H-1B Visa Lawyer, Boston MA
H-1B immigration lawyer, Dayna Lally, assists United States companies in preparing H-1B petitions on behalf of foreign professional workers.
An H-1B immigration lawyer reviews job descriptions, advises on appropriate SOC codes, and meticulously prepares H-1B petitions so as to reduce the likelihood of a request for evidence from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”).
Overview: What is an H-1B Visa?
H-1B visas are nonimmigrant visas for foreign nationals who want to enter the United States to perform work in a specialty occupation.
Specialty occupations require the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree in the specific specialty (or equivalent) as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the U.S.
H-1B visas are only available to foreign nationals who have attained at least a bachelor’s degree or higher in a specific specialty (or its equivalent).
Approval of an H-1B petition depends on the United States employer’s ability to demonstrate:
- Corporate existence of Employer;
- Job offer in a specialty occupation;
- Foreign worker’s qualifications; and
- Employer-employee relationship.
H-1B visa petitions must include the following required documents:
- Certified labor condition application (“LCA”);
- Signed employment agreement;
- Offer letter;
- Position description;
- Copies of foreign worker’s degrees/diplomas;
- Work experience letters (if applicable);
- Copies of client contracts and statements of work (if applicable); and/or
- Itinerary of services (if applicable).
H-1B petitions may be rejected or denied for failure to submit required evidence or supporting documents. All required evidence should be submitted with the initial petition.
Employer files Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, along with a copy of the labor condition application (“LCA”) and other supporting documents. See Required Documents section above.
Varies depending on size of the petitioning employer and its dependency on foreign workers. Costs may include:
- $460 (I-129 Filing Fee);
- $750/$1,500 (American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998);
- $500 (Fraud Prevention and Detection Fee);
- $4,000 (Pub. L. 114-113);
- $2,500 ( I-907 Premium Processing Fee); and/or
- $190 (DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application).
H-1B visas are processed at varying speeds depending on a variety of circumstances. Visit the USCIS Processing Times website for the most up-to-date information.
H-1B petitions may be approved for up to three years but cannot exceed the period of validity of the LCA.
The maximum period of stay in the United States in H-1B status is six years, with limited exceptions.
United States employers may request to extend a foreign worker’s H-1B status by filing Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker. The maximum period of stay in the United States in H-1B status is six years, with limited exceptions.
H-1B status may be extended in one-year increments beyond the six-year limitation if a labor certification (“PERM”) or I-140 petition was filed at least three hundred sixty-five days prior to the expiration of the foreign worker’s H-1B status. The three hundred sixty-five days no longer need to accrue before the sixth year is reached.
H-1B status may be extended in three-year increments beyond the six-year limitation if the foreign worker is the beneficiary of an approved I-140 Petition.
H-1B workers who remain in the United States longer than authorized may be barred from returning and/or may be removed (deported) from the United States.
Spouses and children accompanying H-1B workers are eligible for admission in H-4 status. The six-year limit that applies to H-1B status also applies to H-4 status, though H-4s cannot benefit from any extension beyond the six-year maximum.
H-4 dependent spouses may apply for work authorization by filing a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, if:
- The H-1B worker has an approved Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker; or
- The H-1B worker has been granted H-1B status under sections 106(a) and (b) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (AC21).
Requests for Evidence
H-1B requests for evidence (“RFE”) are becoming increasingly more common.
H-1B RFEs typically revolve around the following topics:
- Specialty Occupation;
- Employer-Employee Relationship;
- Availability of Work (Off-Site);
- Availability of Work (In-House);
- Beneficiary Qualifications; and
- Maintenance of Status.
Responding to H-1B RFE can be a difficult and time-consuming process. Contact our office to see how we can help you!
Last Reviewed/Updated: 05/21/2021
Have an Immigration Question?
If you have a question about immigration or would like to schedule a free consultation for a marriage-based green card application, contact Dayna Lally using the contact form below.
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