The H-1B Visa is a US Work Visa option for foreigners who can perform a high level of skill in a “specialty occupation”. If you have the education and qualifications for a job in this category, it can be a great opportunity for you to work in the US. However, this popular category has a quota of 65,000 H-1Bs for the fiscal year of 2011/2012, and it has already been filled.
No new H-1B Visas will be accepted until April 1, 2012.
If you are interested in applying for an H-1B Visa, you’ll need to make sure you prepare a flawless application package the first time, or you risk losing your position to another applicant. By enlisting the help of an immigration lawyer, you can let experienced professionals handle the complicated steps of the application process for you.
Niren & Associates has over 15 years experience with US immigration law, and has assisted thousands of talented workers like yourself to successfully obtain H-1B work visas. With our guidance through the immigration process, your chances for approval are significantly higher.
I was very impressed with your professionalism and the speed at which you processed my H-1B visa application. I would not hesitate to recommend the both of you to anyone. Thank you so much! – Terry G.
Qualifications for an H-1B Visa
There are many requirements to be eligible for the H-1B Visa.
The following conditions must be met:
- You must perform services in the U.S. in a specialty occupation;
- You must have a job offer from a U.S. employer that offers you the “prevailing wage” paid in the same U.S. geographic area for similar work that you will be performing;
- A bachelor’s degree or higher is the minimum requirement for entry into that position;
- The degree requirement is common to the industry in parallel positions among similar organizations or the duties of the positions are so complex that only a person with a degree can perform them
- The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with a bachelor’s degree
- Your U.S. employer normally requires a degree for the position offered
- You must have the correct background to the job offered
It is important to note that where a degree is not usually required for an occupation, an H-2B Work Visa may be appropriate.
H-1B Visa Application Procedure
There are 4 steps involved in the H-1B process:
Prevailing Wage Determination
The employer must determine the “prevailing wage” for the complete job offered to the foreign national. This is usually done by filing a request with the state employment security agency (SESA). The wage must be higher than or within 5% of the prevailing wage in the state on the indented employment.
The employer must file a Labor Condition Attestation (LCA) with the United States Department of Labor (DOL). The LCA contains information about the nature of the occupation, the number of foreign workers that have been hired by the employer and the wages paid to the foreign workers.
The LCA also contains a written promise that:
- foreign nationals will be paid the higher of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to similarly situated workers;
- there are no strikes or lockouts in process involving jobs to be filled by H-1B Visa workers
- that the employer has given notice of the filing of H-1B attestations to either the labor union (if one exists) or has posted notice of the filing in a conspicuous place for other workers to see
The DOL will certify the LCA if it has been completed properly and will provide the employer with an endorsed copy which will be used in support of the H-1B petition.
The employer files the H-1B Visa Petition with the INS Service Center in the United States.
Once the Petition is approved, the application is filed by the foreign national to the U.S Consulate. If you are Canadian, you can simply go to a US port of entry with the approved petition and be admitted.
Processing times range from 9 to 14 weeks depending on the INS Service Center that has jurisdiction over the case.
Let Our Chicago Immigration Lawyers Handle the Complicated H-1B Visa Process
Even before you fill out the application, which is challenging on its own, there are important steps that involve precise timely communication between many parties and departments. Our legal team is aware of all the challenges that may arise during this process, and can expertly guide your case through the appropriate channels.
Leave the complicated legal steps to our experienced attorneys, and you can concentrate on other plans, like living arrangements and transportation.