H-1B Specialty Occupations Visa

Chicago H1B Visa Immigration Lawyer

H1B Visa Lawyer Chicago

Congratulations to all FY2023 H-1B lottery Winners! As USCIS announced on March 29 that the H-1B initial registration selection process for FY2023 was completed. For those whose H1B petitions have been selected, you have 90 days to file your full H1B petition to the government. For assistance, please call 773-687-0549 or contact Cipolla Law Group for a H1B consultation. We have excellent approval and accept H1B cap subject applications between now and June 2022. For other non-cap H1B petitions or employment immigration options, contact us today and schedule a strategic consultation.

H1B Visa for Foreign Workers

H-1B visa is one of the most popular employment-based visas for individuals who wish to obtain a temporary visa to work in the United States. It allows foreign nationals who are offered a position from a U.S. employer to work in the country on a temporarily basis. If you are a college graduate/professional worker, HR manager or business owner and want to know the H1B process and it’s eligibility requirements, feel free to contact Cipolla Law Group for a consultation.

Cap-subject H-1B Online Application Process


  • Eligibility Evaluation
    We will analyzing the job position, beneficiary’s credent, SOC and prevailing wage.
  • Based on our evaluation, if beneficiary is eligible for a H1B visa, you will be eligible for STEP 2 below.


  • H-1B Online Registration
  • When does that begin? It varies each year. In 2022, it began on March 1.
  • Our Services: Our attorneys will analyze the job duties, SOC code, prevailing wage, and beneficiary cap gap issues as well as filing the online registration. .
  • Government registration fee. $10 government filing fee that employer will pay directly to USCIS.
See approved cases


  • File H1B petition on behalf of employer and H1B beneficiary.
    If USCIS (also known as United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) receives more than the capped limit number of H1B applications, they will run a lottery to decide who will be accepted for adjudication. If your H1B is selected in the H-1B lottery, our attorneys will file the H1B petition on your behalf, based on the information we submitted for the online registration.
  • COST? The H-1B employer will be responsible for our normal H-1B attorney fee and expenses such as overnight FedEx. The H1B employer will also be responsible for the H-1B government filing fees. Please see below:
Case TypeGovernment Filing FeesTotal Filing Fees Amount
H-1B Visa
(For employer that has 25 or less employees)
– I-129H petition: $460
– U.S. Worker Training Fee: $750
Fraud Prevention & Detection Fee: $500.00 
Premium Processing (Optional): $2,500
$1,710 or $4,210 with Premium Processing.
H-1B Visa
(For employer that has 25 or more employees)
– I-129H petition: $460
– U.S. Worker Training Fee: $1,500
– Fraud Prevention & Detection Fee: $500
Premium Processing (Optional): $2,500
$2,460 or $4,960 with Premium Processing.
The above information is for reference only. USCIS may update their government filing fees.

H-1B Selection Process

The H1B registration process and petition submission process for FY2023 can be summarized into two stages as follows:

H1B application process

Stage 1: Registration

Stage 2: Filing

Under Stage 1, employers seeking cap-subject H-1B workers must first register with USCIS within the registration period through an online system that will require only basic information about the employers and the foreign workers and pay a non-refundable $10 registration fee for each electronic registration. After the registration closes, USCIS will run the H-1B random selection process on those electronic registrations and will then announce the lottery result.

See approved cases

Under Stage 2, only those with selected registrations will be eligible to file a complete H-1B cap-subject petitions. USCIS will not consider an H-1B cap-subject petition to be properly filed unless it is based on a valid registration selection for the applicable fiscal year. The filing period should be of at least 90 days.

After the H-1B registration period closes, USCIS will run the H-1B lottery process on those electronic registrations. USCIS will then announce the lottery result and only those with selected registrations will be eligible to file H-1B cap-subject petitions. enter the H-1B lottery.

Historically, the first date of H-1B filing each year was April 1st or the next business day if April 1st falls on the weekend or holiday. Due to the limited H1B cap, there was almost always more H-1B filings than the annual H1B cap. To decide which H1b filings make the deadline, USCIS would accept all the timely filed H1B petitions and run a lottery system. Whoever gets selected in the lottery will be accepted by the USCIS for subsequent adjudication. For those that do not get selected by the lottery, their full H1B petitions will be returned to H1B employers.

However, in 2020, USCIS has announced a new H-1B registration system where employers must electronically register the intended H-1B beneficiaries in March.  The registrations will then be subject to a random lottery selection process.  USCIS will then announce the results of the lottery and the registrant selected in the lottery will be given notification to submit the H-1B petition within a period of at least 90 days.  Other registrations may be waitlisted, while other registrations may be informed of not being selected in the H-1B lottery.


Excellent Approval and Clients’ Reviews

We strive to become the best H1B Immigration Lawyers in Chicago and beyond. We have excellent approval rate and low RFE (request for evidence after initial H1B submission). Check out some of our approved H-1B cases here and positive reviews from our past H1B clients.

What are the H-1B Visa Requirements?

