H1-B Visas - Business Professionals & Specialists
SHORSTEIN, LASNETSKI, & GIHON
helps business professionals & specialists obtain employment visas.
The most common employment visa is probably the H-1B employment visa. The H-1B is appropriate for professionals and specialists who have a U.S. employer who is willing and able to petition for the potential employee. There are only 65,000 H-1B visas issued each year and those are quickly used up immediately. There are also 20,000 cap exemptions allotted for individuals with a masters degree or higher from a U.S. institution.
Applicants are picked by lottery and many will have to wait until the next year to apply if not selected. Timing and lack of mistakes are absolutely critical in applying for an H-1B visa. In many cases, an H-1B can lead to a greencard (lawful permanent resident status).
H-1B visas are initially issued for 3 years. They are often extended for an additional 3 years. After the total 6 years is used up, the non-citizen can go abroad for one year and apply for a new H-1B, with another 6 years of eligibility. Another option may be to apply for lawful permanent resident status, in which the initial 6 years may be extended during the application process.
The general requirements of an H-1B are:
- a U.S. employer files a petition to sponsor the H-1B applicant
- the position to be filled is a professional or specialist job
- the person is a professional or specialist qualified for the position based on education and/or work experience
- the person must be paid wages satisfied under the Department of Labor's Labor Condition Application (LCA)
Employment can be full or part time.
H-1B holders can change employers, but will have to file a new H-1B petition. H1B holders can apply for change of status to other visa classifications.
H-1B visas have many potential landmines that unsuspecting people may step on. Timing issues are key in H-1B petitions. A game plan is vital to ensure that the H-1B does not expire prior to changing, extending, or adjusting status. Changing employers and changing employment positions or obligations within the company can create issues, if not handled properly.
If you or someone you know is interesting in setting up a consultation to determine eligibility for an H-1B visa, and extension of status, a change of status, adjustment of status, change in employer, or any other H-1B related issues, please call
Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon