It’s that time of year again. H-1B season is upon us. U.S. companies wishing to hire foreign national employees should be gathering supporting documents and retaining an immigration attorney to file the H-1B Petition on the April 1st opening.
The H-1B visa allows a U.S. employer to sponsor a foreign national to work on a temporary basis in the United States. The position to be filled by the employee must be one that is considered a “specialty occupation” by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The minimum education requirement is a degree equivalent to a 4 year U.S. bachelor’s degree. The employer must also pay the foreign national a fair wage, also known as the prevailing wage–as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor.
While the H-1B visa may seem like a fantastic and inexpensive way to bring over foreign labor, the government places a numerical cap on the number of petitions they adjudicate. For this reason–it’s important to establish a relationship with an immigration attorney to file a timely petition.
The numerical cap is set at 65,000 visas per fiscal year. The first 20,000 petitions submitted by candidates with a master’s degree (or higher) are exempt from the cap. This gives significant advantage to potential employees holding advance degrees above the bachelor level.
Once an employee obtains an H-1B visa they may begin working at their designated job. Visas may be renewed once expired–but may not be extended beyond six years. The acceptance for 2015 petitions begins on April 1, 2015. Should USCIS receive your petition after that date, there is virtually no chance of getting an approved visa.
To learn more about the H-1B Temporary Worker Visa and how General Counsel, P.C. can assist you, contact our office today.
Every Business Needs a General Counsel — Founded in 2004 by Merritt Green, General Counsel, P.C. represents businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and individuals throughout the DC Metropolitan Area and across the nation and globe. The firm has eight (8) practice areas to fully serve our clients: (1) Corporate/Business Law; (2) Government Contracts; (3) State/Federal Litigation/Dispute Resolution; (4) Employment Law; (5) Immigration; (6) Intellectual Property; (7) Franchising; and (8) Not for Profits.