Generally, to be eligible for an H1B visa, the following criteria should be met:

  • Employment offer from a U.S. entity to a foreign national;
  • The H1B job position requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge that could only be attained by a specific course of study;
  • The foreign national possesses a U.S. Bachelor’s degree or higher, or work experience that is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree directly related to the offered position;
  • Employer/H-1B sponsor will pay the foreign national the higher of the prevailing wage or actual wage.

H1B Visa Qualifications

To qualify for the H1B visa petition, the H1b employee must fulfill one of the following qualification requirements:

  • have either an U.S. degree or a foreign degree that is equivalent to a U.S. degree, or
  • have experience in the specialty equivalent to the completion of such degree; and
  • the actual H-1B position requires credentials that prospective employee possesses. For example: An accounting firm is hiring/ sponsoring a H-1B employee who has an Accounting degree to work as an Accountant and such position requires someone with an accounting degree.

Evaluation of Foreign Degrees for H-1B Employee

If an H-1B employee has a non-U.S./foreign degree, an educational evaluation by experts is required to establish that a foreign degree is equivalent to a U.S. degree or higher in a specialty.

See approved cases

What jobs fall under H-1B visa?

The nature of the H-1B position determines whether it is a specialty occupation.  The requirement that an H-1B position be in a specialty occupation can be met easily in some cases because the position involved already been held by the United States Immigration and Citizen Services (USCIS) to be in a profession such as engineers, scientists, PhD researchers etc.  However, there are gray areas around some of these so called “H1B specialty positions” because to be classified as a “H-1B specialty occupation”, the job position/ job title itself must require the H1B worker to perform duties that relevant to the related H-1B job position.  In essence, the H-1B job duties must match the H-1B position and such position must be one that is considered “H-1B specialty occupation”.

Thus, an example of a “teaching” positions in some daycare settings may not be considered specialty occupation even though “Teachers” are generally considered a specialty occupation as they require at least a bachelor degree as a minimum entry level requirement.  However, since the setting of such teaching positions are in a daycare facility as opposed to a traditional school environment and the duties involved are more of a care taker than a teacher, though the position itself sounds “professional” but because the skills involved in that particular position are not commensurate with professional standing, it will not be categorized as a H-1B specialty occupation.

Positions not in H-1B specialty occupations

When a position is not one of the specialty occupations commonly recognized by the USCIS, it is necessary to demonstrate that the proposed position is in a specialty occupation.  In construing specialty occupation for H-1B purposes, it is helpful if the following criteria can be proven:

  1. the entry-level for the position requires at least a bachelor’s degree or higher degree;
  2. the employer’s prior practice and the “industry norm” for same positions actually require a degree;
  3. the position did not require professional skills but has developed over time to the point that it is now profession;
  4. the position is so complex or unique that it requires the services of a profession.
See approved cases

Examples of H1b Jobs in United States

  • Accountants
  • Architects
  • Biologists
  • Business Managers
  • Chemists
  • Computer Scientists
  • Computer Systems Analysts
  • Dentists
  • Lawyers
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Physicians
  • Software Developers & Software Engineers
  • Social Workers

What does “Specialty Occupation” mean?

One of the major H-1B visa requirements is that the offered H-1B job is within a H-1B specialty occupation.  Not all jobs are qualified for a H-1B  that is specialty occupation and it is important to establish that the “job offer” in question is considered a “H-1B specialty occupation” as defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act. The term “specialty occupation” is similar to the definition of “professional” but further requires:

  1. the attainment of at least a bachelor’s degree, or
  2. years of employment experience that are determined to be the equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.
  3. the degree requirement for the offered job is common to the industry or the job is so complex that it requires individual with at least a degree to fulfill such position.

H-1B Visa Cap

Obtaining an H-1B Visa can be a competitive process. Congress only makes an annual fiscal year limitation (H-1B cap) of 65,000 visas available for applicants that possess a Bachelor’s Degree, and an additional 20,000 Visas for those who have a U.S. Masters or higher Degree.

See approved cases

H-1B Visa Cap Exemption

Not all H-1B petitions are subject to the H-1B cap. As noted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), these cap-exempt categories may be filed at any time during the fiscal year and they commonly include:

  •  Institutions of higher education;
  • Related or affiliated not-for-profit entities;
  • Not-for-profit research organizations or governmental research organizations.

Validity of H-1B Visa

H-1B visa is generally valid for up to 3 years and may be renewed for another 3 years. The maximum number of years an individual may remain with this status is six years.  Time spent outside the U.S. may be recaptured.


With over 30 years of collective experience, our Chicago immigration lawyers have successfully helped over hundreds of employers/professionals to gain their H-1B visas. Our Principal Attorney Gerald Cipolla is an experienced immigration lawyer with strong business background.  He is a member of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), as well as a former law professor at the City Colleges of Chicago, an Immigration Advisor for ChristianityToday.com Church Law & Tax and was nominated as one of the top 10 immigration lawyers in the US. We have great experience handling all employment related immigration matters. Although the USCIS only accepts new H1B visa in March/April each year, but we routinely work on H1B visas throughout the year, including H-1B renewals, H-1B transfer and non cap-subject H1B visas. To learn more about H-1B visa, please call 773-687-0549 or contact us online.

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