Below are some H-1B visa FAQs that our office receives. Should your question not be mentioned below please don’t hesitate to contact our law offices.
If I would like to work in the United States, can I just apply for an H-1B visa by myself?
You must have a job offer from a U.S. company or organization to apply for an H-1B visa. If you are a business owner, you will need to set up an entity within your company that has control over your employment. That entity must file the petition on your behalf.
If I have an Associates (two-year) degree plus one year of work experience as an engineer, can I qualify for the H-1B visa?
You must have at minimum a U.S. bachelor’s (four-year) degree or its equivalent in order to qualify for the H-1B visa. In regards to work experience, three years of working is equal to one year of university so say you had six years of work experience plus two years of college, you could qualify. Moreover, your work experience and degree should be relevant to your occupational title. To know more info on H1B Visa check Seepennywork
I currently have a job with a public-school system as a teacher. Are schools subject to the annual quota?
Only if the school district has an approved petition based on the University cap exemption after 2006.
Are there provisions for the continuity of H-1B petitions in case there is a restricting of the company?
There is continuity in this case—in other words, an amended H-1B petition isn’t required when a new entity takes over the interests and responsibilities of the originally approved employer and whereas the conditions of employment are the same.
How does my employer (under section 105 portability provisions) complete the I-9 verification requirement?
This example is comparable to the 240-day grace period of 8 C.F.R. section 274.12(b)(20), which permits employment with the same employer for up to 240 days after an extension petition is filed.
Can I file multiple or duplicate petitions? What happens if I do?
Based on the interim rule which was announced in 2008, employers may not file more than once or duplicate H-1B visa petitions for the same employee. In order to ensure fairness, USCIS will deny multiple or duplicate petitions filed by an employer for the same H-1B worker.
Will I be refunded the fees for filing twice?
You will not receive a refund for these filing fees. The only time that a refund will be issued is:
A. If the USCIS has asked for an unnecessary form that required a fee
B. If the USCIS has asked for a fee that was greater than what is listed
C. If the USCIS fails to process a petition filed with premium processing in the 15-day time period.
Where do I mail my H-1B petition?
Your lawyer should have the information for the correct service center to file with which will depend on the beneficiary’s work locations specified on the petition application. You can also see this website for more information.
When is the H-1B visa 2019 lottery date expected?
Last year the automated lottery took place on April 13th. While we can’t ensure that it’ll be on the same date for the H-1B visas 2019 season, we do predict it’ll be shortly after the season opens.
What are the advantages of preparing early?
There are many advantages to preparing early. As with most situations in life, when you plan ahead of time you’re better able to respond to challenges down the road. When it comes to employers, they can begin considering which one of their workers might require H-1B cap-subject filings. Foreign nationals and their respective employers should work side-by-side throughout the process to ensure all criteria are met.
What is the length of stay on an H-1B?
This visa is granted for up to three years with the option to extend it to a maximum of six years. There are select cases in which you may be granted a stay longer than six years. This is usually in conjunction with a pending I-140 petition so that you can maintain your status.
What are the H-1B visa fees?
The petitioner and/or sponsoring employer are responsible for paying the following fees to USCIS:
A. Employer Sponsorship fee
B. Premium Processing Fee (optional)
C. Fraud Prevention and Detection Fees
D. Filing Fee
What fees are my employer responsible for?
Per immigration law, the employer is responsible for paying the training fee (when it applies) and the fraud fee. For H1B Visa Process Visit UT Evaluators
If I filed for premium processing could I avoid being subject to the cap?
Filing for premium processing does not make you exempt from the cap. Premium processing is simply a way to expedite the process. USCIS specifically ensure 15 calendar day for processing those petitions OR USCIS will issue a refund of the service fee.
Who is responsible for setting the cap amounts?
Congress determines the current annual cap for the H-1B visa category. Also remember that in accordance with the Free Trade Agreement, 6,800 visas are set aside for citizens of Chile and Singapore.
Certain H-1B workers who perform services for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) and Guam may also be exempt from the cap if their employers file their petition before December 31, 2019. Note that employers may not file a petition or exemption request for an employee more than six months before the intended start date.
What is a Labor Condition Application (LCA)?
A Labor Condition Application is what your employer must certify and send at the time of filing your petition. A copy of this document is also accepted. Always be mindful of the LCA processing times and plan your documentation accordingly.
To get an LCA, your employer must make all of the four attestations required for this application:
1. That the H-1B employee will be paid the prevailing wage for the requested position according to the geographic location of the position.
2. That the employment of the H-1B employee will not negatively impact the working conditions of the current employees working for the employer.
3. That the employees that are currently working for the employer have been notified of the intent to hire the H-1B employee.
4. That the location in which the H-1B employee will be working is not under a strike or a lockdown.
Ultimately, the LCA serves to protect the current employees from incursions on their employment. By attesting that your employment is not to subvert or replace the work of current employees, this tells the USCIS that your employment will benefit the U.S. job economy rather than damage it.
Note that if the application is certified for multiple workers, you’re required to give the name and case receipt number of any worker who has previously used the LCA.
Am I permitted to have more than one sponsor for H-1B Visa 2019?
According to current regulations, if you as the foreign worker intent to perform services for more than one employer, each one is required to file a separate petition. If you then receive both petitions approved and select one employer but later decide to leave that employer for the second one, then no new petition is necessary.
However, if you choose to transfer your employment to an employer that has not yet filed a petition, you will need to have that employer file a new petition on your behalf.
How do I speed up or expedite my H-1B transfer?
An H-1B transfer must follow the same process as you would for filing a new petition. One big difference between the regular H-1B filing and a transfer is that a transfer is not subject to the cap since the individual already has H-1B status. Because of this, premium processing may be an effective way to shorten your H-1B transfer processing time in 2019.
Will the USICS suspend premium processing in 2019?
That cannot be said for sure. In FY 2019, the premium processing service was suspended for all H-1B visas filed for that cap season. This was to allow the USCIS to address the backlog of petitions that were not filed with premium processing. You can check our blog or read the USCIS news updates to see what the status is on premium processing for this upcoming season.
Can I work for my employer anywhere in the country once my status is approved?
When USCIS approved your H-1B visa, they took into consideration the specific location of employment as well as the qualifications the employer specific as well as the prevailing wage for the area.
During your employment, if the work site changes, you must submit an amendment with certification for the new location. In some situations, you may be exempt from filing the amendment but it’s best to contact your lawyer if the terms of your employment suddenly change.
Is there a reason some H-1B petitions take longer than others?
Many people have questions regarding this topic. Say for example two petitions are filed at the same time. That doesn’t mean that they will necessarily be approved within the same time frame.
Why? Each USCIS service center has a different workload for H-1B visa 2019 so it’s hard to know when the paperwork will be processed. For cases that are short on time, it’s best to consider premium processing.