The idea of living and enjoying life in one of the most developed countries attracts many hearts. Building a career in the US has been on the list of many individuals across the World. Some start by getting higher education in the States while some start with Jobs. Whichever path they choose, Visa is equally important.
With multiple options available, H-1B is the most popular and hence in demand. It provides temporary work visas to over-sea employees and provides both employee and employer many benefits.
Benefits of the H-1B Visa
Not only does H-1B secure your stay in the USA, but it also allows you to find a sponsor for permanent residence i.e. Green card, which in turn makes you eligible for US citizenship by the process of naturalization.
Rights of H-1B holders – Can have a bank account, Driver’s license, social security number, can own property. The holder can invite immediate family members to live with them on a dependent visa facility.
Although H-1B is very popular, the selection depends on the Lottery system and has a fixed number that gets picked up. Annually 85000 names are picked, 65000 H-1B visas under regular quota, and 20,000 H-1B visas under the master’s quota.
H-1B cannot be filed by an individual. The employer for whom you work or will work has to file a petition on your behalf and sponsor it as well. Hence, you need to have a job or secure a job for a visa application.
Once the name is picked up, the employer needs to file a petition, and this is a crucial step. Newer changes are incorporated timely and one needs to stay updated.
As opposed to the earlier method of sending documents and fees to USCIS by post, now employers must register online. Post-registration, if picked up in the lottery, the employer needs to file I-129. For I-129, the employer needs to have approved LCA i.e. Labor Condition Application which specifies the wages that the company will pay the employee.
Employers need to clearly establish the employee-employer relationship. If USCIS is not convinced, the adjudicating officer can issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) asking for proof of work order, a letter from the end client mentioning detailed job description and the requirements for the position, etc.
Validity of H-1B Visa
Once granted, H-1B visa holders can stay for 3 years in the US. He/she can extend it for the next 3 years, application for which should be filed 6 months prior to expiry. The maximum validity period of H-1B is 6 years.
H-1B visa holders get a grace period of 60 days after the expiration of their visa or discontinuation of their employment. During this grace period, employees need to find a new sponsor or return to their home country.
While in the USA, one can switch jobs, but the new employer should file a petition, the older petition will be invalid.
Tips for Filing an H-1B Petition
Cap-exempt category if your employer falls under the cap-exempt category, you need not worry about the annual quota of 85,000 or the visa application timeline. Higher education organizations (or related non-profit entities), non-profit research organizations, and government research organizations fall under the cap-exempt category.
An employer cannot submit multiple registration forms for one candidate. But a single candidate can have multiple employers submitting for him/her separately. Such multiple registrations increase the chances of getting picked in the lottery. Even if you are selected via more than one registration, multiple sponsors can file a petition for you.
If the job is related to your education, chances of approval naturally hike. If a degree is not related, sufficient experience should prove the expertise and knowledge of a candidate.
- Keep these documents handy
- The contract
- The work order
- The employment agreement with the employer
- Copy of the signed employee handbook showing employee benefits.
- Experience letters
As an individual, you can take all the effort, but the real responsibility is on the employer. Let us take your responsibility, let us find you a job, and help you in securing H-1B. To get in touch with us,