[04.07.12, ASIAN J, BY MW]
The H-1B visa category opened again recently. As usual, we are seeing much interest by individuals and employers seeking obtain the H-1B nonimmigrant visa. In the last two years, the H1-B visa quota did not reach until much later in the year. However, prior to that, the H-1B cap has been reached within days of its opening. There is no indication that the H-1B visa will remain opened for as long as it did in the past two years. If you haven't done so already, it is time to start the H-1B visa petition.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa for those who are coming temporarily to the United States to perform services in a specialty occupation that require theoretical or technical expertise in a specialized field and a bachelor's degree or its equivalent. The current annual cap on the H-1B category is 65,000. Not all H-1B non-immigrants are subject to this annual cap. Please note that up to 6,800 visas may be set aside from the cap of 65,000 during each fiscal year for the H-1B1 program under the terms of the legislation implementing the U.S.-Chile and U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreements. In addition, The H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004 makes available 20,000 new H-1B visas for foreign workers with a Master's or higher level degree from a U.S. academic institution.
H-1B temporary work visa are special and coveted because the initial approvals are valid for three years, and renewable for another three thereafter. If the worker has a pending employment based immigration petition or labor certification at the end of the six-year term limit, he/she may be eligible for further extensions of one-year increments under the regulations of AC-21. The H-1B visa is ideal for professionals interested in working in the U.S. and perhaps seeking opportunity to obtain permanent residency through employment.
The H-1B petition is centered on the employer. The employer must sign off on the Labor Condition Application and USCIS petition. They also must provide documents regarding their business. Most of the time, employers are willing to file a petition for an H-1B worker but does not want to be too involved in the process. We recommend that the employers remain involved throughout the process. After all, the employer is responsible for all the information attested in the petition and Labor Condition Application.
Often times, immigration lawyers are hired by the H-1B employer or worker. However, this does not change the fact that the H-1B petition belongs to the employer. Employers need to be involved throughout the process. However, the right attorneys can make the process easy and stress free for the employers.
At Wilner & O'Reilly, we make sure that the employer is a part of every step in the H-1B process. We prepare and explain every part of the process to the employer. We make sure the Employer is aware of their responsibilities and decisions they must make along the way. We simplify the process and educate the employers and employees on what they will be responsible for during the H-1B application process.
We invite employers to contact us should they be interested in petitioning for prospective employees. For employees, we ask that you come to the consultation with your employer so all parties will be educated and fully aware of the process. Consultations are free. The time is now. Start your H-1B case today.