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 

New DOL & DHS Rules Make Game Changing Revisions to PERM and H-1B Wages and Minimum Qualifications

On October 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the text of game changing revisions to PERM and H-1B regulations. The DOL has announced that an Interim Final Rule, making sweeping changes to H-1B and PERM wage requirements, will be published October 8, 2020 and will be effective immediately upon publication. On the same day, DHS announced the publication of new regulations tightening requirements for H-1B degree requirements and employer / employee relationships. These new regulations are intended to protect U.S. workers by narrowing the pool of qualifying H-1B petitions to high wage / high skill positions.

Don’t Miss Out on Applying for the Diversity Visa Lottery! It might be your lucky day…

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to file an application for the Diversity Visa Lottery! Applications for the 2022 Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program will be accepted online starting Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).  Applications must be submitted by noon EDT on Tuesday, November 10, 2022. There is no filing tee to apply.

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