Garvish Immigration Law Group provides non-immigrant visas and other employment based immigration services for U.S. businesses, multinational companies, startups and foreign investors. We assist foreign professionals and the companies that hire them to obtain or renew H-1B visas, a nonimmigrant temporary visa that allows American companies to benefit from skilled specialists in their professions, no matter their country of origin. Garvish Immigration Law is headquartered in Atlanta and works with clients across the United States and abroad. We work closely with human resources teams and in-house counsel to devise corporate immigration policies and strategies to meet business immigration staffing needs.
Some of the largest companies in the U.S. employ thousands of H-1B visa holders every year. The H-1B is a temporary specialty worker visa program. It helps up to 85,000 foreign-born individuals with special skills temporarily work at a U.S. employer within specialized roles. Overseen by the Department of Labor and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the H-1B process conditions and guidelines can be complicated, time consuming and confusing to understand and implement.
A record number of American employees are quitting their jobs. In response to the “Great Resignation,” many U.S. businesses are considering hiring skilled employees in specialty occupations from abroad. Before you start recruiting global talent, you should know a few things about business immigration law and H-1B visas.
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There are many ways that H-1B visa immigration lawyers can help you with the requirements, qualifications, documentation and human resources documentation and compliance. If your company is considering sponsoring a foreign worker for an H-1B visa, contact us today for a consultation with our experienced business immigration lawyers.
The H-1B visa program temporarily enables qualifying U.S. employers to hire foreign workers for highly specialized occupations. Employers must file a petition, get selected in the H-1B visa lottery, and meet qualifications for employees to obtain the visa.
The initial period of stay granted to H-1B employees is three years, but it can be extended for up to three years at a time afterward up to six years. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule that allow for the H-1B visa to be extended further than six years in special circumstances. Industries that benefit most from the H-1B visa program include healthcare, technology, engineering, and similar occupations.
A few business benefits of the H-1B temporary specialty worker visa program include:
- Length and duration of stay in comparison to other immigration business visas
- Any qualifying foreign national can apply
- Helps to strengthen competitiveness
- Fills in the gaps attributed to labor shortages in specialized areas
- Allows the holder of the visa to pursue legal permanent residency while under H-1B nonimmigrant status since it is considered to be a “dual intent” visa.
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Hiring an individual under the temporary specialty worker program requires employers and employees to meet certain conditions. Generally, H-1B visa requirements for sponsoring companies include, but are not limited to the following:
√ H-1B Visa Employer Requirements
The occupation your company is hiring for must be “highly specialized” and require a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific specialty. Also, the role must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Minimum entry-level requirements of a bachelor’s degree, its equivalency, or a higher degree
- Most other similar positions in the industry also require a B.S.
- The H-1B sponsor typically requires a B.S. degree for the role
- The specific role is so unique or complex that it requires the knowledge attained from a Bachelor’s degree (i.e., program analyst, network engineer, accountant, etc.)
The position must pay the prevailing wage for the job and location. The employer must obtain and submit a certified Labor Condition Application to the Department of Labor.
√ H-1B Sponsorship Application Process For Temporary Specialty Worker Visa
It’s essential to understand what the H-1B visa process requires before your company starts the process of hiring a foreign worker for a specialty occupation. Generally, the H-1B visa petition process includes the following steps.
- Reviewing your job description to ensure it qualifies for an H-1B status
- Ensure the rate of pay is competitive for the role and location
- Give notice to U.S. employees about the intent to hire an H-1B applicant
- Submit a Labor Condition Application (LCA)
- Register for the H-1B lottery with USCIS
- Await the H-1B lottery results
Submit Form I-129 to USCIS if the beneficiary is selected
The H-1B Cap
The H-1B cap restricts the annual number of foreign workers allowed to work in the U.S. under H-1B status. Currently, the H-1B cap is 65,000 for individuals with bachelor’s degrees or higher and an additional 20,000 for those with advanced degrees (i.e., Master’s Cap). Some employers including nonprofits, institutes of higher education and government research organizations are exempt from the cap on H-1B visas.
H-1B Lottery: How it Works
There are hundreds of thousands of H-1B applications every year. The U.S. government uses a lottery system to select from a pool of registrants randomly. Once the 65,000 H-1B quota is filled, USCIS selects an additional 20,000 registrants from the Master’s Cap.
It’s important to note that lottery selections don’t guarantee H-1B visa approval. Each petition must be independently assessed to ensure all requirements are met.
USCIS will begin accepting H-1B registrations for the fiscal year 2023 on March 1, 2022.
Do You Need An Attorney to Sponsor an H-1B Visa Employee?
USCIS does not require an H-1B visa application to be submitted by an attorney. You don’t need a business immigration attorney to sponsor an H-1B visa employee. However, the H-1B visa process is highly competitive, with frequently changing policies, requirements, deadlines and conditions. Hiring a business immigration attorney with experience in the H-1B visa process can save you time, money and stress so that your candidate has the best possible chance for success.
√ Thousands of businesses are attempting to hire H-1B workers, but USCIS is limited by law to approving only 65,000 and an additional 20,000 for H-1B advance degree exemptions (i.e., “Master Cap”).
√ With that in mind, mistakes and omissions in the sponsorship process could cost you time, money, and the ability to hire a crucial employee when you need them most.
√ Working with an experienced business immigration attorney can help you streamline the process, overcome immigration hurdles, and hire your new employee as quickly as possible.
Contact an H-1B Visa Business Immigration Lawyer Today
Are you considering using a foreign temporary specialty worker visa for a position within your company? Working with an immigration lawyer can help your business present a compelling case for H-1B approval to USCIS while avoiding unnecessary hurdles and delays.
Our immigration attorneys will help you:
- Determine if your position meets H-1B requirements
- Ensure accurate completion of your H-1B petition
- Compile the necessary documents
- Manage the application process from start to finish
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