What Is An H-1B Visa And Why Should I Hire An Immigration Attorney To Handle My Case?

The H-1B Visa has received a lot of attention this year. It is considered a “Specialty Occupation”, non-immigrant visa that is designed to allow U.S. employers to recruit and employ foreign professionals in the USA for a set period of time.

An H-1B Visa allows foreign workers in specialty occupations to legally live and work in the United States for as many as 6 consecutive years. The program also allows the H-1B Visa holder’s spouse and minor children to accompany him/her and legally live in the USA on an H-4 visa.

Specialty occupations that qualify for H-1B visas include: IT, Architecture, Engineering, Mathematics, Physical Scientific Research, Social Science, Biotechnology, HealthCare/Medicine, Education, Law, Accounting, Business, Theology, Arts, Computing, Finance, Accounting, Banking, Marketing, Sales, Recruiting, and Telecommunication, among others. (more…)

H-1B Filings Reach Record High

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on April 7, 2016, that it has received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 visas for fiscal year (FY) 2017. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the advanced degree exemption, also known as the master’s cap.

USCIS received over 236,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 1, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 9, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process, or lottery, to select enough petitions to meet the 65,000 general-category cap and the 20,000 cap under the advanced degree exemption. USCIS will reject and return all unselected petitions with their filing fees, unless the petition is found to be a duplicate filing.

U.S. businesses use the H-1B visa program to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require the theoretical or practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge, including but not limited to scientists, engineers, or computer programmers.

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H-1B Spouse Eligible for Employment

Certain H-4 dependent spouses (or H-1B spouse) may now apply for employment authorization under the new H-4 rule. On February 24, 2015, immigration announced that effective May 26, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would begin accepting applications for employment authorization from certain H-1B spouse eligible for employment who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident status. (more…)

H-1B Cap Reached for Fiscal Year 2016

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reached the congressionally mandated H-1B 2016 cap for fiscal year (FY) 2016. USCIS has also received more than the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U.S. advanced degree exemption.

USCIS will use a computer-generated process, also known as the lottery, to randomly select the H-1B 2016 petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 visas for the general category and 20,000 for the advanced degree exemption.

USCIS will first randomly select H-1B 2016 petitions for the advanced degree exemption. All unselected advanced degree petitions will become part of the random selection process for the 65,000 general limit. The agency will reject and return filing fees for all unselected cap-subject H-1B 2016 petitions that are not duplicate filings.   (more…)