H-1B Visa is a non-migrant Visa that allows companies in the United States to hire workers in particular occupations that utilize both theoretical and technical expertise in areas such as mathematics, architecture, engineering, medicine, science amongst others. This visa is considered easier to apply for compared to Visa card hence suitable for companies seeking to acquire manpower for longer periods. Under this arrangement, US Company can employ a foreigner for up to six years.
Requirements for H-1B Visa
1. You must demonstrate employer –employee relationship with the petitioning company- This relationship can be established by considering the ability of the U.S employer to hire, fire, pay, supervise and generally control the H-1B worker they are considering to hire. If it is self-owned business, the petitioning entity may show a valid employer-employee relationship by proving that they have the right to control the employee.
2. The job being applied for must meet the specialty criteria by fulfilling the following conditions.
· Having a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent in the field being applied for.
· The job is so unique that an individual can only perform it with a bachelor’s degree in the field.
· The employer accepts a degree or its equivalent for the particular position.
· The nature of the job is so complex that the required knowledge to perform efficiently requires attainment of a bachelor’s degree.
3. The position being applied for must be in the specialty occupation related to your area of study.
4. You must receive a payment that is the actual or prevailing wage for that occupation. The amount on the higher side is considered. Several factors determine the current salary. These include the position being applied for and the geographical location of the working area. This data is easily available on the U.S Department of Labor databases.
5. H-1B Visa number must be available at the time of application.
The migration Department sets an annual numerical cap of 65,000 visas for every fiscal year. The initial 20,000 applications of the beneficiaries with a minimum of a master’s degree are exempted from the cap. Petitioners who lodged their applications through non-profits research organization, institutions of higher learning or governmental research organizations are exempted from H-1B numerical cap.
Who can apply for the H-1B VISA?
An individual cannot submit an application for H-1B Visa that allows them to work in the United States. The petition must come from the employer who expresses their interests on a certain individual to work for them. There is the annual numerical limit set for these Visas, and the U.S employers start applying for them six months before the actual start date. This means that an employer can apply as soon as April 2, 2015, but the employee cannot work until October of the same year.
Is there an alternative to H-1B Visa?
If the applicant fails to meet the minimum requirements for H-1B Visa application, they can opt to apply for non-specialty fields using H-2B visa or L-1Visa. The L-1 visa allows the United States companies to transfer employees from its foreign operations to operate in America for up to seven years. Application for L-1 Visa, however, requires that an employee must have worked for a U.S company for the last one year in duration of the last three years
When requirements are met, what next?
The USCIS uses the given information to determine whether the application will be granted. The information given helps USCIS to grant the applications according the cap 65,000 H-1B Visa. All the applications are then screened and then visas awarded as per the laid down criteria.
Guideline in filling the H-1B cap-subject petition
It is important for the petitioner to follow the steps that follow carefully:
1. Ensure that all sections of Form I-129 are filled correctly.
2. Ensuring that the form bears the original signature of the applicant preferably in black ink.
3. Ensuring that you include signed checks or the money orders with the correct fee amounts.
4. Ensuring timely submission of the filled forms for consideration.
5. Ensure that you file your petition to the correct USCIS service center.
H-1B Visas are described as dual intent meaning that the applicants can apply and be granted the green card while working in the United States. One can apply for Green card upon the Visa expiration. If the application is not granted, then you will be required to stay out of US for at least one year to re-apply.
How can immigration lawyer help with H-1B Visa
The acquisition of the H-1B Visa is a lottery system. It involves many details that can be confusing. A mistake in any part of the application process could deny you the chance to work with the U.S. NYC immigration lawyers will ensure that you have the correct forms and that they are filled diligently and submitted to the proper authorities. The applications usually outnumber the slots for each financial which makes the process very competitive. Your lawyer will be the guide through the application process to ensure that the chances of laying hands to the visa are maximized.