The H-1B Visa

The H-1b visa allows foreign national to live and work in the U.S. for up to six years. However, not just anyone can qualify for an H-1b visa.

First, an employer must sponsor the foreign national for the visa.

Second, the job that the employer wishes to fill must be one that generally requires a college degree as the minimum qualification for entry into that occupation. Many employers mistakenly presume that their job requires a college degree. The USCIS has their own standards as to what types of jobs require a college degree. Although the employer may usually require a college degree, that does not necessarily mean that the USCIS will agree and grant the visa. A good example is the field of nursing. Many hospitals require that their nurses have a Bachelor’s of Nursing for their nurses. However, the USCIS does not agree that a bachelor’s is required, and many hospitals find it difficult to get H-1b visas for their nurses. I have an excellent record of obtaining H-1b visas for difficult to fit jobs.

Third, the employer must agree to pay the foreign national the prevailing wage for the job. The prevailing wage is that the employer must pay is a very complicated formula set out in the U.S. Department of Labors regulations. Many people make the mistake that they can just find any salary survey on the internet and use that to qualify for an H-1b. Many employers are shocked to find that the salary that they negotiated with the foreign national is not sufficient to qualify the alien for the H-1b. As an attorney, I can approach this problem with an employer in the best way possible to resolve the issue.

Additionally, many foreign nationals are unaware of the difficulties of applying for a visa at a U.S. consulate outside the U.S. Even if you qualify for an H-1b visa inside the U.S., you must apply again if you travel outside the U.S. U.S. Consulates have the right to review every aspect of the H-1b visa all over again, and can deny the visa. Consular officers often request additional evidence that USCIS did not request. Consular processing is particularly difficult in countries such as India and China. If you are processing a visa at a consulate anywhere outside the U.S., you should contact my office. I can help you discern your chances of having a visa approved at a particular consulate and what type of evidence you might be required to show.

The USCIS is now required by law to charge a petitioning employer certain fees. The employer is required to pay these fees, and prohibited by law from requiring the alien to reimburse them. These fees could be as high as $2000 for most private sector employers. You will need the assistance of an attorney to determine the exact fee your employer must pay.