H-1B Visa Attorney in Chicago
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Through the H-1B visa, employers can hire qualified workers from out of the country on a temporary basis for specialty occupations. There is a cap of 65,000 H-1B visas every fiscal year; those with a U.S. master’s degree or higher have an additional 20,000 petitions. Attorney Panteva of Panteva Law Group, LLC can help you apply for an H-1B visa or seek an H-1B on behalf of a prospective employee.
What Is the H-1B Visa Process?
Essentially, the process for obtaining an H-1B visa begins with a U.S. employer sponsoring an applicant and petitioning the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
If the USCIS approves the H-1B petition, the foreign worker can either update their status if they are already in the United States or go to their nearest U.S. embassy to receive the H-1B. The visa is granted for three years initially with an option to extend it for another three years.
What Are the Requirements for the H-1B Visa?
For the USCIS to approve H-1B visa petitions, certain criteria must be met. It is also important that all forms and evidence are submitted correctly. One minor mistake could set back the whole process.
To be eligible for an H-1B, you must:
- Be pursuing a specialty occupation
- Have at least a bachelor’s degree or equivalent in an area related to the job
How Many H-1B Visas are Available Each Year?
The number of H-1B visas available each year is capped. As of September 2021, the regular cap is set at 65,000 visas per fiscal year. Additionally, there is an extra allocation of 20,000 visas for individuals with a master's degree or higher from a U.S. institution, known as the H-1B Master's Cap. This makes a total of 85,000 H-1B visas available annually.
Certain exemptions from the cap exist, such as petitions from nonprofit research organizations, higher education institutions, and government research organizations. To stay updated on H-1B visa caps and potential changes, it's recommended to consult an immigration attorney or refer to the official website of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
What is the Duration of an H-1B Visa?
The default duration of an H-1B visa is three years, with the possibility of a three-year extension, totaling a maximum stay of six years. However, certain exceptions exist. H-1B visa holders in the process of obtaining a green card may be eligible for extensions beyond the six-year limit in one-year increments.
Individuals in the employment-based green card process may also qualify for a one-time extension if specific milestones have been achieved. Consulting an H-1B visa attorney or referring to the official USCIS website is recommended for the latest and most accurate information on H-1B visa duration and potential extensions.
What is Prevailing Wage?
The prevailing wage requirements for H-1B visa holders ensure that employers pay a minimum wage that prevents underpayment and protects the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. The prevailing wage is determined based on factors like job location, occupation, and required experience or education.
To comply, employers must obtain a prevailing wage determination (PWD) from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) before filing an H-1B petition. The PWD specifies the minimum wage for the H-1B employee.
Employers must pay the H-1B worker either the prevailing wage or the actual wage for similar positions, whichever is higher. This guarantees that H-1B workers receive fair compensation comparable to their U.S. counterparts.
Adhering to the prevailing wage requirements is crucial for employers and H-1B visa holders to comply with U.S. immigration laws. Consulting an H-1B visa attorney near you and the official website of the U.S. Department of Labor can provide accurate and up-to-date information on prevailing wage requirements for H-1B visa holders.
Call Panteva Law Group, LLC for Experienced H-1B Visa Guidance Nationwide
If you are a business, educational institution, hospital, or other professional entity looking to hire a foreign worker, Panteva Law Group, LLC is here to help.
While we uphold traditional values in our everyday interactions, we are innovative and modern in how we apply the law to your case. No matter how complex your situation may seem, our Chicago H-1B visa lawyer can provide you with an honest assessment of your options and work with you to find a favorable solution.