H-1B Visa

H-1B visa is for person in a specialty occupation coming temporarily to U.S.  Specialty occupation is defined as requiring theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the U.S.

Specialty occupation encompasses the definition of professional.  A “professional” has been defined to include the following accountant, acupuncturist, chef, chiropractor, computer programmer, cost-estimator, dairy management specialist, database administrator (document quality specialist), dietician, electronics specialist, fashion designer, film and video director, general manager, graphic designer, hotel manager, human resource manager, industrial designer, interior designer, investment analyst, journalist, librarian, market research analyst/senior market analyst, medical records librarian, medical technologist, minister, orthopedist, painting restorer, personal financial advisor, pharmasist, purchasing agent, rehabilitation coordinator, showroom manager, social worker, software design engineer, soil conservationist, strategic planning manager, teacher, technical publication writer, vocational counselor and webographer.

There is cap of 65,000 visas per year.  Categories that cannot be counted against 65,000 cap include: (a) persons (up to 20,000) who possess a U.S.-earned master’s or higher degree; and (b) beneficiaries of employment offers at institutions of higher education or related or affiliated nonprofit entities, or nonprofit research organizations, or governmental research of organizations.

The H-1B petition may be approved for up to 3 years, but may not exceed the period of validity of the labor certification application.  The H-1B status holder may be admitted for maximum of six years.  H-1B status may be extended in one-year increments beyond the six-year limitation if a labor certification, immigrant petition for alien worker or employment-based application to adjust status was filed at least 365 days prior to the expiration of H-1B status.  A person who remains outside of the U.S. for one year, may begin the six-year period anew.  Spouses and children accompanying an H-1B visa holder will be granted H-4 visas.

There are 3 sets of fees for an H-1B: (i) the standard $460.00 petition fee (and if the employee is abroad, additional fees at the US. Embassy or Consulate); (ii) additional fee of $1,500.00 (or $750.00 if the employer has less than 25 full-time employees); and (iii) fraud prevention and detection fee of $500.00.  If an employer has 50 or more employees and more than 50% of the employees have H-1B or L-1 status, the employer must pay a fee of $4,000.00 in addition to other fees.  For more information regarding payment of those fees, click here.  A copy of the certified labor condition application must be submitted with the H-1B petition.

H-1B filing season is approaching.  The H-1B visa petitions are being filed on April 1 for the next fiscal year (starting October 1).   Since during last few years the annual cap was reached quickly, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service conducted the H-1B “lottery” to select the H-1B petitions for processing.

For more information and help with H-1B petitions, please call H-1B immigration attorney in Phoenix at 480-425-2009 or send us an email via our website TODAY!