H-1B Specialty Occupation Visa

Immigration Law
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Immigration Law

H-1B Specialty Occupation Visa

H-1B visas are for foreigners who hold at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent who are going to work in a “specialty occupation” in the U.S., commonly defined as a job that requires at least a bachelor’s degree to perform. The worker’s education and the job must be closely related.

Employers must pay all legal and government filing fees associated with H-1B petitions, and they must guarantee the worker the minimum prevailing wage calculated for the industry and geographic area. Employers must also pay return travel costs if they terminate employment of an H-1B worker.

H-1B applications are accepted each year starting at the beginning of April. Only 65,000 H-1B visas are authorized each year, with an additional 20,000 authorized for master’s degree graduates from U.S. institutions. In most recent years, this cap has been fully reached and even exceeded during the first week of April. When the cap is exceeded, USCIS conducts a random lottery of all H-1B petitions and returns all petitions not selected. It is essential to submit H-1B petitions during the first week of April to guarantee they will be considered in the lottery.

An initial H-1B visa is granted for a maximum period of 3 years, with the possibility to be extended for an additional 3 years, allowing a maximum H-1B stay of 6 years. Only time spent in the United States counts toward this time period, allowing workers to extend their stay further based on the amount of time they spent outside the U.S. over the 6 years in H-1B status. There are certain circumstances that allow further extension as well.

MT Law’s attorneys have extensive experience with H-1B programs, advising workers and companies of all sizes throughout the process. MT Law also offers full service H-1B programming for growing companies, ensuring that employers have the tools they need to maintain compliance without interruption to their workforces.

If you are a company who wishes to sponsor workers for H-1B visas, please schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today.
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