Looking to hire a foreign professional to work for your United States based business? Consilium Law, LLC helps clients obtain H-1B specialty occupation visas for employees that are foreign professionals.
We assist entrepreneurs, small business owners, and businesses ranging from a few employees to Fortune 500 companies in navigating the H-1B laws to hire and retain qualified foreign professionals.
An H1B visa is a non-immigrant business visa that that allows U.S. employers to recruit and employ foreign professionals to work for them in specialty occupations within the United States.
The H-1B Visa allows foreign professionals that work in specialty occupations to live and work in the US for a total of 6 consecutive years, and allows the spouses and children (under the age of 21) of these workers to legally live with them in the United States on an H-4 visa. Under the U.S. immigration regulations, the beneficiary of an H-1B visa cannot file for themselves to apply to work in the U.S. The company, organization, or employer that is hiring the H-1B worker has to file the H-1B petition as the petitioner for the foreign worker that is the beneficiary.
Under the U.S. immigration regulations, in order to qualify as a H-1B Specialty Occupation, the position that the U.S. employer is recruiting for must meet the following criteria:
• A U.S. Bachelor's degree or higher (or its equivalent) is normally the minimum entry requirement for the position:
• This minimum degree requirement must be common to the industry or the position is so complex or unique that it can only be performed an individual with the required degree;
• The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position; and
• The specific duties associated with the position are so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree.
Therefore, for a foreign professional to qualify for an H-1B visa, they must hold a U.S. bachelor's degree or higher or a foreign equivalent of such a degree that is required to perform the duties associated with the position that they are filling.
The following is a list of some of the occupations that qualify for an H-1B Specialty Occupation Visa: Information Technology, Architecture, Engineering, Mathematics, Healthcare/Medicine, Physical Scientific Research, Social Science, Biotechnology, Education, Law, Accounting, Business, Theology, Arts, Computing, Finance, Banking, and Telecommunication.
The H-1B visa is initially granted for up to three years but can be extended to six years. For certain beneficiaries who have an immigrant petition pending, the H-1B visa can be extended beyond the six year period. The H-1B visa can also be extended by “recapturing time” time spent outside of the United States by the H-1B beneficiary while on H-1B status.
H-1B Visa Cap
The H-1B visa is subject to annual numerical limits. The current immigration law allocates a total of 85,000 new H-1B visa petitions for each fiscal year which begins on October 1st of each year. Of the 85,000 visas, 65,000 are allocated towards beneficiaries that have an equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree. The remaining 20,000 are assigned to individuals with an advanced degree from a U.S. institution. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) begins accepting H-1B visa petitions on April 1st of each fiscal year for a H-1B start date of October 1st of that year. Over the past several years the H-1B visa quota has been filled within the first week of the quota opening up. Therefore, in these instances, the USCIS has accepted visa applications for the first five days of April and then held a lottery to fill the quota.
When an Individual on H-1B status changes jobs to another employer willing to hire them and sponsor then on a new H-1B petition, this is referred to my many people and also by some attorneys as an “H-1B transfer.” In reality, nothing is being transferred from one employer to another. The petition being filed is for new H-1B employment without the restriction of the H-1B cap. As long as the H-1B employee has time left on their six-year H-1B limit, they can transfer to a new employer without counting against the H-1B cap.
Dual Intent H-1B Visa for green card
One of the characteristics that sets the H-1B visa apart from many other non-immigrant visas is that it is a “dual intent” visa. In other words, under the H-1B regulations, a foreign employee can maintain their non-immigrant H-1B visa status while being eligible to apply for permanent resident status (green card) without having their H-1B visa being invalidated or denied.
Our law firm has over 15 years of experience in handling H-1B visas.
Contact our firm today and talk to an experienced attorney that can guide you and your employees though the H-1B process.