Chicago H1B Immigration Lawyer
The 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. An H-1B work visa allows foreign nationals who are offered a position from a U.S. employer to work for a limited number of years.
The term “Specialty Occupation” is defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act as an occupation that requires a “theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge; and… attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or its equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States.”
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.
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.
H-1B Selection Process
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, the 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 did not get selected by the lottery, their full H1B petitions will be returned to them.
Since 2020, the government (USCIS) has implemented a new H-1B registration process that has significantly altered the previous H-1B selection process.
Under this new H1b registration process, U.S. employers are not required to file a full H-1B petition to the USCIS. To start, they only have to submit a H-1B registration online with the USCIS within the registration period.
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.
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.
Examples of H1b Jobs in United States
- Business Managers
- Computer Scientists
- Computer Systems Analysts
- Mechanical Engineers
- Software Developers & Software Engineers
- Social Workers
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.
Hire an experienced Chicago H1B IMMIGRATION LAWYER
With over 30 years of collective experience, our Chicago immigration lawyers have successfully represented over hundreds of employers/professionals to gain their H-1B visas. Although the USCIS only accepts new H1B visa in 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.