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H-1B Visa

Employment Work Visa Lawyer Serving Clients Across the Country

The H-1B Visa has become a mythical visa category over the years. It’s the visa everybody wants, and thus it is the visa that receives the most attention. The laws regarding the H-1B Visa constantly change; interested candidates should stay informed about the frequent updates to the law.

The H-1B Visa is a temporary (nonimmigrant) category under U.S. immigration law. It allows foreign workers in “specialty occupations” to enter the U.S. and work in various fields, including Architecture, Engineering, Modeling, Medicine, and Health. This visa is sometimes used to hire workers for the Department of Defense. The H-1B Visa offers many employment possibilities and is a substantial first step toward permanent immigration.

At Dana Michael Ritter, we can assist in navigating the complex H-1B visa application process. Our firm can help determine eligibility, gather required documentation, prepare the necessary forms, and ensure compliance with all legal requirements. We can also provide guidance on the best strategies for obtaining an H-1B visa. 

Because we focus a large portion of our practice on Employment Immigration law, we remain at the forefront of this complex legal field in serving clients across the U.S., from individuals to major corporations. 

The H-1B Visa

To qualify for an H-1B visa, applicants must have a job offer from a U.S. employer for a position requiring specialized knowledge and a minimum of a bachelor's degree or a license in fields that require licensing, such as teaching or pharmacy. The visa is not self-petitioned, so you need an employer to sponsor you. Your sponsor’s petition should include supporting documents such as a Labor Condition Application (LCA) and evidence of your qualifications.

The visa is issued in three-year increments. You can stay in the U.S. for up to six years, after which you must leave the U.S. for at least one year before being eligible again. 

Your spouse and unmarried children under 21 may join you in the U.S. under H-4 status. However, they are only permitted to work if they qualify for a work visa.

The Cap on the H-1B Program

The H-1B visa program has an annual numerical limit known as the "cap." The regular cap is set at 65,000 visas per fiscal year, with an additional 20,000 visas available for individuals who have earned a master's degree or higher from a U.S. institution.

The H-1B1 Visa

The H-1B1 visa is similar to the H-1B and is for persons in “specialty occupations.” The U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement and the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement created this new category.

To qualify for the H-1B1 classification, you must have theoretical and practical application of specialized knowledge. You must have at least a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, and the job sought must require at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. Because this is not a self-petitioning category, you must have a sponsoring employer in the U.S.

Your spouse and unmarried children below the age of 21 are allowed to accompany you as H-4 dependents. However, they can only work if they qualify for a work visa. H-4 dependents, however, can enroll and attend schools in the U.S. without obtaining a student visa.

Application Steps for the H-1B1 Visa

Because the H-1B1 visa requires a U.S. sponsor, you must obtain a written offer of employment from a U.S. employer. Unlike the H-1B visa, the employer does not need to file an I-129 Petition with the USCIS in the U.S. However, like the H-1B, a prevailing wage must be obtained, and a Labor Condition Attestation (LCA) must be filed.

Required Documents for the H-1B1 Visa

Both you and your employer are required to submit documents for the H-1B1 visa. 

As the applicant, you are required to submit the following documents when applying::

  • A completed visa application (Form DS-156) with one recent photograph, 1-inch square (37mm x 37mm) of each applicant, with the entire face visible. The picture should be taken before a light background without a head covering.
  • The DS-157 Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application is required of all men aged 16-45.
  • A passport valid for travel to the U.S. for at least six months longer than your intended visit.
  • Proof of nonimmigrant intent.

The employer needs to provide the following:

  • Copy of the certified LCA.
  • A written offer of employment.

At Dana Michael Ritter, we can help you complete and submit all documents needed for the application process and ensure that your application package complies with all legal requirements. 

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