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U.S. corporations use the H-1B visa program in order to employ foreign workers in occupations that require a specialized body of theoretical or technical knowledge, such as computer programmers, engineers, and scientists.Our immigration law office has over 25 years of experience preparing visas such as the H-1B visa. Contact us to learn more about our track record of success with H-1B visas.
In addition to the requirements above, the immigrant must:
The USCIS uses the information contained in Part C, I-129 pages 14-15, in order to determine whether or not the petition is subject to the 65,000 annual H-1B cap (numerical limitation for H-1B visas). However, some petitions are exempt from the annual cap, under the advanced degree exemption which is provided to the first 20, 000 petitions filed for an individual who has obtained a U.S. masters degree or higher.
The annual limit of H-1B visas issued is 65,000. Not all H-1B immigrants, however, are subject to this annual cap. In addition, up to 6,800 visas may be set aside from the annual 65,000 cap during each year for the H-1B1 program, implemented by legislation on the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreements. Any unused visas from this 6,800 are later made available for H-1B use during the next year.
The fist 20,000 H-1B beneficiaries that have earned a masters degree or higher from a U.S. university or institute of higher education, are not subject to the annual cap, however, after those 20,000 slots are filled, the USCIS must count those cases against the annual cap (included in the 65,000 annual limit).
Other Numerical Cap Exemptions
H-1B nonimmigrants who are employed or have received offer of employment from institutions of higher learning, or a related or affiliated nonprofit entity, as well as those who are employed by nonprofit research organizations or government research organizations, are exempt from the cap. In addition, H-1B renewals are not included in the cap.
Foreign Degrees must be analyzed and evaluated in terms of its equivalency to a U.S. university degree, before completing the H-1B visa Petition. On such organization that evaluates foreign degrees can be found on http://www.jsilney.com.
The 1990 U.S. Immigration Act exempts those under H-1B status from showing that they did or did not intend to immigrate to the U.S. at the time that they applied for their first H-1B temporary work visa, or renewal. This means that those under H-1B status can successfully and easily renew their H-1B visa after they applied for permanent residency (Green Card). This is a great advantage in comparison to other visas, in which the USCIS will often deny renewals due to conflicting interests of the immigrant. Once an immigrant applies for a green card, the USCIS and U.S. authorities will believe that the alien’s intent is to permanently remain in the United States.
The I-129 petition that is filed for H-1B visas must be filed along with the certified Labor Condition Application (LCA). The U.S. employer must show that the salary offered to the nonimmigrant worker is at least equal to the prevailing wage in the area of intended employment. If the U.S. employer intends for the nonimmigrant worker to work in multiple locations, then Labor Condition Applications must be provided for each of the employment locations. The Labor Certification Applications must be filed online through the Labor Department’s “iCert” system. The processing time for such Labor Condition Applications is one week.
Data Collection Fee:
A fee of 1,500 USD is required for companies with over 25 employees, while a fee of 750 USD is required for companies with no more than 25 employees. H-1B petitions that are filed by institutions of higher learning and or governmental research organizations, are exempt from the 1,500 USD and 750 USD Data collection fees.
Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee
I-129 Petition Fee for H-1B Visa:
You can legally remain in the United States if you file the I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. Once you file your I-539 you will receive a text message or email notification stating that your form has been accepted at a USCIS facility. Once you receive this message, you should complete the G-1145 E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance and attach this to the first page of your application. The filing fee is $290. At the discretion of the USCIS, you may be granted another nonimmigrant visa status. In order to increase your chances of being granted another nonimmigrant visa status, apply for the change of status and file the I-539 within 10 days of being fired from your previous position.
The temporary nature of the H-1B visa prohibits the worker from permanently remaining in the United States. Individuals with the H-1B visa do not need to maintain a foreign residence. Individuals with this visa may file a petition for Lawful Permanent Residence. If this is denied, the H-1B visa holder must return to their country of residence at the end of the employment period.
The H-1B cap of 65, 000 visas applies only to new visas. However, this does not include H-1B Visa status holders who wish to change employers or seek extensions.
A specialty occupation, in relation to the H-1B visa refers to an occupation that requires specialized knowledge, which only the potential immigrant can perform. Please note that a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent is required in order to qualify for this visa.
Through this process, the U.S. Company assures that it will provide a reasonable salary to the immigrant worker, and will provide the immigrant worker with equal benefits compared to a U.S. employee.
If you apply for another H-1B visa, after being fired from a previous employer, you are not given an additional 6 years from the approval date. Since you are allowed to stay in the United States for duration of 6 years, you may stay until you have been in the United States for 6 years in total, regardless of whether you obtained a new H-1B visa.
H-1B visas are usually granted for three years. H-1B visas, however, can be extended for another 3 years, totaling in 6 years. After the 6 year period ends, you can apply for a new H-1B visa after you have been outside of the United States for at least one year. In order to avoid such a disruption, if you acquire a Green Card within the time period that you are in the United States under the H1-B visa, you do not need to leave the country for a year.
If you have a pending Green Card application, you may be granted an extension.
H-4 visas are given to your spouse and any of your dependent children under 21 years of age. Your spouse and children cannot accept employment under the H-4 visa. Your dependents, however, are allowed to attend school in the United States. In addition, you may bring any servants under B-1 visa status.
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