An H1B work visa allows U.S. employers to hire foreign workers in certain professional occupations that require specialized knowledge for a defined period of time.
The H-1B work visa is a non-immigrant visa available for the employment of a foreign national in a specialty position
To employ a non-U.S. citizen in this capacity, the employer must obtain a labor certification from the Department of Labor and apply to USCIS to sponsor the specialty non-immigrant employee. An H-1B work visa is good for three years and can be extended for an additional three years.
Having the assistance of an immigration lawyer takes the stress out of this complex process and can improve the chances that the visa will be approved. Buhler Thomas Law, P.C. serves H-1B work visa clients in Salt Lake City, Provo, and Orem, Utah as well as national and international clients from our main office in Provo.
What Is the H-1B Visa?
The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa authorized under the Immigration and Nationality Act. It allows employers in the U.S. to temporarily employ graduate-level foreign professionals in specialty occupations for up to six years. The H-1B visa allows immigrants to legally work and live in the U.S. during that six-year period.
Specialty occupations that are eligible for an H-1B visa include those that require technical or theoretical know-how in certain fields, such as engineering, IT, finance, accounting, science, medicine, architecture, science, and mathematics.
Applying for an H-1B is generally quicker and easier than applying for a green card, but the process still requires expertise and substantial evidence to prove that the position is a specialty occupation and that the foreign national applicant is qualified. Buhler Thomas Law, P.C. understands H-1B visas and can help you through the regulatory minefield in pursuing the H-1B visa.
Who Is Eligible for an H-1B Visa?
The Immigration and Nationality Act loosely defines a specialty occupation as a position that can only be performed by someone with an advanced degree (bachelor’s degree or higher) or equivalent experience. If the position does not meet that standard it is not eligible for an H-1B visa.
In addition, as an initial step in the H-1B process, an employer looking to hire a prospective foreign employee must obtain a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor, certifying that hiring a non-citizen for the position in question will not have any adverse effect on the local job market and the wage offered is within the prevailing rates in the area.
Contact an Experienced H-1B Visa Lawyer
Obtaining an H-1B poses a unique challenge in that only a limited number (current annual quote is 85,000 visas) are available each year. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reports regularly receiving twice as many applications as there are available visas within the first week of the application period. Universities and non-profit organizations, however, are not subject to restriction by the annual quota of H-1B work visas. Organizations of this type are exempt from the annual quota and can submit an application at any time.
To ensure that you have the best chance of having your application approved, it is critical to complete the application process correctly and submit all required documentation. Any errors in your application will significantly diminish your chance of approval.
The Utah immigration attorney of Buhler Thomas Law, P.C. has extensive experience in the H-1B visa application process. We handle every aspect of the process for you, helping improve your chance for approval.
To learn more or to schedule a consultation to discuss H-1B work visas, contact our Provo, Utah office today.