on behalf of a foreign worker, so long as that the offered job requires at least a bachelor’s degree in a field of study related to the offered job.  Common H1B fields include, yet are not limited to, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, architecture, health sciences, law, education, business, accounting, and other positions. 

To be a “specialty occupation” the job must: 


(1) require a degree or  

(2) a combination of education and relevant work experience in a field closely related to the job offered. 

For prong two, typically at least three years of related and progressive work experience can be evaluated to equate one year of formal college studies (this is also known as the 3 to 1 rule). 


What is the H1B Visa Process exactly? 

Pending on your situation, the H1B application process is typically three to four steps: 

1. Collect all the information and documents needed for the petition 

  • Proof of educational or work qualifications, passport bio data page, proof of lawful status, etc. 

2. Receive certification of a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor (DOL) 

  • As of 2019, this is now done through what is called the “FLAG System.” 

3. Preparing and submitting a Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker with the USCIS 

  • Here, you will submit your supporting evidence (point 1), Form I-129 and H Supplement, the certified LCA, and fees. 

4. If you are outside the United States, have violated, or overstayed the terms of your status, you may need to obtain an H-1B visa stamp from a U.S. Consulate abroad. 

  • Here, you will need to submit a DS-160, pay your visa interview fees, schedule an appointment at your local consulate, and obtain visa stamping. 

Remember that government delays are always a risk at any of the H-1B stages. Due to this, we often encourage our clients to pursue premium processing, where USCIS guarantees a decision within 15 days, provided no additional information is needed from the employer.  


2. Timing your H1B Visa 


How long does an H1B visa last for? 

Typically, you will be granted H1B status for an initial period of three years and extensions can be obtained for a maximum of six years. Note that you can apply beyond six years of H1B time if you have an approved I-140. 


Employers can request for shortened H-1B visa validity (less than three years). This might be for an employee who would work on a short-term project or may be part-time (note that fulltime employment is not required for H-1Bs).  If your employer is requesting part-time H-1B status, they must be able to demonstrate that the underlying H-1B employment is your primary purpose for being in America.  H-1Bs authorize a foreign national to only work for the petitioning employer under the specified terms of the visa.  Consequently, an H-1B worker may be the beneficiary of more than one H-1B petition and, therefore, can work for multiple employers at one time. 


How long does it take to get an approved H1B visa? 

The time it takes to get an approved H-1B can vary greatly. This typically depends on the processing time of the various government agencies involved. H-1Bs are unique as not all visas require both the Dept. of Labor and USCIS to work cohesively. Therefore, if you are thinking about getting an H-1B, try to start your process on the earlier end – keeping in mind that you cannot submit your petition any earlier than six months from the anticipated employment start date. 


When can I start working on my H-1B visa? 

If you are outside the United States or you are holding another nonimmigrant status other than H-1B (such as an F-1 student visa or L-1A Intracompany Transferee) you cannot begin working for the petitioning employer until the H-1B petition is approved and you have officially switched over to H-1B status. Although, if you are applying for an H-1B change of employer, you may be able to start working and “port” to your new employer upon filingthe H-1B petition.  USCIS guarantees a decision within 15 business days if a supplemental $2500.00 premium processing fee is paid, and your case is not rendered an RFE (Request for Evidence). 

J-1 Exchange Program  



Immigration Programs  – Room 211 (Barnes Building)


[email protected]

Phone: (Main HR 416-5304) Benefits Fax: (901) 416-0531


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