H-1B Visa

Professional Worker

H-1B Visa – Professional Worker2020-03-19T21:29:53+00:00

H-1B Professional Visa Registration Season Ends Noon EDT 3/20/20!

Time has run out for E&M Mayock to prepare and submit your registration.  However, you may register online until noon EDT Friday, March 20, 2020.  View this USCIS Webinar for guidance in self filing your last minute H-1B Registration: https://youtu.be/J2itmTPvk00

H-1B Inquiry Form

New USCIS H-1B PreRegistration Program

For the first time ever, USCIS has finally launched a PreRegistration program to slash expenses for employers who seek to file a Visa Petition in the annual H-1B Professional Visa program. Starting on the first day of the federal fiscal year – October 1st – only 85,000 new H-1B visas are available. 20,000 of these are set aside for Masters [and higher] graduates of US Universities.

In the past, an entire Visa Petition needed to be filed in the first week of April, after which Candidates were selected in a luck-based lottery. This year, the lottery will be conducted FIRST from a list of PreRegistrants. Only those PreRegistered Candidates selected by USCIS may then have their Employer/Petitioner file a Visa Petition over the following 3 months.

H-1B Qualifications

The H-1B visa is for workers in specialty occupations, such as: Architecture, Engineering, Mathematics, Physical sciences, Social sciences, Medicine and health, Education, Business specialties, Accounting, Law, Theology, or The Arts.

H-1B visas are available only to workers in occupations requiring highly specialized knowledge, normally acquired through a college education, and to distinguished fashion models. Although this myriad of specialty occupations mentioned above exist to qualify under H-1B qualifications, there are some requirements to successfully obtain your visa:

  • You must be coming to the U.S. to perform services in a specialty occupation and have a college degree (or its equivalent in experience, typically a minimum of twelve years in that specialty field), or be a distinguished fashion model.
  • You must first have a job offer from a U.S. employer that agrees to sponsor you.

The employer must then file an “attestation” with the U.S. Department of Labor that certifies that they will pay the average or “prevailing wage” for the specific type of job in that area (or the actual wage paid to similar workers at that employer, depending on which is the higher of the two).

It is essential also that you have the correct background for the job you are offered. Therefore, if your academic and professional credentials are strong, yet do not match the job, you are not eligible for an H-1B visa in that specific specialty occupation.

The job you are entering must also meet one of the following criteria:

  • A bachelor’s degree of higher degree (or equivalent) is the minimum requirement for entry into the position;
  • The degree requirement is common to the industry, or the duties of the position are so complex that it can be performed only by a person with a degree;
  • The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position; or
  • The specific duties are so specialized and complex that knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with a bachelor’s degree.

H-1B Benefits

  • You can legally work in the U.S. for your sponsor.
  • H-1B visas are typically issued quickly (6 weeks to 3 months).
  • You may travel in and out of the U.S. as long as your visa stamp and status are valid.
  • Visas are available for immediate family members (spouse and/or unmarried children under 21 years of age).

H-1B Restrictions

  • You may work only for the employer that sponsored you. If you change jobs, you must obtain new H-1B status.
  • Employers must have an attestation on file with the U.S. Department of Labor before they can sponsor you for H-1B status.
  • The maximum length of stay in the U.S. under H-1B status is six years. After that time, you must return to your home country (unless you are eligible to apply for another nonimmigrant visa status or plan to apply for permanent residence).
  • Immediate family members may stay in the U.S. with you, but cannot work (unless they are applying for a work visa independently of you).

Validity of an H-1B Visa

Successful H-1B applicants may initially stay in the U.S. for up to three years, and may opt to extend their status for another three years, for a maximum stay of six years.

Related H-1B Visa Blog Posts 

H-1B Registration – A Look Back at an Administrative Nightmare

On April 1, 2020, USCIS announced the opening of the 90 day window for filing H-1B cap petitions. Registrants selected in the Pre-Registration lottery may now file full petitions. This announcement was met with discouragement by many immigration attorneys whose registrations were erroneously denied as “duplicate” registrations.

E&M Mayock COVID-19 Visa / US Immigration / International Travel Resources

This blog post is intended to provide a source of COVID-19 information provided by agencies and organizations.  International travel issues and impediments are arising rapidly.  These resources are updated internally by the hosts and reflect the most recent and reliable information available to the public.

Adjusting Time and Pay in Economic Downturns – H-1B Implications FAQ

In time of economic downturn, employers with H-1B workers in their workforce are placed in a difficult position.  To weather the economic storm, employers may need to cut hours or temporarily furlough workers.  Many workers would prefer to accept lower wages to retain employment benefits, such as health insurance.  Unfortunately, costly H-1B Department of Labor (DOL) wage regulations require that the employer continue H-1B workers’ work schedules and payment of wages as set forth in the original H-1B petition.

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