H-1B

H-1B is type of visa issued to non-immigrants which permits temporary employment in the United States.

The annual cap of H-1B visas issued is 85,000: 65,000 regular quota + 20,000 master's exemption.

Exempted from the quota: non-profit organizations and institutes of higher learning.

Who is eligible for an H-1B visa?

An employer can apply (petition) for an H-1B visa on behalf of a student if:

  • The student has the minimum of a bachelor’s degree.
  • The employer is registered with the E-Verify employment verification system.
  • The student will perform services in a specialty occupation that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge.
  • The employer can provide evidence of their ability to pay the prevailing wage.
  • The student's position of employment must be related to their degree.

 

Who is NOT eligible for an H-1B visa?

An employer CANNOT apply (petition) for an H-1B visa on behalf of a student if:

 

Application (Petition) Procedures

To apply for an H-1B visa, the student‘s employer must complete the following procedures:

  • Complete and submit Form ETA 9035 Labor Condition Application with the Department of Labor
  • Submit evidence of the student's educational background
  • Complete and submit Form G-28 (if obtaining legal representation)
  • Complete and submit Form I-129
    • Information can be found at: www.uscis.gov/I-129
    • Filing fee = $325 to "Department of Homeland Security"
  • American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (ACWIA)
    • Filing fee = $750 for employers with 1 to 25 full-time equivalent employees, unless exempt to "Department of Homeland Security"
    • Filing fee = $1,500 for employers with 26 or more full-time equivalent employees, unless exempt to "Department of Homeland Security"
  • Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee
    • Filing fee = $500 to "Department of Homeland Security"
  • Public Law 111-230
    • To be submitted by a petitioner that employs 50 or more employees in the U.S., if more than half of those employees are in H-1B or L-1 status
    • Filing fee = $2,000 to "Department of Homeland Security"
  • Request for Premium Processing Service: Form I-907
  • Submit supporting documentation
    • Form I-20 or Form DS-2019
    • Form I-94
    • Employer/attorney/representative letter
  • For more information on application procedures: http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/temporary-workers/h-1b-specialty-occupations-and-fashion-models/h-1b-fiscal-year-fy-2015-cap-season

Important Points to Remember

  • Employment is limited to the specific employer that petitioned for the student’s H-1B visa, but it is possible to have multiple concurrent H-1B petitioners.
  • An employer can file an H-1B petition 6 months before the requested employment start date.
    • The earliest an employer may file the petition is on/after the new fiscal year (April 1).
    • The earliest an employer may request a start date is on/after October 1.
  • The initial period of employment authorization is for up to 3 years with extensions in up to 3 year increments thereafter with a 6 year maximum.
  • H-1B visa holders may take classes as long as they are incidental (non-degree seeking) to their employment.
  • Both part-time and full-time employees are eligible to file a petition.
  • Paying for the premium processing fee to file a petition does not guarantee your petition will be approved.
  • The employer, not the employee, is responsible for paying for the fees associated with an H-1B petition.

 

**The Center for International Studies does not advise on H-1B visa petition procedures.  Students should seek professional legal advice for more information.**

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