H1-B visas are highly sought after because they allow U.S. employers to hire foreign workers for specialty jobs that require a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent. The United States has suffered from skills shortages in specialized areas for decades. These shortages in sectors such as IT, education, and engineering have become more acute since the pandemic.
The H1-B visa application process is competitive. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services received over 308,600 registrations from employers In FY2022 and initially selected 87,500 applicants.
Our business immigration lawyers work with companies in Virginia, and further afield, on their H1-B applications. Many companies make basic mistakes that can harm their chances or fail to promote candidates effectively to USCIS.
To be eligible for an H1-B visa candidates must have a job offer from a U.S. employer that requires specialized knowledge. The candidate must provide proof of a bachelor’s degree or an equivalent in the relevant field.
The most tricky part of the process is often the requirement of the employer to show a lack of qualified U.S. candidates in the relevant area. The employer should also show the worker will be paid a similar wage to others in similar industries in the same geographical area.
The USCIS randomly selects registrants to submit their complete H-1B visa petition using a lottery system, and, although obvious, you must register with USCIS first to apply for the lottery.
Candidates who hold master’s degrees benefit from an additional 20,000 H1-B visas. Organizations including government research bodies, non-profits, and institutes of higher education are exempt from the cap.
To recruit a specialized H1-B applicant from overseas, an employer must make a Labor Condition Application (LCA) with the Department of Labor, as well as filing a petition with USCIS, and submit Form I-129.
If you are working within the United States on a different visa, you must wait until you receive your H1-B visa before your start your specialty job. If you are overseas, you must apply for consular processing at the nearest consulate or embassy.
Employees who secure an H-1B visa can stay for three years in the United States. Further three-year extensions are available. H1-B visa holders can also qualify for green cards in the United States.
The immigration attorneys at Gardner & Mendoza can assist you with your company’s support letter and make sure to evaluate his or her educational credentials. Call us at (757) 464-9224.
Back to All Forms & Visa Explanations >