Putting International Talent To Work In The US
Sometimes, finding the right workers requires going international. Whether you’re looking for short-term or long-term international employees, Arias Villa Law is here to help you and your workers get the employment visas they need to work legally in the United States.
Employment-Based Visas (H-1Bs) For Professionals
The Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) allows United States employers to meet an immediate and temporary need for foreign professionals or persons with exceptional ability working in “specialty occupations.” The visa used for this purpose is called H-1B, also known as an employment-based visa for professionals. H-1B visas are subject to a numerical annual limit of 65,000.
However, foreign professionals holding a U.S. Master’s or Ph.D. degree are excluded from this cap. There are 20,000 additional visas for these applicants. H-1B visa holders renew their visas and are not subject to the annual cap. Also, petitions made by universities, government and nonprofit organizations are not counted against the 65,000 annual caps.
The H-1B or employment-based visa is given for three years and up to six years. Applicants must submit their petitions for an H-1B visa on or after April 1st of each year to be considered for the annual quota immediately following the fiscal year. For example, for the annual fiscal year 2021-2022, which starts on October 2021, H-1B applicants should apply on April 1, 2021.
How Obtaining An H-1B Works
An attorney should prepare the H-1B or employment-based visa because it is complex and involves several requirements. These are the three basic requirements for obtaining an H-1B visa:
The H-1B visa applicant may prove this requirement with their bachelor’s degree in the specialty occupation and their work experience. In addition to these basic requirements, INA calls for various specific forms, evidence and fees.
Once the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) receives complete H-1B application forms, evidence and fees, the process starts. CIS will issue a receipt notice assigning a case number and priority date. Then, the applicant will receive notices from CIS, including a fingerprint appointment and request for additional evidence if needed. The process may take between 3-5 months. The applicant, however, may request premium processing.
This expedited processing guarantees a decision in 30 days if the applicant pays a $1,000 fee. Once CIS approves the H-1B visa, the beneficiary in the U.S. will have to travel to the U.S. consular office in their home country to get their passport stamped with the H-1B nonimmigrant visa. For the second time, the consular office will review the visa application, regardless of the CIS H-1B approval. The applicant must fill out additional consular forms before attending the consular interview.
Work With A Lawyer Who Understands The System
Arias Villa Law can help you with your petition for an H-1B or business-based visa for professionals. I have prepared and filed thousands of successful H-1B visa petitions for my clients. Click on the consultation link for online consultation with me, attorney Martha L. Arias. You can also call us at 305-233-3110.