Margaret W. Wong & Associates - Immigration Lawyers
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H-1B Visa: Temporary Workers

H-1B Overview

H-1B visas allow non-citizens with highly specialized knowledge and skills to work inside the United States at a job that requires those specialized skills. Our law firm has successfully filed thousands of H-1B visas for clients either present in the United States or living in other countries. Both our staff and clientele continue to grow. We have a team of full-time professionals working on H-1B visas. We have successfully filed for many H-1B visas for high-tech companies and the health-care industry, including hospitals.

By law, the United States allows up to 65,000 foreign nationals to enter the United States on an H-1B visa during each fiscal year. These slots can fill up very quickly; in 2006 the H-1B visa cap was reached just two months after USCIS began accepting applications. Speed and timing is critical when applying for H-1B visas.

Who is eligible to apply for an H-1B Visa?

Persons wishing to apply for an H-1B visa must have a job offer in a position regarded as "Specialty Occupation." A specialty occupation is one that requires application of specialized knowledge and the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in that specific specialty. The applicant must, of course, posses the required education for the position.

If you do not hold a university degree but have been offered a job which normally requires a bachelor’s degree, you may still be able to apply for an H-1B visa. You will need to show proof of expertise in the field, which can be done in a variety of different ways, such as showing years of progressively more responsible work experience or certification from nationally recognized professional associations. Contact our office today to discuss all of your options.

How do I apply for an H-1B Visa?

You must have a job offer. You do not necessarily have to be present in the United States to apply for the visa. However, both you and your employer will be involved in the process. Our office can manage the process, handling matters for both the employer and prospective employee.

There are two steps involved:

Labor Condition Application

First, the employer files a Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor. The primary purpose of this initial step is for the Department to ensure protection of the US workforce. The employer must provide the prospective employee with a copy of the Labor Condition Application.

We can assist the employer with this requirement if an LCA for this position has not already been filed and approved. This step takes approximately one to three weeks depending upon the location of the job.

Filing of the H-1B Visa

Once the Labor Certification Application has been signed by the Department of Labor, the H-1B visa may be applied for with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The H-1B visa allows one to work only on the job and for the employer for which it was petitioned. You may also apply for a Social Security Number. The H-1B visa can be valid for up to an initial period of 3 years. You may apply for an extension totaling another 3 years.

We are available to assist the employer and the beneficiary in preparing the entire application and package once the job offer is made and accepted.

Contact Us

Our lawyers have more than 60 years of combined experience assisting individuals and businesses with complex immigration issues. Contact our attorneys or call (216) 239-0055 for assistance.