Have you always wanted the opportunity to work in the United States, but don’t know how to make it happen? There are many types of visas available for temporary or non-immigrant workers, the most popular being the H-1B visa. The Law Office of Alison Yew has some of the best H-1B visa lawyers in San Jose who have extensive experience in successfully handling such cases.
What is an H-1B visa?
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that essentially permits foreign nationals to work in the U.S. in a specialty occupation for a maximum period of 6 years. A specialty occupation pertains to a job that requires the “theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge” in fields like chemistry, architecture, mathematics, physical and social sciences, the arts, and more.
Generally, a Bachelor’s Degree or higher (or its equivalent) is required, at a minimum, for entry into a specialty occupation in the U.S. If your degree is from a foreign institution, it will be evaluated on whether or not it can be considered an equivalent to a degree attained in the U.S.
What are the advantages of an H-1B visa?
As any San Jose H-1B visa attorney will tell you, the biggest advantage of an H-1B visa, unlike other non-immigrant visas, is that it’s also a dual intent visa. A dual intent visa grants the holder both the right to work in the U.S. and the ability to petition for permanent residence in the future. It could be the first step to obtaining a green card.
How does one apply for an H-1B visa?
It’s important to note that the U.S. employer is the petitioner of the H-1B visa and you, as the foreign national, are the beneficiary. The U.S. employer must first file a Labor Condition Application (LCA), which attests that the beneficiary will be paid at least the prevailing wage.
The LCA is submitted along with the employer’s H-1B petition to the USCIS, which must be filed no more than 6 months before the requested employment start date. Documents that need to be submitted include the job offer letter, copies of educational degrees, pay stubs, tax returns, and resume. Other documents may be required; for an exhaustive list, contact our H-1B visa lawyers in San Jose.
Filing season for H-1B visas starts in April of every year and are doled out starting October. We highly recommend that your employer start preparing for the petitions as early as possible, since H-1B visas are subject to an annual cap determined by the U.S. Congress. Presently, the cap is at 65,000 per fiscal year (October 1 to September 30), with an additional 20,000 for individuals with advanced degrees from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education.
Why is a San Jose H-1B visa lawyer needed for the process?
The H-1B visa process is not an easy one to navigate; a small misstep could set you back drastically. You don’t want that kind of thing happening, especially for a visa with an annual cap. It is for this reason having an experienced H-1B visa attorney in San Jose at your side to guide you through the process is crucial, even necessary.
Documentation, for instance, is exhaustive. All sorts of documents are needed, both from you and from your employer. A lawyer can help you organize these records in a manner that is intuitive and sensible. They can also ensure that your employer meets all their legal obligations, like maintaining a public access file for you and informing the USCIS of any change in employment.
Another instance where a lawyer would make a huge difference? If you don’t have the required qualifications for the job offered to you or if the job itself isn’t considered a “specialty occupation.” A highly skilled H-1B visa attorney in San Jose can present a solid case and convince the immigration officer how you’re qualified for the job.
If your employer is planning to file for an H-1B visa on your behalf, make sure you seek the help of a San Jose immigration attorney. Contact the Law Office of Alison Yew today and get expert assistance on the preparation and filing of H-1B visa petitions.
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