H1B Lawyer Houston Immigration
The United States continues to be the safest country in the world in which families can live and seek employment. However, coming to the United States as an employee or business owner isn’t easy and requires the applicant to meet many different regulations. Professional workers with at least a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent work experience) may be eligible for an H-1B visa. Choosing the right H1B lawyer is critical to your success with your H-1B visa application.
What are the Benefits of an H-1B Visa?
- H1B visas are valid for an initial period of 3 years and can be renewed for an additional 3 years, with a maximum of 6 years, unless the employer and employee have taken specific steps towards U.S. permanent residency that can allow for extensions beyond the 6-year limit
- The spouse and children under 21 can accompany the H1B holder and may study in the U.S.
- Once you obtain H1B visa status, you may be able to switch employers and not be subject to the numerical limitation.
- H1B visa is part of a group of visas that allow for ‘dual intent’. In other words, you can enter on a temporary basis with the visa and at the same time have the same employer or a different one apply for a Green Card on your behalf.
- The employer may proceed with filing for US permanent residency for the H1B holder, first by following the procedures for Labor Certification through the PERM process, then through the I-140 procedures.
To get a better understanding of these benefits, it is recommended to speak with an H1B Lawyer.
How to Qualify for an H-1B Visa?
- The U.S. employer must establish a need for someone in a “specialty occupation,” and if the employer wishes to hire a foreign national, the U.S. employer must be willing to sponsor the foreign national through the H1B process.
- A “specialty occupation” is one which requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge. Common professions that meet this requirement are architects, engineers, lawyers, physicians, accountants, teachers, many business occupations and many other professions.
- The foreign national must demonstrate that he/she possesses the required degree in that particular occupation or closely related to that occupation, or its equivalent. If the foreign national does not possess a college/university degree, then work experience can be considered.
- In order to qualify, the applicant must also be selected in the H-1B lottery system. Currently, there is a cap of 85,000 H-1B Cap-Subject Visas per year with 20,000 of those set aside for applicants with US advanced degrees.
If you are unsure whether or not you qualify, speak with an experienced H1B Lawyer.
How do I apply for an H-1B Visa?
USCIS fundamentally changed the lottery system that had been in place for well over a decade. Instead of an initial filing of a complete Petition during the first week of April, the new system provides for an initial registration system beginning on March 1 and lasting through March 20. During this 20-day period, an employer must submit preliminary registration for each foreign worker for whom they seek to file an H-1B cap-subject petition. If selected in the lottery, the following steps would then be completed:
- With the assistance of an H1B lawyer, the U.S. employer will file form ETA 9035, Labor Condition Attestation (“LCA”) with the U.S. Department of Labor
- Once the LCA is approved, the U.S. employer must then file form I-129 and H Supplement with USCIS
What are the H1B Visa Requirements?
- To qualify for the H-1B visa, first, the employer must be a valid, operating U.S. entity. Second, there must be a valid employer-employee relationship. A valid employer-employee relationship is one in which the employer may hire, pay, fire, supervise, or otherwise control the work of the employee. The employee must be an employee on the company’s payroll (W-2 employee), and cannot be an independent contractor (Misc 1099 payments).
- A specialty occupation is one that requires at least a 4-year bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and the degree must be related to the occupation. The position must meet one of the following four criteria to qualify:
- A U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent is normally the minimum application requirement for entry into the position;
- The duties of the position offered must be so complex or unique that only an individual with a bachelor’s or higher degree can perform the duties;
- The employer must typically require a degree for the position; or,
- The duties of the job are so specialized and complex that the attainment of a U.S. bachelor’s degree or higher is required to perform the duties.
H-1B Beneficiary Requirements:
The H-1B visa beneficiary (H-1B worker) must meet one of the following four criteria to be eligible:
- Hold a U.S. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited US institution in the field related to the offered position;
- Have a foreign degree that is equivalent to a U.S. bachelor or higher degree in the specialty occupation. Obtain a U.S. Bachelor’s degree equivalence related to the field of employment from an evaluation service.
- Hold a registration, certification, or unrestricted state license authorizing the full practice of the specialty occupation;
- Possess expertise in the specialty occupation through related positions and have training, education, and/or experience in that specialty. Experience in the chosen field of specialty can be considered equivalent to a college education. Every 3 years of industry experience equates to 1 year of college or university.
The H-1B2 Visa is for researchers and development project workers for the DOD (Department of Defense) cooperative research and development or coproduction project under a government-to-government agreement administered by the U.S. Department of Defense.
The H-1B3 if for Fashion Models who have distinguished merit and ability coming to work or provide services that require a fashion model of prominence.
If you are unsure whether or not you qualify under these requirements, speak with an experienced H1B lawyer.
How can an experienced H1B Lawyer help you?
The H-1B Visa application process is complex. With the new regulations implemented by the U.S. government, the H-1B season will move faster than ever before. However, the initial submission also is far more streamlined and may well allow more employers to submit more potential H-1B employees into the lottery. Accordingly, it is recommended that you move as quickly as possible to speak with an H1B lawyer to determine how to best proceed. Salinas Law Firm H1B lawyer serves employers all over the country with their employment-related needs.
For assistance with the H-1B Visa, contact an experienced H1B Lawyer Houston office at 713-518-1711 or submit an online inquiry. We also offer online or phone consultations with potential clients who are unable to meet in our office.