Work Visa Lawyer

H-1B Visa Attorney

For many U.S. employers, the H1B visa is the only visa available for them to bring foreign talent to work for them in the U.S. This visa allows employers to hire highly qualified foreign workers to come to the United States to work in ‘specialty’ occupations on a temporary basis.

Those are two fairly short sentences but they are packed with ambiguities and they cover a wide swathe of occupations. As a matter of fact the official title of H-1B Visa on the USCIS website is this:

H-1B Specialty Occupations, DOD Cooperative Research and Development Project Workers, and Fashion Models

It doesn’t get much broader than that. At least ‘DOD Cooperative Research and Development Project Workers’ and ‘Fashion models’ are reasonably specific. Unsurprisingly, what constitutes a ‘Specialty Occupation’

Applying is difficult. Adding to that difficulty is the fact that only eighty-five thousand H-1B Visas are authorized each year. The competition is fierce, in 2022 there were 308,613 registrations.

Obviously, a mistake anywhere during the application process will be fatal.

Navigating this requires a law firm with deep knowledge and years of experience. It requires Patricia Castillo Flanagan and Work Visa Lawyers, P.A.

Immigration Visa Through Employment workvisalawyers

The Requirements in a Nutshell

There are stringent requirements for the position, the professional, and the employer – they must all be met before an H-1B petition can be accepted. First, the job itself: it must be a ‘specialty occupation.’ That’s a ‘position that is so complex or specialized it only can accept professionals who have a bachelor’s degree or higher.’ Some examples - engineers, professors, researchers, medical, accountants, attorneys, architects. Many others, obviously qualify, the keys are the position and the duties required for the position.

The employer must certify:

The foreign professional will receive the given prevailing wage – at least.

Hiring the foreign professional will not affect U.S. workers in a similar field.

There cannot be an existing strike/layoff/lockout.

There is an official job offer that has been accepted. That job offer must show that there is a ‘true business need’ for the foreign professional’s services.

As for the ‘foreign professional,’ the requirements are relatively straightforward. They must have:

A bachelors or advanced degree from an accredited college or university.

 If it is from a school outside the degree must be the equivalent of a U.S. degree.

The degree must relate to the specialty position.


The Basics of the Process


Securing an H-1B Visa

First, foremost, the process must start with a U.S. employer. The employer must sponsor the applicant and submit an H-1B petition with the USCIS. Unlike other visa programs, you cannot start an application or be proactive as applicants for other visas are.


Petition Filing

The employer starts with a ‘Labor Condition Application.’ That needs to be approved before the employer can go ahead and file the petition to hire a ‘nonimmigrant worker.’


Supplementary Information

The application and petition are highly detailed. They require supplementary information. Completing the applications is time consuming and arduous. Needless to say, a mistake or incompletion will sink the application.


Approval and Visa Processing

When the USCIS approves the H-1B petition, the foreign worker can then get the visa stamped at a U.S. embassy or, if they are already in the U.S., they can change status.


The Cap and Exemptions

The 65,000 annual cap on H-1B Visas is somewhat misleading. Sixty-five thousand visas are the cap for professionals. An additional twenty-thousand visas are available to applicants with a U.S. master’s  degree or higher. All are subject to the lottery. In addition, professionals employed by an institute of higher education are exempt from the H-1B cap. As are non-profit organizations associated with an institute of higher education and governmental research organizations. 


Contact Us

The H-1B process is daunting, It is essential that the application process be precisely followed, each application, every supporting document flawless. 

Work Visa Lawyers, P.A. understands the ins and outs of the H-1B Visa process. We understand what the U.S. government is looking for. We understand that that can change, if and when it does we will be on the forefront of adapting to those changes.

Contact Our Office

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