Addressing Your H-1B Visa Concerns

If you are a foreign national wanting to come to work in the United States via H-1B visa, please be aware that there are several issues that must be dealt with. Failure to address these issues or comply with regulations can exponentially complicate your H-1B visa case whether you are an applicant or already in the United States on an H-1B visa. These concerns are outlined below:

H-1B Issues Lawyer

Portability:

If, once in the United States on an H-1B visa you wish to change employers you can. In order to do this your new employer can file a petition on behalf of you as a new employee. Once the new petition is filed, and you receive the I-797 notice, you may commence working for the new employer. A skilled Delaware immigration lawyer can help you with any portability issues.

Gaps In Employment:

When in the Unites States on an H-1B visa you can apply to change jobs. This is done via applying for a change of employment H-1B visa. Recent pay statements from previous employer may be needed to prove that you did maintain status. Legally, a worker on an H-1B visa is out of status immediately upon resignation or termination. There are no official grace periods but change of employment petitions are approved relatively quickly when filed within 2-4 weeks from last date of employment.

Cap Issues:

H-1B visas have a cap of 65,000 that are issued each year. An additional 20,000 were added in recent years as 'cap exempt' for graduates of United States master's degrees programs or higher such as doctorate degree programs. H-1B visas are released on 1st of October each year. They can be applied for up to six months from that date. The immigration attorneys at Hogan & Vandenberg, LLC, urge their clients file as early as possible.

Cap Exemptions:

The following situations or circumstances are considered to be cap exempt:

  • H-1B visa holders seeking to change employers
  • H-1B workers filing to work concurrently in a second H-1B position
  • H-1B workers filing to change the terms of their employment
  • H-1B workers who will be employed at an institution of higher education or a related or affiliated nonprofit entity, or at a nonprofit research organization or a governmental research organization
  • Conrad 30 J Waiver Recipients —Physicians working in medically underserved areas (MUA)
  • USCIS will also continue to process H-1B petitions for workers from Singapore and Chile consistent with Public Laws 108-77 and 108-78

Dual Intent:

An employee here on an H-1B visa can be the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition, apply for a change of status or take other steps toward lawful permanent resident status. Doing so does not impact their current H-1B visa status.

Seventh Year Extensions:

Someone approaching their six year limit may be eligible to extend past their sixth year provided they have a labor certification, or an I-40 pending for more than 365 days. Also, if an unavailability of immigrant visas under their home country's quota has prevented them from gaining permanent U.S. residence they may qualify for an extension past the sixth year mark.

Professional Experience In Lieu Of Bachelor's Degree:

H-1B applicants exhibiting 12 years of relevant work experience to be equivalent of a four-year college degree may be exempt from the normal requirement of needing a four-year college degree. Therefore, a bachelor's degree may not be necessary if work history is sufficient. A qualified Pennsylvania immigration lawyer can help make such a determination with the help of an accredited evaluator.

Contact A Skilled H-1B Immigration Lawyer:

With offices in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Wilmington, Delaware, the law offices of Hogan & Vandenberg, LLC, serve the entire tri-state area. If you or a family member wants to apply for an H-1B visa contact Hogan & Vandenberg, LLC. In Delaware, call 302-225-2734. If you are in Pennsylvania call 610-664-6271. Or, click here to email Delaware and Pennsylvania immigration law office of Hogan & Vandenberg, LLC.