The H-1B visa allows foreign workers to enter the US and work in a variety of fields ranging from architecture and engineering to health and medicine. The H-1B visa offers a wide range of employment possibilities and is a logical first step toward permanent immigration.
The H-1b visa enables individuals to work in the U.S. for an initial three year period which can normally be extended for an additional three year period for a total of 6 years in the United States.
The six year period can generally be extended in one year increments so long as the individual has filed a labor certification which has been pending for over one year according to the 21sat Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act.. The H-1b visa is reserved for "specialty occupations" (occupations that require the completion of a US level college degree [4yrs] or equivalent). In order to qualify for H-1B classification, the applicant must have at least a US bachelors degree or its equivalent AND the job sought must require at least a bachelors degree or its equivalent.
Because this is not a self-petitioning category, the applicant must have a sponsoring employer in the US. The spouse and unmarried children below the age of 21 are allowed to accompany or join the H-1B worker as H-4 dependents. However, they cannot work unless they qualify for a work visa. H-4 dependents can enroll and attend schools in the US without obtaining a student visa.
EMPLOYER STANDARD FOR THE POSITION AS REQUIRED BY THE USCIS The USCIS uses the following standard in evaluating whether a position is of H-1b caliber: 1. That completion of a baccalaureate degree is required to perform the duties of the position or, 2. The employer may show that its particular position is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree; 3. The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position; 4. The nature of the specific duties are so specialized and complex that knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a baccalaureate or higher degree. To protect the salaries of foreign nationals, employers are required to pay the higher of either the actual or prevailing wage. The actual wage is the wage paid to other co-workers in similar positions; the prevailing wage is the average salary paid to workers in the area of intended employment. The prevailing wage is often obtained through a request to the employment economic agency in the employer’s state. However, other sources of prevailing wages are permitted and may be used. Our office will gather this information and prepare the labor condition application for the employer’s signature which will be sent along with the rest of the documents to the petitioner. Because the H-1B visa requires a US sponsor, the applicant must seek a US employer who is willing to hire the applicant temporarily, pay the applicant the prevailing wage for the offered position and file the petition and supporting documents with Immigration.
The petition process begins with the sponsoring employer filing a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor. Upon obtaining an approved LCA the employer files the petition with Immigration. The petition must be filed with documentation that shows the job is a professional or specialty occupation and that the H-1B applicant is qualified for the position.
The sponsoring employer must file Form I-129 (Petition for Non-immigrant worker) and H supplement with the Immigration office having jurisdiction over the place of employment. All employers must complete and file Form I-129W with the Form I-129 petition.
If either the employer or the applicant wishes to expedite the H-1B petition so an initial determination is made within 15 days of the filing, it may request premium processing for an additional fee. The request is made by completing Form I-907.
After approval, Immigration will send Form I-797 (Notice of Action) to the employer. The employer then notifies the applicant and sends all the required documents to the applicant who can then apply for his H-1B visa at the US consulate in his home country. If the applicant is the United States, he/she may begin employment with the employer pursuant to the valid H-1b approval.
Both the applicant and the employer are required to submit documents for the H-1B visa.
The applicant is required to submit the following documents when applying for an H-1B visa abroad:
It is the employer’s responsibility to send the items listed in numbers 3 through 7 above to the applicant.
Future employee/beneficiary: The USCIS must be shown that the foreign national is qualified for the position based on his/her education and/or work experience. Individuals who do not possess an undergraduate degree may still qualify by utilizing his/her experience to compensate for any years unfinished in their undergraduate education. An accredited United States evaluation company can provide an evaluation whereby three years of progressive work experience are considered equivalent to one year of college education in the event the foreign national has only a three year bachelors degree. Part-time/full-time H-1B employment may be for a part time or full time hours Multiple Sponsorship An H-1B visa holder may hold more than one position concurrently. Process with our Firm Once our firm has been retained, we facilitate obtaining the initial documentation from both client and employer/petitioner via our detailed application.
Permanent immigration is the ultimate goal of many people entering or planning to enter the United States. Lawful permanent residency offers individuals a multitude of benefits, including the freedom to live and work permanently in the U.S. Potential immigrants should be as informed about the laws as possible.
Immigrants to the United States are divided into three categories:
Permanent immigration in the U.S. comes with a variety of rights and privileges. One of the most widely used methods to obtain permanent immigration is through employment. There are five classifications for employment-based immigration:
Immigrants to the United States are divided into three categories:
EB-1 PRIORITY WORKERS
Individuals with extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business or athletics. Outstanding professors or researchers Managers and executives transfered to the U.S.
Individuals with advanced degrees or persons with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or business Professionals with advanced degrees Physicians intending to practice medicine in underserved areas.
Skilled or professional workers Professionals with bachelor’s or equivalent degrees Skilled workers with at least two years experience Unskilled workers.
EB-4 SPECIAL IMMIGRANTS
Religious workers Employees and former employees of the U.S. Government abroad.
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